Young Pirate Customers can see the game through Pirate-colored glasses
Unfortunately, the only freebie today was a pair of kid's sunglasses, so that means no Tony Armas bobblehead for my collection. It was also Irish Day and Kids Day. Funny, I don't ever remember the Penguins or Steelers ever running promos like this. And why not? Oh, I don't know...they're too busy worrying about putting a winning team on the field.
As for the in-game entertainment...you know, besides baseball...there was plenty:
The first inning gave us some lame trivia game where the guy was playing for tickets to the Chicago Live! show at Heinz Hall. Because Pirate fans are usually such big Broadway buffs.
Next came the second inning, where you could vote for the Pirates Performance of the Day via a text message. I ask, in all honesty: who's sitting around voting for Pirates plays on their cell phone?
The third inning came quickly, and you know what was next: The Stitches T-Shirt Toss. Nothing riles up true baseball fans more than a free t-shirt flung from a slingshot. People go after these like they're wrapped in $100 bills.
Listen up, investors: it's the fourth inning, so that can only mean one thing: the PNC Stock Market Report. Maybe it's just me, but I think if there are really some serious players in the stock market attending a Pirate game on a Sunday, they'll know the price of a share of Alcoa when it closed two days ago.
We then move to the fifth inning, and it's time for the game show that's sweeping the nation: BUCCO! Basically, some guy drops a game piece onto a Plinko-style board and wins a Pirates t-shirt. Trust me, it was riveting.
Next on the agenda, it's the always important Great Pittsburgh Pierogi Race N'At. I'll spare you the sarcasm, because my prayers go out to the poor people who had to wear pierogi outfits on a scorching day like Sunday.
The next baseball distraction was a vote for the song you want to hear in the 7th inning.
Your choices: The Twist, Life is a Highway, or a YouTube video of a Monkey Washing a Cat. What did Pirates fans choose? You'll have a to wait an inning...
...and here's their choice of the "Monkey Washing Cat" video. Notice that today wasn't Mensa Day at the ballpark.
7th inning stretch: the Pirate cheerleaders are here for your amusement. Watch as their moves hypnotize slack-jawed yokuls who arrived in the 6th inning (I'm not kidding about that...they really did get an usher and sit down in the 6th).
The 8th inning (at least I think it was the 8th, as my brain was fully melted by then), was the inevitable hot dog gun. You know the drill by now: a member of the Bucco Brigade jams hot dogs into a gun shot by an Adam LaRoche-lookalike.
Obsessed with guns...just like LaRoche
Who wants an airborne weiner? You?
So is that bag filled with hot dogs? Does David Wells know about this, and could it lure him to Pittsburgh someday?
Any chance of shooting Armas at close range by "mistake"?
See, here's what happens with all of the distractions going on throughout the game: on the rare occasion when the Pirates are playing well, it's lost in the shuffle. They won by a 6-2 count on Sunday, and they actually played a pretty solid game.
Notes from the scene of the crime:
--22,470 in the house today, with a ton of Cubs fans. But what was up with right field? Did that guy forget his Axe body spray?
--Ever wonder what $136 million looks like in person? Let me fulfill your curiosity with this pic of Alfonso Soriano.
--Here's a scary sight: the always-crazy Carlos Zambrano with a bat in his hands.
--Nice performance by Shane Youman today, but we have to stop Greg Brown's "Sugar Shane" nickname before it catches on. Sorry Greg, that name's been taken. And given that his name is pronounced "YOU man" and not "YO man", I suggest we steal the name of Sirius DJ Human Numan and call him Human Youman.
--If there's a Beerman Hall of Fame, T.C. has to be the first inductee. The guy is a Pittsburgh icon. Today he was belting out "Party Like a Rock Star" to anyone who bought one of his lemonades.
--According to the scoreboard, the Pirates Will Inspire. Just curious...who has been inspired by the Pirates this year? Could I get an example?
--I thought LaRoche's usual "Babe Ruth Called Shot" pose was going to get him plunked by Zambrano. Luckily for LaRoche, he struck out twice.
--Look, LaRoche makes yet another gun reference on his scoreboard photo!
--Xavier Nady, who comes out to Xzibit's "X", actually drops the X a la Carl Krauser on his scoreboard intro. Thought this was worth mentioning.
--From the "Never Thought I'd See THIS" category...Jason Bay touching 'em all today
--This would've been a great shot of Zambrano if a Cubs fan didn't stick his finger up in front of me.
--Not a lot of activity for the Kennametal K Club today. Human Youman was putting them to sleep.
--Here's Etch-a-Sketch LaRoche, and for once, no reference to firearms. What a looker.
--Dropping 2 of 3 to the Pirates surely had Lou Piniella second-guessing his decision to leave Tampa Bay.
--The number 21. A tragic number in Pittsburgh sports history. Roberto Clemente...Michel Briere...Amos Zereoue...
--After the game ended, a somber Ryan Theriot stared at the field for a good five minutes. Someone took a midseason loss to the Pirates pretty hard.
--To close the first-half of this year's Pirate season, I leave you with this lasting image of Xavier Nady.