Top Five: Longest Bucco Blasts of 2012

The Pirates clubbed 170 home runs as a team last season, which was the fourth-highest total in the National League. Their 170 bombs was a big increase from a total of 107 in 2011, when they finished 27th out of 30 MLB teams in the HR department. Here’s a look at the five longest Bucco homers of the 2012 season, via ESPN Home Run Tracker:

5. Andrew McCutchen - July 17th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Christian Friedrich
Stadium: Coors Field
Video
True Distance: 448 feet

4. Pedro Alvarez – September 16th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Jeff Beliveau
Stadium: Wrigley Field
Video
True Distance: 449 feet

3. Garrett Jones – June 2nd, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Shaun Marcum
Stadium: Miller Park
Video
True Distance: 451 feet

2. Garrett Jones – July 29th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Lucas Harrell
Stadium: Minute Maid Park
Video
True Distance: 455 feet

1. Pedro Alvarez – August 28th, 2012
Opposing Pitcher: Brandon Dickson
Stadium: PNC Park
Video
True Distance: 456 feet

Go Bucs

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Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #2 Andrew McCutchen

mccuthen

Year Age G H HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 22 108 124 12 54 22 .286 .365 .471 .836
2010 23 154 163 16 56 33 .286 .365 .449 .814
2011 24 158 148 23 89 23 .259 .364 .456 .820
2012 25 157 194 31 96 20 .327 .400 .553 .953
4 Yrs 577 629 82 295 98 .290 .374 .484 .858
Andrew McCutchen took over centerfield at PNC Park in 2009 after Nate McLouth was traded, and fans weren’t happy at first.  Cutch debuted with an impressive showing against the Mets, and hasn’t looked back since.  In 2010, his first full season, he put up impressive numbers but was the lone bright spot on a terrible team.  The Bucs took off in 2011, led by Cutch, who may have become too fatigued and put too much pressure on himself as the team faded down the stretch.  After ending the first month of the 2012 season without a home run, Cutch went off.  He flirted with a .400 average and was the clear MVP winner as the team soared to the league-best record in July.  Unfortunately, that .380+ average slowly dropped as August began and the team collapsed as Cutch cooled off.  But what’s most impressive about his numbers from last season is that he did it all while having down months in April, August, and September.  Still, he picked up a Silver Slugger Award and Gold Glove, which won’t be the last awards he’ll win in his career.  Even with his electrifying defense and pop at the plate, he still has room to improve.  Luckily, Cutch is locked up through at least 2018 and when this franchise finally gets turned around, he’ll be right in the middle of everything.  Within the next few years, he could very well move into the #1 spot in this top ten.

Photo: Brock Fleeger/Creative Commons

Sneak Peek at Pirates Promotions

We had the opportunity to head down to the season ticket holder batting practice at PNC Park tonight. After taking a few cuts in the cages, we headed to the Hall of Fame Club for a light dinner. In the Club, they were playing a video on loop of the 2013 promotions.

There were four in particular that really stood out:

- A.J. Burnett Free Shirt Friday
Friday, April 12th vs. Cincinnati

2013 Promotions - A.J. Shirt

- Andrew McCutchen Bobblehead
Saturday, April 20th vs. Atlanta

2013 Promotions - Cutch bobblehead

- A.J. Burnett Bobblehead
Saturday, May 18th vs. Houston

2013 Promotions - A.J. bobblehead

- Replica Sunday Alternate Hat
Sunday, June 16th vs. Los Angeles

2013 Promotions - Sunday alternate hat

The introduction of the new Sunday alternate jersey has been highly anticipated. There is a replica alternate jersey giveaway on August 4th, but they unfortunately did not have a picture of it on the slide show. That hat obviously looks nothing like this possible mock-up we found a few weeks back.

The yellow crown with black bill would certainly be an interesting look. Based on the picture, we assume it’s similar to the hat worn in the early ’70s:

The Pirates wore a comparable uniform back in 2011 when they celebrated the 1971 World Series:

However, this leaves us unsure of how the jerseys will turn out. They could be similar to the ones above, but who knows if they will to go back to that style.

Anyway, more of the promotions should be on display at PirateFest this weekend. Hopefully they reveal the Sunday alternate jersey as well.

Go Bucs

Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #3 Brian Giles

Giles

Year Age G R H HR RBI BA OPS
1999 28 141 109 164 39 115 .315 1.032
2000 29 156 111 176 35 123 .315 1.026
2001 30 160 116 178 37 95 .309 .994
2002 31 153 95 148 38 103 .298 1.072
2003 32 105 70 116 16 70 .299 .951
PIT (5 yrs) 715 501 782 165 506 .308 1.018

Brian Giles performed at a high level for the Bucs from 1999 to 2003, especially offensively. He came to Pittsburgh from Cleveland in November of 1998, in exchange for Ricardo Rincon. Giles’ best years as a Pirate came in Three Rivers Stadium. His two and a half seasons in PNC Park were still spectacular, as he mashed a combined 91 home runs and 268 RBI. The two defining moments of his Bucco career: his walk-off grand slam after the Pirates trailed by six runs headed to the bottom of the ninth on July 28th, 2001 (video) and his phenomenal catch to rob Brandon Phillips of a home run on June 23rd, 2003 (video). Giles was traded to his hometown of San Diego in August of 2003 after a memorable five seasons the ‘Burgh. The Pirates received Jason Bay, Oliver Perez, and minor leaguer Corey Stewart in the deal. Giles went on to play through 2009, and finished his career as a .291/.400/.502 hitter.

Photo: ewen and donabel/Creative Commons

Pirates Moving Location of “All You Can Eat” Seats

The ‘All You Can Eat’ seats, one of the most popular sections at PNC Park, appear to be moving locations in the ballpark.

According to the seating chart on pirates.com, the AYCE seats will now be in the upper deck (sections 201-205) – outlined in black below:

seating chart 2013

In previous years, they were atop the Clemente Wall – circled in black below:

The prices for AYCE in 2013 are as follows:
- Advanced Price ~ Regular Game = $42
- Advanced Price ~ Premium Game = $45
- Day of Game Price ~ Regular Game = $47
- Day of Game Price ~ Premium Game = $50

The Pirates are the winners here; they’ll end up with some extra cash. Sections 201-205, tucked away far from the action, were formerly known as the “Pirates Cove”. They had trouble filling those sections, but that should no longer be an issue. Many who flock to PNC, especially an average fan, get lured in by the All You Can Eat seats. We’ve sat there multiple times and plan on doing so in the future - which is just the logic the Bucs organization is looking for. They know people will still head for AYCE, despite their downgraded location. Plus, the Outfield Reserved seats, where the All You Can Eat seats used to be located, will still sell out at about $22 to $28 per game.

You can read our ‘PNC Experience’ on the AYCE seats HERE.