4-4-12 PNC Park Open Workout

You may recall, I blogged that the Pirates were having a pre-Opening day workout and batting practice.  I blogged about it here.

Initially, I thought that it would be for season ticket holders only, as the email was sent under the guise of ‘SEASON TICKET HOLDER NEWS,’ but alas, it was free and open to the public, so it turned into what I would liken to a Kids Sunday game.

I had to work until 2:35, so I didn’t even get down to the park until sometime after 3.

The Pirates didn’t start hitting until after 4, so there was time to talk to Olivia for a bit.

And check out a few minor changes.  Diamond Pizza put a sitting area outside on the concourse beneath the left field GA bleachers.

And a video game station has been installed under the left field bleachers – moved from behind section 101 which is going to be a fancy bar.

When the Pirates started hitting, a ball rolled near the bullpen door, so I went to glove trick it.  It was going to be nice to be on the board.  However, as soon as I took my glove out, a supervisor raced over and told me that it wasn’t allowed.  I have done the glove trick without incident since 2009 at PNC Park, so this was deflating.  I snagged 89 balls last year with the glove trick alone, so my stats may take a big hit this year.  Later on, I watched as the same supervisor (whom I have never seen before, I should also mention- all of the supervisors from last year where great)  raced for and scrummed a ball, which I thought wasn’t right – he gave it away, but still.

I got shut out for a long time, which was frustrating.  There were no ushers working today, so lots of fans were standing on bleachers and sitting on seat backs, which is far more dangerous than me lowering my glove 6 feet.

So, overall, the whole thing was a disappointment.

I ended up moving towards the bullpen where it was more empty, and I came up with a Casey McGehee ball.  It bounced into the seats and took a generous roll right to me.  I just had to pick it up underneath the bleacher as fans from all directions closed in.

I should also mention that I have never seen such aggression from fans in the stands at PNC Park.  There were people diving on concrete, diving up the stairs for balls, etc.

Another disappointment was that all of center field and right field was off limits.  Boo!  So when Pedro Alvarez was up, I just watched helplessly as he peppered the center field seats.

By the way, how much longer does Pedro get before the Pirates ship him out to the minors?  His spring was awful.  He strikes out 1 out of 3 plate appearances.  If Matt Hague hits, I could really see Pedro as the odd man out and Hague could be in the 1B/3B platoon mix rather than being a bench player.

Anyhow, I got another ball from Jeff Karstens near the end of BP.  Karstens flipped it to some kids in the front row, who fought over it and totally missed it.  The ball bounced to me a few rows back.  I picked it up, and gave it to the girl in the pink:

That was a lucky toss up, it was hard to get any players attention during BP because any time they shagged a ball a chorus of ‘HERE HERE HERE HERE’ rang out from the front row.

At 4:40, the Pirates stopped hitting, and the supervisors shooed everyone out of left field, telling the fans that the Phillies had opted for a closed practice.  Thanks Charlie Manuel.

Rather than stand on the Riverwalk outside the stadium while the numerous Phillies lefties hit, we left.

Here’s today’s first baseball:

There’s only one pictured, because I gave the Karstens ball away.

A crappy start to the 2012 season for sure.  Hopefully things will pick up, next week at this time, I will have attended 8 MLB games if my plans/ambitions hold.

2012 Statistics:
Game: 2 balls (1 hit, 1 thrown)
Season: 2 balls
Games: 1 games
Average: 2.00 per game
Career: 1,546 balls

2012 by stadium:
PNC Park: 2 balls in 1 game (1,157 total in PNC career)


  1. Big Glove Bob


    That is too bad. I am interested in your decision making process for counting these as snagged balls towards your yearly total. In my opinion if this was just an exhibition and not the BP prior to a recognized regular season or postseason game, the balls should not count any more than a ball would in spring training. I know all ballhawks have their own way of counting balls, but for the mygameballs site I would think there should be some uniformity. I would be curious to see what other ballhawks think.

    Big Glove Bob

  2. mlblogscountingbaseballs

    I was torn about counting them just for the fact that you stated. Several members of mygameballs have counted balls that they snagged in MLB workouts at MLB stadiums, so I decided to as well. The other major ballhawks Nick and Zac W also decided to count theirs.

    Counting those 2 balls hurts my average, so not counting them could be beneficial, as being at 2.00 a game is not where I want to be.

    I asked the question here, and most people thought they should count:


    A few years ago, I would’ve said no, but with people counting home run derby balls, and the workout prior to the HRD, along with finding balls on tours, etc, I decided to be a little less strict on this.

    Another option that Nick mentioned was inputting the balls together with the opening days balls, since the BP was a workout for opening day. It would count as one game instead of two.

    I’m thinking I’m going to count it as two games though.

  3. Big Glove Bob


    As I thought more about this (and prior to reading your response), I came up with the Home Run Derby as the justification for counting the balls. They were hit by major leaguers in an MLB park after all. It threw me off since I had never heard of a workout session like this before.

    Big Glove Bob

  4. Big Glove Bob

    And kudos to you for blogging every day up to the opener. I have read almost every one of them and I was surprised. When you announced that you were going to blog every day I figured that there was no way there would be enough compelling material to fill all of those blogs and that many of the posts would be you just “mailing it in” by cutting a pasting an article or something along those lines. I was pleasantly surprised and it helped my anticipation of the upcoming campaign. Thanks!


  5. Mateo Fischer

    That seems like a huge bummer on your first action of the season that the usher told you not to use the Glove Trick, especially if that is the first time you have been told so. I know it’s a pain for me in New York to see SO many Baseballs on the warning track and know they are actually watching you via camera to make sure you don’t use it.