Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #7 Aramis Ramirez

Games Hits HR RBI AVG OPS
6 years 559 542 76 316 .263 .747

Before being salary-dumped to the Chicago Cubs, Aramis Ramirez held down the hot corner for the Pirates for six seasons.  His first full season wasn’t until 2001, but it was a big one.  A-Ram slammed 34 homers and knocked in 112 runs while hitting .300 in 158 games.  His tremendous 2001 campaign is the main reason he’s on this list.  He followed up his monster season with a fairly disappointing year, but bounced back in 2003.  He nearly matched his 2002 numbers in the first half of 2003 and was traded, along with Kenny Lofton, to the Cubs in late July.  The Pirates received Bobby Hill, Jose Hernandez, and a minor leaguer in return, which resulted in a very lopsided trade.  A-Ram went on to have a successful stint on the North Side of Chicago and stayed in the NL Central when he signed with the Brewers in 2012.  Ramirez has probably been the best third baseman for the Bucs in the PNC Park era, despite just two full years with the team.  He’s gone on to be one of the more consistent third baggers in the NL, and is still producing at the plate.

Photo: terren in Virginia/Creative Commons

Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #9 Paul Maholm

Wins Losses ERA IP SO BB
7 years 53 73 4.36 1143.2 705 382

Although he’s not the flashiest pitcher with the greatest stats, Paul Maholm was a steady southpaw that always took the ball every fifth day. Maholm was never an over-powering strikeout pitcher, but rather a ground ball guy that relied on his defense. He anchored the Pirates rotation for several seasons, while being surrounded by many mediocre pitchers. He also rarely received much run support from the offense, and thus ended his Bucco career with a .421 winning percentage. The Mississippi State product suffered a serious injury in 2004 with the Altoona Curve when he was hit in the face with a line drive. The injury resulted in a few surgeries, but Maholm bounced back and made it to the big leagues in 2005. He then pitched for the Bucs through 2011; unfortunately, he and the team had a bit of a falling out when they declined his $9.75 million option. It was nice to see Paul find success last season with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. As a guy who was stuck on some abysmal teams yet was still reliable year after year, we respect Maholm. He was also helpful in all the community work the Bucs do; he even pledged $25,000 to Pirates Charities when he inked a new contract in 2009.

Photo: pmreddick/Creative Commons

Pirates Sign Felix Pie

Well, we’re running pretty low on Pirates news right now, but here’s a minor signing:

The Bucs inked Felix Pie to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 27 year old outfielder did not appear in the majors last season, but hit .285 for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. He’s a career .249 hitter in five seasons between the Cubs and Orioles.

Here’s a bizarre video of Pie:

132 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons

MLB Free Agency: Open for Business

Josh Hamilton is one of the top free agents this offseason. (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

Free agency is officially underway in Major League Baseball. The Pirates probably won’t make a big splash, but could add depth at some point this offseason. Here are a few links to get you started on this year’s ‘Hot Stove':

- Many teams made qualifying offers to their top free agents. If the player rejects the offer and signs somewhere else, the team receives a compensation draft pick.

- Dan Haren was reportedly involved in a deal that would have sent him to the Cubs in exchange for Carlos Marmol. However, the proposed trade was called off. The Angels then declined Haren’s option, and he’s now a free agent.

- David Ortiz is close to signing a new two-year deal with the Red Sox.

- Video: MLB.com’s Jim Duquette breaks down the top free agents.

- Dave Schoenfield of ESPN.com takes a look at the top 10 storylines of the offseason.

- Stay up-to-date with MLB.com’s Hot Stove Tracker.

- You can predict where players will land with MLB.com’s Free Agent Frenzy.

Around the League:
– Major League Baseball donated $1 million for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
– The Astros unveiled their new uniforms.
– The Marlins hired Mike Redmond to be their new manager.
– The Dodgers may hire Mark McGwire to be their hitting coach.

Season in Pictures: July 2012


July 3rd, 2012
Drew Sutton is pied in the face by A.J. Burnett after his walk-off home run lifted the Bucs over the Astros, 8-7.


July 9th, 2012
Andrew McCutchen connects on one of his two home runs; he went 3 for 5 with four RBI and three runs scored. Cutch and the Pirates finished the first half with a bang, as they crushed the Giants by a score of 13-2.


July 9th, 2012
Andrew McCutchen participates in the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby in Kansas City.


July 16th, 2012
Pedro Alvarez is congratulated by his teammates after he tied the game with a three-run home run. The bomb came on the first pitch after a 58 minute rain delay. However, the Rockies beat the Pirates, 5-4, on a sacrifice fly by Dexter Fowler.


July 26th, 2012
Starling Marte rounds the bases after hitting a home run on the very first pitch of his Major League career.


July 31st, 2012
A.J. Burnett and Rod Barajas embrace after Burnett’s one-hit, complete game shutout of the Chicago Cubs. A.J. lost his no-hit bid to Adrian Cardenas with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. The Bucs beat the Cubs, 5-0.