Big Lead Sports Bar

6/11/2007

More Recaps From the Crime Scene- UPDATED...AGAIN!

The Pirates were massacred this weekend by the Yankees, and some Mondesi's House readers were on hand to witness it firsthand. Cecil from Cecil checked in on Friday night, Dave from My Brain Says Rage sent over his recap, and here are several others that came in this morning. Personally, I think the only thing worse than watching the games would be paying to watch the games. But here are a few of this morning's excellent recaps. Enjoy!
Garrett from Indiana, PA:
"Hey Mondesi, I'm from Indiana, PA I was also (un)fortunate enough to make it out to the Bronx this weekend to watch the Buccos get dismantled by the Yankees on Sunday. Here were several things I found interesting:
- New York is just as many say, a great city, and I had a blast my first time there.
- That being said, I did catch some flak for being a pirates fan. Saturday night (after the 9-3 beating) a New Yorker came and asked how the game went today, and after my response made some joke about Oliver Perez. He was so eager to make fun of me he combined both the Yankee and Met point of view. Later that evening an elderly, intoxicated man also booed me and my friends in our pirate gear.
- Did you know Roger Clemens pitches for the Yankees??? In addition to a two-hour montage of Clemens' career before the game on the jumbotron, every five f****** seconds they had something to remind everyone in attendance that indeed Roger Clemens is a Yankee
.- Contrary to what Cecil mentioned, I actually saw lots of Pirates fans on Sunday, at least in my opinion. A man told his son to "watch out for the Pirates fans" to which I replied "we don't bite." My friend then made a "WE WILL" joke, but naturally none of the Yankee fans got it.
- As Cecil did mention, this Yankee stadium and New York fans are quite the bunch. There was louder applause for a 1st inning single than the Pirates can generate with an extra-innings win at PNC. When A-Rod came out for his curtain call after his second blast, the place was absolutely electric. I don't want to imagine what the place would've been like at full capacity playing the Red Sox.
- The experience solidified my perception that the current Pirates team can never compete at the major-league level. 9 times out of 10 the Yankees lineup will continue to destroy this Pirates team. Even putting up 6 runs, our pitching was abysmal. Our best player, Jason Bay, would just be a supporting piece of the puzzle for the Yankees. A-Rod nearly could've beaten the Pirates alone today. Until things change, the Pirates have no chance of being successful.
- But despite all this, PNC Park's video-screen is over twice as big as the one in Yankee stadium.
WE WILL!"
Patrick from Denison U.:
"Hey Mondesi, I am Patrick from Denison Unviersity, the kid that knows Donny Kelly's family. I am interning in New York City this summer and was at the game this past Sunday. I'll send some pictures along when I get them onto my computer, though most of them capture Donny Kelly doing nothing or A-Rod introducing Josh Sharpless to the American League (I happened to be taking fast frame pictures of his first home run swing...very cool pictures, very typical result from Sharpless).
Anyways, some thoughts and notes from the game on Sunday....
- I was proud to see how many Pittsburgh fans were there, although most of them were wearing Stargell and Clemente jerseys.
- A very witty Yankees fan bellowed that Josh Sharpless' ERA of 12-something was almost as high as A-rod's jersey number. This tidbit serves as a nice preview of what we were up against the rest of the day.
- Someone asked my friend if our knees were getting sore from being crouched down in the cellar of the standings every year. The response? "Not as sore as your neck is from looking up at the Red Sox". Thank you, thank you, we'll be here all summer.
- Every time a new Pirates pitcher came in, virtually no one had ever heard of them. There weren't boos, or cheers, just a stunned sort of inspection of a bottom-dwelling National League bullpen.
- The same type of inspection occured when, upon going ahead 6-5, I yelled "RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER!" in a Mark Madden-esqe falsetto.Yankees fans clearly aren't...ummm..."privileged" enough to hear Greg Brown call a game.
- Speaking of calling a game, the Yankees PA announcer sounds as if he might die at any given moment. I'm sure it's one of those "he's a fixture of Yankee stadium, been here forever, fans love him" type things, but he sounds older than Jose Hernandez (I apologize if he has some sort of condition I don't know about). But seriously, every at bat was:
"Now batting....for...Pitts...burgh........Freddy.......Sawn....Chez.......Second.....Base.........Number twelve"
- I hate the wave. Hate it. This is a huge thing with me. I go to games to watch the game and to be entertained by the game, not to fancy myself by raising my arms. Doing the wave insinuates that the game isn't interesting enough for you to follow, which is why I have always given Pirates fans the benefit of the doubt for doing it: the games simply weren't interesting enough. Whenever the wave breaks out at PNC, I generally say, "this would NEVER happen at Wrigley or Fenway or the Bronx". Well, they did the wave yesterday, thus killing my theory. Either that or the Pirates were just so un-interesting that the Yankee fans had to entertain themselves with the wave.
- Yankee Stadium is a dump, but it doesn't matter. The experience reminded me of a Steelers game. Do Steelers fans sit and marvel and chat about Heinz Field? No. Do they care about what is on the Jumbotron? No. Everything else is immaterial compared to the game. You go to the stadium because you live and die with the Steelers and you want to be there to scream for them. This is how Yankees fans are- they are there for the Yankees, not for PNC Park, not for Primanti's, not for the view, but for the Yankees. Not saying Pirates fans aren't, but I'm just saying you don't hear people talking about the view or the food. They talk about the game, because the game matters to them....
- Which brings me to my next point: yesterday was the first baseball game I have ever been to where the fans stood up for two outs and two strikes regardless of the inning. I think Pittsburgh has great baseball fans, but we have just been desensitized to the game. Everyone was already standing in my section when A-rod came up after his home run: they KNEW he was going to hit another one. They cheered and stood before it happened, like they were willing it to happen. Just an amazing experience. The same thing happened Saturday with Clemens coming out in the sixth. My friend Sam from Pittsburgh, a loyal Mondesi reader and frequent emailer I believe, was there and said that everyone knew he would strikeout Doumit and that he would be pulled after that, so they gave him the curtain call. It should also be noted that Sam from Pittsburgh went to the game Saturday with his girlfriend's family, a YANKEE FAMILY, and didn't tell us he was going until Friday afternoon.I'm not really angry about this - just jealous that we both randomly got tickets to two different days and he got to see Clemens while I got to see some bum. So naturally and illogically, I am blaming this occurrence on his girlfriend.
- We started a "Here We go Steelers" chant on the way out, with a few Pittsburghers joining in from an upper rotunda. It was supposed to be sort of a mimicking of what real Yinzers would do in a situation after a tough Pirates loss...and of course the Yinzers flocked to the sound.- Hunt's ketchup is gross.
- I could relate tons more from the weekend, like how every Yankee fan had some shirt saying they had still won more rings than the Red Sox (as if that somehow made them felt better for the 3-0 debacle), but I will conclude with my proudest moment that beautifully combined both A-rod's baserunning AND marital scandal. I was standing next to a Yankee fan at a Subway stop. He was wearing a Rodriguez jersey. A GORGEOUS blonde chick walked by right in front of us. As she passed us, we both looked at her, then that we each were scoping her out shamelessly. As we realized this, I looked at him deadpanned "Mine!". Keep on keepin on"
Lauren from Hofstra University, by way of Latrobe:
"Mondesi,
Before I begin, just wanted to say that I really enjoy your site. Now onto the subject of my e-mail... the pathetic state of these Pirates. I am originally from Latrobe, PA but now live and work (in the athletic department at Hofstra University) on Long Island (Bethpage). I decided to venture to the Bronx for the game today and brought two friends with me to experience the fun. When I woke up this morning, I was very optimistic about today's outing. I just felt like today was going to be the day that everything would come together in this series for the team. Holy crap, was I wrong! It was embarrassing really. The entire team is lackluster... from their play on the field, to the bullpen, to the dugout, where there is just no emotion. It just seems as if those players are going through the motions with a very "ho-hum, we suck, we're going to lose" type of attitude. They were even lackluster when they went ahead 6-5, which lasted all of two seconds. Don't even get me started on that poor excuse of a bullpen OR the fact that we have one guy batting over .300 (Doumit) and he has hit the skids lately as well. I did see some Pirate fans there today, sporting the gear. I also saw Steeler gear, which made me chuckle. On the drive back to Long Island, I had mentioned to my friends that I had come up with the following idea... Write to the Pirate organization and request that my $65 be refunded (price of my ticket... even though I purchased it through the Yankees, obviously...) because of how disgusted I was at the performance today. Don't get me wrong, it's not everyday that you get to see your hometown team play at Yankee Stadium, but it would also be nice if they actually decided to finish a game instead of putting it in cruise control.You know what's sad? The last time the Pirates were GOOD was when I was 10... TEN! I am now 25 and don't really recall what it's like to root for a good, competitive baseball team. I can't even remember the last time I saw the Pirates win in PERSON. I have tickets for 2 of the 3 games at Shea next month so we'll see how that goes. I'm guessing that I will see them lose both of those, too.I guess, in a nutshell, I knew they were and are bad. I guess I just needed to see it in person and trust me, it hit me square between the eyeballs just how bad they are. I'm not sure how many other e-mails you'll get like this one, but I just wanted to provide my opinion. I'm assuming it looked as bad on TV as it did in person, haha. My parents said that it did! Keep up the good work and thanks in advance for allowing me to vent!"
UPDATE: More angry Bucco fans who witnessed the carnage are checking in!
Sam from Penn State:
"This is Sam, the whipped Pirates fan mentioned in the recap by Patrick from Denison U. Pat and everyone else did a nice job of capturing the feeling in Yankee Stadium, but I just wanted to add a few things. As Pat mentioned, I was at the Saturday game and got to see Clemens, who in my opinion wasn't really that impressive. I feel hypocritical saying that after watching 3/5ths of our rotation flounder the entire year, but in my opinion it was just a quality start, nothing more and did not deserve the standing O. The best part of being there was, of course, when the Pirates did something well, which was few and far between, but the 2 run double by Jack and the somewhat awkward sliding catches by Bay and Doumit were enjoyable, only for the collective disgruntled sighs of the Yankee faithful. My favorite parts of the weekend, though, were not even at the game.

We drove into New Jersey the previous night and caught most of the game on the radio, listening to the Yankees radio team. Now I'm sure the play-by-play announcer is some famous guy who I should know the name of, but to me he just sounded like Bob Uecker, complete with the "Juuuuust a bit outside" call. I was impressed though, with their knowledge of the Pirates, as they knew taking Gorzo out of the game meant instant self-destruction and the color analyst mentioned how talented Castillo was during the Sunday broadcast, only to have him play one of the best defensive games of his life. They did miss the ball though when they called the Pirates "very well managed by Jim Tracy". The YES network TV crew did a good job making up for it though when they went on a 5 minute tirade on Sunday about how the Pirates can't expect to win if they keep making mental errors, and how unbelievable it is considering Tracy "stresses fundamental baseball". Whatever. The best Pirate related story of the weekend was when I went to a bar with my girlfriend's dad, who is a diehard Mets fan by the way. I was still wearing my Freddy Sanchez jersey and the bartender noticed. He immediately came up to me and said "Freddy Sanchez drinks Malibu Bay Breezes", to which I was caught off guard...I was expecting beer on my head or callous remarks about Bay being in a Yankee uniform in 2010, not insults about what the players drink. But he continued, explaining that he used to live in Nashville at the same time Freddy was there while a part of the Red Sox organization and got to hang out with him a few times and that his drink of choice was Malibu bay breezes. To me, that about sums up the state of the Pittsburgh Pirates....our best singles hitter drinks malibu bay breezes, our best natural hitter is Canadian, and the hitter who was supposed to save this ballclub can't actually hit."

-Sam from Penn State
Rege:
Raul,

It was really eye opening to watch the Bucs play in the Vatican City of baseball. That's is not a stretch by the way. Baseball is a religion to Yankee fans. If the BOSS pulled the same crap The Mc Nutting Corp. is doing, the fans would riot in the streets and burn cars. They are fanatical. I'd just like to share with you my top 10 list from the Yanks game :

10.) The Bucs maybe have 3 or 4 guys that might be able to cut it on a real MLB roster. Jason Bay would be the Rob Mackowiak of the Yanks roster. (OK maybe thats a stretch) Snell and Capps would could contribute, but Chris Duffy and Jack Wilson probably would be glorified bat boys. The Bucs are outgunned, plain and simple.
9.) They have monuments to honor the all-time great Yankees, we have Arky Vaughan Hall of Fame Coin" Commemorative coins. Arky Vaughn's family is begging for some more recognition.

8.) They give alway actual bats as a promotion, not mini bats but, 30' Louisville sluggers, and we get bobble headed to death. Mind you the were Jason Giambi bats but personally I'd rather have a Bob Prince Talking Bobble-head.

7.) The Bucs were psyched out. Remember, the last time the Bucs were here Lloyd let the team take a guided tour of the stadium. Only the Pirates get pysched out by a guided tour. This trip, No tour, same results. At least this time there's no next stop in Boston. They were noticeably intimidated.

6.) It was odd seeing Adam Laroche bat without hearing his, "I am a big beer drinking, antler waving, mud tiring driven" hill-billy intro music, and then the ensuing boos after 1-4 night with 3 K,s. Yankee fans don't know what they are missing.

5.) If one more Yankee fan asks me about the Pirates, "Rich History of Latin Players" I'm going to go nuts. it is unbelievable it is 2007 and the most recognizable pirate to yankee fans in Roberto Celemente, and he played decades ago. I would respond back, We do have Freddy Sanchez, you know the NL batting camp from last year. Then everybody stares at me in disbelief. I had no idea the Pirates were this far off the MLB radar to the rest of the county.

4.) Rumor has it Craig Wilson Has a car wash somewhere near the stadium. I searched and searched. Couldn't find it. Maybe next trip.

3} Not one Pirate has the batter's box presence of AROD or Jeter. I don't think I've ever been to a Bucs game when 50,000 fans are hanging on every pitch thrown to Jason Bay or Freddy. I am convinced the only way to achieve this at PNC is if some how, some way Big Ben, or Sid the kid digs in, then maybe we would get as excited as they do. Those are only two players that if possible could get that type of response.


2.) Yankee stadium is a dump. There I said it. But the fans come to Yankee Stadium for the GAME, not ambiance and bobble-heads, so it doesn't need to be state of the art.

1.) As Pittsburgh fan I can relate to the Yankees. Simply because we have the Steelers. Yankee fans are Steeler fans. Pittsburgh is football Town. New York is the baseball equivalent. Face it, I compare being a Bucs fan to dating the chubby younger sister of a really hot chick. You are dating her because you are hoping she will develop into the knock out her older sister (The Steelers) is. As long as we root for the Bucs we are dating the Chubby sister of The Pittsburgh trifecta.

Lauren:

Something I wanted to mention:

One interesting thing Rege forgot to include as part of his NY experience - How his girlfriend (read: me) got threatened by a drunk and extremely obnoxious Yankee fan (you know, there's always THAT guy sitting a few rows in front of you). His form of threat? A frozen lemonade being thrown at me. I swear to you, he had his wallet out to give the money to the vendor patrolling the upper decks of Yankee Stadium.

Chris from Brooklyn, a guy who didn't go to the game, but had some interesting points:

Just thought I'd chime in with the Pirates in town. I didn't go to any of the games cause I hate baseball, Yankee tickets are way overpriced, and I helped my girlfriend move-in. I did, however, catch the Friday and Saturday games.

What I saw was unbelievable. Again, I don't have an intimate knowledge of baseball, but it was clear that the Buccos had no focus. The Yankee color analysts had no choice but to diss their fundamentals. And I can't buy into the idea that playing in Yankee stadium gave them stage-fright. If anything, that should elevate their game.

What's so messed up is that every negative thing I read about them is true. I thought for sure that the criticism the Buccos receive from Madden, Starkey, and Smizik was overblown. Those three guys are pretty pessimistic. But little did I know they were actually telling it how it is.

Nothing short of a trip to the playoffs could get my attention back to baseball. In other words; who cares.

And to comment on Yankee fans: tons of your letters have been praising the Yankee following for caring so much about baseball. Dude, these are the same clowns that booed the 2005 AL MVP for suffering a mid season slump last year. It just so happen that the Yankees(ESPECIALLY their golden boy Jeter) were beating the snot out of someone on the first beautiful summer weekend, hence the barrage of cheers. And the Red Sox are a better team, so Yankee fans are reeling for their team to catch up.

Peace out. I'll chime in again when the Stillers season starts.

Adam the Penn State Fan:

1. I stayed in Jersey,and it took us 2-3 hours each way to go to the game. I talked to a guy from Manhattan who left at 11:30 for the game at 1:05, and he got there later than me. I left at 10 that day. If the Bucco fan base had to travel 2-3 hours each way to see them, even the bobbleheads wouldn't cut it. There would be no fan base.

2. Despite the fact I was madder than a baby whose candy was taken from him, the experience Friday night was incredible. As a baseball fan, getting to see 50,000 Yankee fans on their feet in one of the most legendary stadiums ever gave me chills. The Yanks had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th, with Jeter providing the walk off hit. The stadium erupted into a giant sing along of "New York, New York". Even though the Bucs lost, it was one of my top 5 in person sports experiences.

3. Also on Fri. nite, the only night the Bucs were in it, this pack of Yankee fans goes "Wow, what a great game", trying to egg me on. I looked over a cooly remarked "I agree, It was Pirates baseball at its finest. They didn't say another word.

4. Another drunk asked me "Hey Pirates fan, why don't you kill yourself", to which I replied, "because then I won't get to see the Yanks choke anymore (crickets).

5. Finally, in perhaps the saddest moment of the Pirate's national appeal, one drunken Yankee fan said "Ooooo, Pirates!!....Pirates of the Carribean? Arggh, I'm Jack Sparrow!!" Yup, the Pirates and now second in the sports world to Pirates who aren't even in the sports world. Great.

6. While some earlier spoke of heckling, I didn't really get much of that. Most of it, though limited, was just kind hearted joking, and not any real abuse. As far as true baseball goes, the fans seemed indifferent to us. They didn't care that we were rooing for the other team. They just kind of chuckled when we cheered, and that was it

Mike:

Mondesi,

I'm not sure if you are still accepting people's takes on the Yanks/Bucs series, but here's mine:I went up to NYC this weekend to see the Bucs battle the Yanks not expecting much. Honestly, I knew we were gonna get swept. I would have bet the house on it...if I actually owned one. Anyway, my overall experience of the trip wasn't completely bad, the fans surprisingly weren't too loud or mean where I sat, most were actually really nice to us. (there were 4 of us in our group, my parents, my girlfriend and myself). It reminded me of the one year when I went to see the Steelers play the Lions in a late season game (I think it was 2001) and we just absolutely destroyed them. The whole time Steeler fans around me were sort of messing with the Lions fans, but nobody was being outright mean. I felt sorry for them, it felt wrong to pick on people when they are down (the only exception is the Browns or the Ravens...or the Flyers...) almost like picking on the retarded kid in class...

Which brings me back to the Bronx. This time I was the invading fan in a very different world. It was amazing to see people actually watch and really care about the game. Clapping with every 2 out, 2 strike count, cheering loudly for any hit, and just paying attention to the game as a whole. While they do have giveaways at the games in the Bronx (usually to the first 18,000 fans), most nights are "Just-watch-the-damn-game-night." Although they did give away some Derek Jeter figurine on Friday night which I gave mine to a nice Latino guy on my left. The last thing I wanted was a reminder of Derek Jeter hitting a dinky single in the 10th to give those jagoffs the win. (the next night they gave out Yankee caps and I told the person politely that I don't want one, nor would I ever place it on my head even if you paid me...)

The thing I was shocked most about was the sheer number of Pirate fans who were there, I guess we're all gluttons for punishment (my guess was about 5,000-6,000 Pirate fans for each game I went to). The games were about as entertaining as a root canal...other than a few bright spots on Friday night (the Duffy inside the park homer and Jack's crazy bare-handed pick and throw to get Damon were what really stuck with me) Saturday was much worse since "the Rocket" was launching. Was it me, or did he look terrible? He was lucky to be playing against the Pirates because they made him look like the Clemens of about 20 years ago. I honestly hope he throws hit fat fucking arm out and the Yankees are well and buried come late July. If anything, this weekend strengthened my hatred towards the Yankees more than ever (and strengthened my love of Mazeroski and the 1960 Pirates!). I hate everything that they stand for. They are the epitome of what's wrong with baseball today, but on the other hand, so are the Pirates.

As I was leaving the game on Friday night one witty Yankee's fan yelled at me: "Hey, the Pirates suck!" My response: I shrug my shoulders and said "Yeaaaah, not much else to it is there?" and to that he was sort of confused. He didn't know how to respond to absolute apathy. I'm so desensitized to the Pirates sucking that I don't even care when someone yells at me. I guess because it's true. We suck. We have the worst run organization in pro sports.

As we were making our way further down the ramp to the street I got into a few conversations about sports and most of the Yankee fans were like "Well, at least you have the Steelers", "The Pens are good", "You got Crosby, Staal and Malkin" and to be honest it was really surprising to me, like as if they were trying to cheer me up. I told them my biggest curse was that I would rather see the Pirates just finish above .500 than see the Pens or Steelers win their respective championship. Most of them thought I was nuts as I assume all of my fellow Burghers would too. But I'm a baseball fan and Pirate fan first and foremost. And I will always be. I blame my dad. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Sorry this was so long, I just needed to rant about this. Thanks for the awesome blog.

Counting down the days 'til training camp,

Mike

South Side Slopes

1 comment:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

WE WILL....waste your time.
WE WILL....take your money.
WE WILL....embarrass the city.