Pittsburgh Pirates All the Talk of Mario Lemieux Winner’s Circle Party


Pittsburgh Pirates

starter Paul Maholm was strapped with another loss although he threw seven solid innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last night.   The game was another reason why win/loss records suck.

The Pirates grabbed a one zero lead, but Jays callup Eric Thames blasted his first MLB bomb in the sixth inning.  In the seventh Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar ripped doubles off Maholm to stake the Jays to a 2-1 lead and their evenutal win by the same score.

We tried to follow the game, but we were busy getting Bill Mazeroski and his gorgeous wife drinks at Mario’s Winner’s Circle 80’s inspired theme party.

We had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Mazeroski about Neil Walker as the 80’s band Party on the Moon fired up Hungry Like the Wolf.  Maz glowed about Walker and said some interesting things about the team, but one comment stood out…

"Neil Walker is a great student"

We can’t help but think that most of the Pirates that come to Spring Training have no freaking clue who Bill Mazeroski is.  We also remember the video on ROOT that showed Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talking with Maz during Spring Training.  Hurdle told him if he sees anything that sticks out as being wrong, please let the skipper know.

Hurdle knows the deal.

So does Walker.

Watching the reaction from Maz when we broke the bad news that the Bucs lost tonight, it was obvious he doesn’t miss many games.  In fact, he recalled numerous recent situations from Pirates games.

Maz is a stud. Still.

Sure all the stars were in attendance.  Big Ben Roethlisberger (first place in day one on the golf leaderboard with a 49) sat beside Sidney Crosby sipping Nemacolin branded water just two chairs from Michael Jordan.

MJ knows baseball. He even said he was excited about the young Pirates team.

We left at midnight and 68 wasn’t there yet (#jagrwatch.)  David Morehouse didn’t even want to talk about Jagr.  All he said was “nothing yet,” as he quickly walked away after we asked the Jagr question.

But you know the Pirates have started to gain some traction when MJ notices. He told us, “I like what the Pirates are doing this year…finally.”  The former North Carolina star  has a good point.

The Pirates have an opportunity to have a winning record against the American League if the Bucs can win today. It’s a dream season in some regards for Pirates fans.   The Bucs are becoming relevant again.

Of course countless sports stars were in attendance at Mario’s event.  It has become a who’s who event.  The most startling fact for us was that most of them were familiar with the Pirates success.  But it’s  also mind blowing to think that the only connection in the 80’s themed ballroom to Pittsburgh Pirates baseball were heros that played for the Bucs a long, long time ago.

The Pirates were close to winning in Toronto and in the spacious Nemacolin ballroom last night.   But we can’t help but want more from this Pirates club. Steve Blass said it well as the evening was winding down, the Pirates can’t keep wasting “solid pitching efforts.”

You also can’t help but think the Pirates can’t keep wasting such great opportunities to promote their team at such events as the Mario Lemieux Foundation.  It’s a can’t miss event for God’s sake.

1960 and 1971 were a long time ago.  Maz and Blass are great representatives, but come on.  Where was Frank Coonelly?   Hell, send one of the injured Buccos if they have to, but don’t miss it.

The event is a who’s who of potential ticket buyers and as much as we love Maz and Blass, they don’t sell tickets.   They sell memories of a long time ago in Pirates lore.

The community needs to see Pirates representation just as much as the Pirates offense needs to support Paul Mahom.  This Pirates team is for real.

We wish the passion of the franchise for promoting such a great season was the same.   Please spare me the realities that the Bucs are in the middle of the season, there are countless players on the DL doing little.  Dress them up in their best eighties outfit and try to outduel Brett Hull’s fake mullet.

Mario is doing great things.  Big Ben is doing great things.  The Pirates are doing great things.   It simply sucks nobody could wave the flag for the team.

Legends from days gone by are great, but fans love the now.  The Pirates are right now.  It sucks nobody could see it.

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