Tag Archives: Pirate Parrot

AT&T Park vs PNC Park

Over the years I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to various yards throughout my Stadium Journey quest.  Putting personal bias aside, AT&T Park and PNC Park are no doubt two of the most scenic yards I have ventured to.  So, in Drei’s book, how do they match up ?  

Both yards are very intimate in size.  Both have scenic backdrops.  Both have a sense of charm that are reflect the local culture….

In and around AT&T Park, with a Touch of Blue….

In and around PNC Park, Sept 2005…

These two yards really do rank highly in my ballpark journey’s.  Outside The Ravine, if I had to choose which yard get’s the edge for that top spot in Drei’s book of ballpark’s traveled ?  Hmm ?  I think i’m gonna have to go with a tie-breaker on this one.  Who get’s the tie-breaker ?

PNC_NIGHT

Slight edge to PNC Park.  Two factors.  The first was a hard one.  Skyline or water ?  At night, the Pittsburgh skyline, accented with the Roberto Clemente Bridge, makes for a more picturesque backdrop especially at night.  The second factor ?  Let’s just say this…  A Dodger fan just wrote this piece….

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Kickin’ it with The Pirate Parrot.  Hey, 2 straight October’s at PNC Park for you !!!

PNC_CLEMENTE

Roberto Clemente statue outside the left field entrance with the Roberto Clemente bridge in the back.  Roberto Clemente started off in the Brooklyn Dodger organization, playing for their farm system in 1954 with the Montreal Royals.

For You Ballpark and Other Stadium Travelers…

Here’s a couple of formal reviews of AT&T Park and PNC Park .  Need some tips on your ballpark travels for 2015 or other stadium ventures ?  Check us out at Stadium Journey for your sports themed travel tips !!!

 

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Looking Back at Drei’s 2014 NL Forecast…

Yesterday, Drei here looked back upon his 2014 AL Forecast .  Like any pre-season predictions, there we’re hits, and there we’re plenty of misses.  In looking back at Drei’s 2014 NL Forecasts you will notice a little more accuracy around his Senior Circuit picks.

What Drei Said about the NL East

   ” it appears that there is no lack of pitching from the top on down the bottom. I still see this being a 2 team race between the Nationals and Braves. ”  

 “In my surprise pick, I’m picking the Marlins to finish beyond the NL East’s cellar. It will be interesting to how if NL ROY pitcher Jose Fernandez follows up his ROY campaign as he will be anchoring this young rotation. Marlins still have too many inexperience to pose a serious challenge for the division. ”  

Drei’s NL  East Projections…

Final NL East Standings…

After a slow start, the Nationals would finish strong once again, finishing with the leagues best record at 96-76.  Their strong finish would be capped off by Jordan Zimmerman’s no hitter on the final game of the season.  

I did say that the Marlins would not finish in the NL East’s cellar.  There we’re times when this young team displayed some flashes of how bright their future could be.  Season ending injuries to both Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton hurt, but both are still well into their youth, Fernandez is scheduled to be back by mid-season next year.  

What Drei Said about the NL Central…

 “The Bucs and their fans got a taste last year, now everyone in Steel City wants more, and they should. If they can add another solid bat or two to back Andrew McCutchen to their offense ranked 9th in the NL in scoring last year, the Bucs could make another serious run in October…. St Louis with all it’s depth is the favorite to win the division, but Pittsburgh and Cincinatti, the somewhat forgotten team of last season, could pose a serious challenge for the NL Central crown.”

Drei’s NL  Central Predictions…

Final NL Central Standings…

After starting off 12-20, one had to wonder if last season’s success was a mere blur for the Bucs.  However, the Bucs would finish strong, and with a 50-31 home record, would finish 88-74, taking the favored Cardinals to the final weekend of the season before finally finishing 2 games behind, making the playoffs for the 2nd straight season as a wild card.  

And Finally…

What Drei Said about the NL West…

With all the depth they have, there really is no reason to think the Dodgers will not win the division unless injuries, which no expert prognosticator, can ever predict. The starting 5 could potentially have 2 20 plus game winners in their rotation in Kershaw and Greinke, and a couple of 15 plus game winners with Haren and Ryu…”

     “Will they run away with the division ? No. I look for the Giants and DBacks to be the Dodgers closest contender, with the Padres and even the Rockies being possible sleepers to move up in the division. I still feel this is Matt Kemp’s team to lead….”

We all know the story of Clayton Kershaw by now.  Can the starting pitching get enough praise from us ?  Greinke would have another big season winning 17 games, while Ryu and a rejuvinated Dan Haren would also have solid season as well, winning 14 and 13 games each.  

I also did mention that the NL West would not be a runaway for The Blue and it was not until Game 159 of the season with the Giants in town when the Dodgers would finally clinch the NL West…

Also said by Drei back in April…

” Nothing has gone right for the DBacks this season, who currently stand at 5-18. I felt before the season that Kirk Gibson could be on the hot seat if the DBacks don’t make a run toward the post season. I’m starting to believe he may be gone before season’s end, maybe before the all-star break “

Well, I did say that Kirk Gibson would be gone before season’s end , even if the timing of his termination was rather odd, 3 days before the end of the regular season.  Why not just let him finish out the string ?  Then again, this is the Arizona Diamondbacks organization we are talking about here.  An organization who the last couple of years has had it’s share of mind boggling headlines.

Drei’s NL West Predictions…

Final NL West Standings…

The Boys in Blue head to the post-season on a roll, having won 8 of their last 10.  Everything seems to be clicking at this moment for the Blue.  If their is one concern I have heading into the post-season, it is the status of our bullpen .  It is no secret that our bullpen has been inconsistent, particularly our middle relievers.  The status of Hyun-Jin Ryu is a minor concern for me but in a Best of 5 the Dodgers may be able to get away with a 3 man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke and Haren. 

Drei’s NL Wild Cards….

Final …

After a hot start to the season, the Braves would come to a crashing halt late in the season and as a result would fire their GM Frank Wren .  The Pirates, after a 12-20 start, would turn things around to the point they we’re still in contention to win the NL Central flag on the games final day of the season.  For the Giants, it was a tale of 2 seasons, at one point having the Senior Circuits best record and a 9.5 game lead on the Dodgers.  Injuries and offensive inefficiencies would contribute greatly to the Giants mid-summer swoon, however, a mid-September run would put them in position to capture the NL’s second wild card spot.

So how do the Giants and Pirates matchup for their Wild Card showdown ?  The Pirates come into this matchup on a roll having won 18 of their last 24, while the Giants hit a rough patch during the season’s final 2 weeks.  However, the Giants do carry with them plenty of post-season experience and I do agree that the loud PNC Park crowd will not phase Madison Bumgarner as he matches up against Edison Volquez, winner of 5 straight.  Who does Drei pick to head north to DC ?

giants

I know this is not the popular choice around here, but I do feel that Bumgarner is more than battle tested having pitched in 2 World Series appearances.  However, I do expect a close pitchers duel between Bumgarner and Volquez. Does the PNC Park crowd give a repeat performance from last year’s Wild Card game ?  Oh the excitement of October…

Extra Innings…

Dre_PirateParrot I sure wish I could join this Pirate Parrot at PNC tomorrow…

wpid-20140909_185645.jpg Friday can’t come soon enough for our Rally Pet Minion Dave.  This fun loving mischivious character is excited for Blue October !!!

From 42 to 21, Some Dodgers/Pirates History and a Look at PNC Park

The Dodgers take on the Pirates tonight in the 2nd of a 3 game set at PNC Park, with the Boys in Blue winning last night behind 7 strong innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu and some early run support. The Dodgers and Pirates are two of the most storied franchises in the bigs. Both organizations can proudly say that two of the games most influential players played for them.

Dre_JackieNRoberto Two of my favorite pieces of baseball art, honoring Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, numbers 42 and 21 respectively .

Most of you are familiar with Jackie Robinson’s story. You may also be familiar with Roberto Clemente as well, especially if you are a fan of the Bucs. But did you know that Roberto Clemente played one season with the Montreal Royals in 1954 , the Triple A affiliation of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The same organization where Jackie Robinson played before his historic entrance to the bigs in 1947.

Clemente_MontrealRoyals Roberto Clemente, Montreal Royals, 1954. Imagine Roberto Clemente donning the Dodger Blue and roaming the outfield of Dodger Stadium in the 60s …

There are plenty of tributes to Roberto Clemente in around PNC Park, one of my favorite yards I’ve had the privilege to visit.

ClementeBridge The Roberto Clemente Bridge, closed off to vehicular traffic on game days so fans can walk across the river to the park…

ClementeBridge_VideoPicofClemente Paying tribute to Roberto …

plaque

ClementeStatueNBridge Statue honoring Roberto Clemente behind the left field entrance of PNC Park with the Roberto Clemente Bridge in the distance. Perhaps someday Dodger Stadium will have a statue of Jackie Robinson. In the meantime, we do have the number 42 up on the top deck …

42_RetiredNumberTopDeck

If you do want to see a statue of Jackie Robinson…

Jackie_Statue Located along the 1st base concourse at Jackie Robinson stadium in L.A.’s west side, where the UCLA Bruins baseball team plays it’s home games .

Trivia

Clemente_21footwall Why is the right field wall at PNC Park exactly 21 feet high ?

More from my past visit to PNC Park, a yard that you ballpark road-trippers must visit…

PNC_behindhomeplate What a view …

Dre_PNCPark Greetings from PNC Park, September 2005 …

Dre_PirateParrot Another one of my furry friends i’ve befriended on my ballpark travels, the Pirate Parrot. Perhaps our teams may see each other in October Mr. Parrot ?

30 In 25 By Ground

How many of you baseball fans have ever dreamed of following your favorite team on a road trip ? How many of you have dreamed of seeing a game at all 30 MLB Parks ? How would you plan it out ? 30 in one summer ? 30 over a period of time ? 30 in 30 days ? Or how about… 30 in 25 days, all on ground !!!

Of course a lot of preparation is involved when it comes to road trips. But 25 in 30 days, on ground ? That would be a world record if accomplished. Personally, I couldn’t even do 30 in 30 let alone 30 in 25. When i’m travelling, even when ballpark hopping, I like to take it slow. Here are some of the yards i’ve seen our Boys in Blue play, and some parks where i’ve made some new “friends” .

And some new furry friends along the way…

OK, I’ll include one AL Mascot….

Moose Gotta love playing with the Mariner Moose. As long as I don’t bring some “monkey” inside his yard he’s always happy to play with me….

As for how many current yards i’ve been, my count right now is at 17. I will hit the 30 mark eventually. So, what are some of the yards you’ve strolled through ? What we’re your favorites ? Oh yeah…. Nothing beats a day at the ballpark ….

Tonight’s Magic Number Fun Fact….12

Going into tonight’s action, the Magic Number for the Dodgers to clinch the NL West is 12. A combination of 12 Dodger wins and DBack losses, and the Blue will be celebrating their 11th NL West crown. In doing the math, the earliest the Dodgers would be able to clinch the division would be next Wednesday night against the DBacks. Given the unlikelihood that the Dodgers clinch at the earliest next Wednesday, that would mean that realistically, the Blue could and in my mind should have the division clinched by next weekend and if that holds true, we would celebrate in front of…..THE HATED ONES !!!! Which now brings me to this fun and informal poll….

Magic Number Fun Fact….12

Back to tonight’s magic number…12 . Worn by Tommy Davis. Played with the Dodgers from 1959-1966. Was the last Dodger to win a batting title, doing so in back to back seasons in 1962-63….

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Tommy Davis, 2008. Always glad to talk baseball with the fans….

In Other News Around the National League….

With a little over 3 weeks of baseball left, the only race now is in the NL Central between the Pirates, Cardinals and Reds. While it’s all but certain that the 2nd and 3rd place finishers would meet in the 1 game playoff, it is also quite possible that the 3 teams could finish tied for first come the season’s end. So, how would the NL Central champ be determined if that should be the case ? Well, according to this…http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/9/3/4687008/three-way-tie-breaker-nl-central-scenario. Which leads to my next poll….

Speaking of the NL Central…. Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Pirates !!! With 81 wins under their belt, they have finally broken that dubious streak of 21 consecutive losing seasons !!!! And hey, we just may see them come October…. I actually am glad the Bucs have put a halt to that streak….

parrot
Me chatting it up with the Pirate Parrot at PNC Park, 2005. Looks like the Parrot will actually experience October baseball for a change, and we just may bump into each other once again….

All Shades of Blue

With the college football season already started and the NFL kicking things off tonight with Broncos thrashing of the Super Bowl Champion Ravens ( As a Niners fan the talk of the Super Bowl still somewhat stings…LOL ), I recently thought it’d be appropriate to combine what I call All Shades of Blue, so here goes….

bell

Oh yeah, go ahead Bruin fans !!! I just had to give the Victory Bell a touch of Dodger Blue ( The annual prize given to the winner of the USC-UCLA football game… ). Like I said…. All Shades of Blue….

Apples Outside The Ravine

During the last homestand a couple of the All-Star Apple statues from New York were on display outside the left field entrance….

brooklyn</a

LA>

dre The 2 won in my lifetime. It’s been 25 years… It’s time to add another one !!!! Can you tell i’m excited about the Race to October ?

Friday Night at The Park, 4/5/2013

Notes on a Scorecard

piratesscorecard

Zack Greinke pitches 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball in his Dodger debut, striking out 6, and the bullpen does the rest as Dodger pitchers cruise past the Bucs, facing only 29 batters, 2 over the minimum

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Dre, Matty and Adrian drive in their first RBI’s of the season, with Dre’s coming on a solo shot in the 3rd, providing all the scoring the Dodgers would need in beating the Bucs 3-0.

This would also be former Dodger catcher Russell Martin’s first game back in Dodger Stadium since 2010.  After the game, with the Pirates in town, I thought i’d get myself a sandwich from the Steel City Truck…

sandwich

http://www.steelcitysandwich.com/

One of my favorite food trucks here in L.A., the Steel City Sandwich company has sandwiches that are a takeoff from the Pittsburgh favorite Primanti Brothers.  I always get the Steel City Sandwich…  Speaking of sandwiches, for those of you who may have payed Ike’s Place in San Francisco a visit, Ike will soon be opening one in Westwood.  ( YEAH !!! )

http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/2013/02/25/ikes-place-to-bring-san-francisco-giants-themed-sandwiches-and-more-to-los-angeles/

http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/02/25/ike_shehadeh_signs_lease_to_bring_ikes_place_to_la.php

And for the fellow Dodger fans who have payed Ike’s Place up north a visit , you do know that some of his sandwiches are named after high-profile celebs and local athletes, and he does intend to keep the Matt Cain on the menu down here.  For the longest time i’ve been asking him to include a Matt Kemp , especially here in L.A.  . 

ikes_jerrysbigmeat

Jerry’s Big Meat, named after Jerry Garcia.  This is back in 2010 down the street from Ike’s old location in SF’s castro district

FRIDAY NIGHT FIREWORKS….

fireworks1 fireworks2 fireworks3 fireworks4

Don’t you all love fireworks on a Friday night ?

One Final Thought…

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Kickin’ it with the Pirate Parrot, September, 2005.  Parrot… ” How many more years do I have to put up with this Dre ? “….  The years of losing will end soon, hopefully this year …..