Found August 24, 2013 on
Tony Sanchez wore No. 19 and No. 26 at times in the minors, but not so in Pittsburgh. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
SAN FRANCISCO — Baseball, as we like to say, is a game of numbers. For no one is that more true than for Scott Bonnett.
The Pirates’ longtime clubhouse manager — known to almost everyone as “Bones” or “Bonesy” — is in charge of assigning the jersey numbers for every Pittsburgh player at the beginning of the year. The athletes become identified by their numbers across the game, from fans screaming the digits to get an unfamiliar player’s attention to the replica jersey-shirts sold in every ballpark and mall.
Fans who follow the entertaining Twitter account of Tony Sanchez probably notice a number disparity. His username @Tony26Montana does not match his Pirates number of 59. If you don’t like the disparity, blame Bonesy. Before Spring Training starts, Bonnett meets with Neal Huntington to discuss digits. The general manager may recommend players get assigned certain numbers.
“Otherwise, I give out what I think,” Bonnett says. After all, players come and go but it is his office.
For the clubhouse manager, that means high numbers for the new guys. Just take a look at some of the players currently on the Pirates’ roster and the transitions they have made:
Jared Hughes: 70 to 48
Bryan Morris: 57 to 29
Tony Watson: 65 to 44
Justin Wilson: 61 to 37
Josh Harrison: 62 to 5
Jordy Mercer: 69 to 10
Jordy Mercer requested a change from wearing No. 69 his rookie year. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Seeing a pattern? Bonnett says for the young guys in Major League Spring Training he will “try to give him a decent number, but somewhat high. Earning it a little bit.”
That’s how you end up with Tony Sanchez wearing No. 26 throughout the minor leagues, but getting black-and-gold No. 59 in Bradenton to keep for the rest of the season. Minor league free agent Felix Pie was given preference to receive No. 26 because he had Major League experience. Larger service time number, smaller jersey number.
Sanchez will likely get his preferred number next season.
Not every young player has to begin his career in the 60′s or 70′s (even though they were great decades for music). Andrew McCutchen made his MLB debut four years ago when he was feeling 22 and has not changed since. Last year, Starling Marte received No. 6 because the front office wanted to “give Marte a decent number,” Bonnett says.
And of course, there is the fabled number of 69. Bryan Adams knows why players would giggle at the numeral, and perhaps you do too. Players are not always happy to receive those digits.
“They’re like, ‘come on,’” Bonnett says.
Jordy Mercer played with 69 last year (oh, grow up) then asked for a lower number in 2013. Pitcher Ryan Reid received No. 43 even though Bones says he tried to convince him Bronson Arroyo pitched well for Pittsburgh in No. 69.
As for Jared Hughes? The man who started at 70 just showed up to Spring Training and saw he was 48. It’s not a Benjamin Button thing, just another way that numbers never lie.
Cole will make his 5th start on more than four days’ rest Thursday afternoon. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Just one bonus for this Saturday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle unveiled his starting rotation for the next week. The only change to the ordinary is that rookie Gerrit Cole will get seven days’ rest between starts.
The team will not say there is an innings limit on Cole, only that they are monitoring his work and there is a “red line” for all pitchers in terms of workload.
Sunday at San Francisco — RHP A.J. Burnett
Tuesday vs. Milwaukee — LHP Jeff Locke
Wednesday vs. Milwaukee — RHP Charlie Morton
Thursday vs. Milwaukee — RHP Gerrit Cole
Friday vs. St. Louis — LHP Francisco Liriano
BEST OF MAXIM
Tony Sanchez hit his first Major League home run, but even that moment did not go perfectly for the Bucs. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing went right for the Pirates in their 6-3 road loss to the San Francisco Giants, not even the good parts.
Pittsburgh’s best starting pitcher this season, Francisco Liriano, was far from his sharpest. He allowed four runs in...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
The Pittsburgh Pirates organization has five teams that are in the playoff hunt right now. Starting from the top on down, they are the Indianapolis Indians, West Virginia Power, Jamestown Jammers, GCL Pirates and the DSL Pirates2. In an earlier article, we took a look at the possible promotions that could be made for each team as the season winds down, reinforcing these teams for...
I don’t know why, but the MTV Video Music Awards are a must watch for me every year. It’s probably fueled by nostalgic reasons, remembering back when the VMAs were amazing. This year they opened with Lady Gaga. That can’t compare to the year where they opened with The Smashing Pumpkins, which was an amazing performance that didn’t feature Lady Gaga’s ass.
I still watch...
For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. For a recap of the DSL All-Star game, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player/stat each day.
Result: Rockies 7, Pirates 2
Starting Pitcher: Ramon Rodriguez, RHP (1-5...
The Dominican Summer League regular season ended on Saturday. Coverage of the team will continue on through the playoffs, which start of Monday.
Result: Pirates 5, Rockies 0
Starting Pitcher: Christian Henriquez, LHP (4-1, 1.72) 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Rudy Guzman, LF (.275) – 2-for-4, 2 RBI
Other Notable Performers:
There are ten games on the schedule today with some pretty good pitchers on the mound. West Virginia has a doubleheader tonight, with the first game being the make up of a July 19th rain out. Altoona was rained out yesterday. The game will be made up today as part of a doubleheader. The DSL regular season ends today. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this...
The Pirates were losing to the Giants 1-0, then Clint Barmes hit a three-run home run, then you started to wonder if maybe this season really is going to be the one that's different. It's OK. You can admit it. We're all in the same boat now.
Clint Barmes hit a three-run home run, Charlie Morton pitched eight strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Friday night.
Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison each had two hits for the Pirates, who have won four of five and maintained their one-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
Morton (5-3) allowed one run on seven hits...
Pirates (75-52) at Giants (56-71)
10:15 PM–AT&T Park, San Francisco
The Bucs look to take the first two in their second straight series out west as they take on the Giants in another late game tonight. Once again, they’ll need to win or risk losing their lead in the division, depending on what St. Louis does. Cincinnati is playing very well now too...
The Pirates’ middle three hitters went 0-for-9 against Ryan Vogelsong, including two Russell Martin strikeouts. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
SAN FRANCISCO — The Pirates went more than two months between games in which they were held scoreless and recorded three hits or fewer.
On this Sunday afternoon, it was the Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong who shut down the Bucs in a 4-0 San...
The Pirates already won the Jeff Locke/Matt Cain pitching matchup. Tonight they earn a split and ensure a winning record on their seven-game road trip before Francisco Liriano and AJ Burnett even take the mound on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Tonight Charlie Morton will face off against Madison Bumgarner. Morton's been pretty good of late. He's allowed two runs...
This recap is late coming because I'm just not sure there's much to say about yesterday's game: Ryan Vogelsong absolutely dominated the Pirates, and any chance that the Pirates had to comeback was spoiled by AJ Burnett being left on the mound for an inning too long. That's pretty much it. The Pirates had an opportunity over the weekend to finish their road trip with...
Good morning. It is August 24th, 2013.
With last night's win, the Pirates are 76-52. Since 1992, the Pirates failed to win 76 games in the following seasons*: 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
I've told this story a thousand times before, but my primary memory of the Pirates' 1993 season...
Well Rich is out sunbathing on a nude beach or something for the next week and Brad’s computer monitor died. That means I’m taking care of the preview and the recap today. A double dose of me. I know the ladies are excited. A four game sweep is out of the question after Francisco Liriano’s…