[We were asked to do a preview of the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates season at SeatGeek.com. It will go live sometime in the next 24 hours. We worked for a while putting it together and stress a little when our work leaves the 'Burgh. So before it goes live, we wanted to give you a sneak peek because we love you. SeatGeek is a cool site if you are looking for event tickets for example if you wanted to get Pittsburgh Steelers tickets for this weekend or Pirates tickets for the home opener go to the site, and every available ticket on all secondary sites like StubHub, etc are listed. Sweet.]
In 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates will continue to sell more and more tickets. By the end of the season, PNC Park will host a very young, very dangerous, but a still, bad baseball team. Yeh, we know what you’re thinking…how will the Pirates continue to sell tickets? Aren’t Pirates fans sick of this team?
It’s pretty easy to look back now and see the Pirates were an utter disaster when Neal Huntington took over. A lot of fans simply didn’t realize just how putrid the team had become.
As Pirates fans we have never been able to see squads of talent waiting on the horizon. But now, unlike the previous regime, young and talented players are working towards PNC Park. The days of aging minor league filler are slowly waning. The Pirates minor leagues are filled with talented teams of players putting up solid numbers, missing bats, and hitting bombs. Some of the teams have made their league playoffs, have taken a rehabbing Andy Petite yard, while the AA Altoona club and the former Lynchburg team are rocking championship rings.
Keep telling your tired Pirates jokes. Call us the laughingstock. But I think you can hear us coming. If not, here are eleven reasons why you will want to come out to the best ball yard in the world to see the Bucs this year. Or not. We’re not big on strangers in this town anyway.
The 2011 Pirates team is a blend of potential stars, solid performers, rebound wanna-bes, soft tossers, and hanger ons. It won’t look this way in 2012. And 2013 will be something special, well for Pirates fans anyway.
So back to the present. Do you really want to read a Pirates 2011 preview? Warning. It doesn’t look pretty.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been bad for a long time. But in 2010 they were finally over-the-top, worst in the league, awful. The Bucs didn’t perform poorly in just one area, they sucked in most every offensive, defensive, and pitching category.
Enough of the past, let’s look at exhibit number one in our reasons to come to PNC Park in 2011. Checking in at number one is the player who is going to destroy your favorite pitcher for the next ten years. His name is Pedro Alvarez. He is a 24-year old, 30-homer- a- year- hittin, on base gettin’ machine, clean-up hittin’ Pittsburgh Pirate.
In 2010, Alvarez hit a bomb about every 22 times up at the dish. Was his .341 BABIP luck, or just baseballs being crucified coming off his Louisville? Time will tell, but I am going with Alvarez being a baseball killer. (You should too.)
We have Andrew McCutchen. You don’t. It sucks to be you. Stop drooling.
Cutch is 24. Cutch plays hurt. Cutch puts up big numbers. Cutch makes you jealous. And stop doing reading those ridiculous blogs with insane trade scenarios offering up cannon fodder for McCutchen. It’s not happening.
Neil Walker burst into the big leagues thanks to the failings of Aki Iwamura and never looked back. All he did was become the best rookie second-baseman in Major League Baseball.
Walker had the sixth highest slugging (.462) and OPS (.811) at the position. He came out hot, but suffered a concussion in June, courtesy of a Ryan Church knee, that made plenty hearts skip a beat. Not to worry, Walker rebounded strong with a five hit night in July, and then highlighted his season with an 18-game hitting steak from August 23 to September 12. Walker ripped 29 doubles in 426 at-bats and his 54 second-half RBI was fifth in MLB.
All of these impressive numbers were earned as Walker learned how to play second base while playing second base. In 2011, Pirates fans are excited to see what “Hometown” will do for an encore.
Jose Tabata is 22 years old. Noticing a trend? We like ‘em young in the Steel City.
Tabata put up 121 hits in his first 405 at-bats in the majors. He did some of his best work when it mattered most as he ranked third in MLB with runners in scoring position as he ripped at a .380 clip. The rookie had 30 clutch hits including seven doubles and three triples. Tabata is also dangerous on the basepaths and with some improvements could easily steal 30 bases this season.
In 2011, Tabata should only get better as he struggled on the road losing .200 plus OPS points and will need to improve against those lefties. But did we say he is….. ahem, 22?
The Pirates starting rotation get black eyes frequently……and the rest of the story is located live now over at seatgeek.com. We got it below.
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