Throwback Thursday: Top Pirates Plays of 2006

chris-duffy pirates

Last week, we looked back on some of the Pirates’ top plays of 2005 as a “Throwback Thursday.” We’ll keep it going this week with 2006, a team which once again brought 95 losses to the Steel City…

10. Let’s start with some Jose Castillo… -11 defensive runs saved at 2B in 2006, but he picked it here:

jose castillo pirates

9. Over to third base with the ’06 All-Star, Freddy Sanchez

freddy sanchez 2006

8. Freddy out of nowhere to convert a double play:

freddy sanchez double play

7. Jack Wilson. What an arm.

jack wilson throw

6. More Jack… Over the shoulder… Ho hum:

jack wilson over the shoulder catch

5. Head to the outfield. J-Bay:

jason bay pirates

4. A young Nate McLouth:

nate mclouth pirates

3. Jose Bautista before he got good:

jose bautista pirates

2. Chris Duffy doing his thing in center field:

chris duffy pirates

1. And lastly, Duffy again with one of the better catches at PNC:

chris duffy catch

We’re officially under a week till pitchers & catchers report…

Go Bucs

*Note: Testing out a new layout on the site. If you encounter any problems, let us know. 

Throwback Thursday: Top Pirates Plays of 2005

Yes, you read that correctly — 2005. The Pirates have a top plays archive in the backend of their website that you should check out if you have some extra time. In honor of “Throwback Thursday,” here’s a handful of the best plays from the Bucs’ 95-loss season of 2005…

10. Matt Lawton on the run. Did you know he hit .273/.380/.433 (119 wRC+) in 101 games with the Bucs?

matt lawton

9. Paul Maholmnow a Red — getting off the mound:

maholm

8. 2005 was the only year that Jose Castillo saved more runs at 2B for the Pirates than he cost them:

castillo

7. A “Chris Duffy Dandy”:

duffy dandy

6. More Duff Man:

duffy dive

5. Jason Bay robbery, part I:

bay rob

4. Jason Bay robbery, part II:

bay wall

3.Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Could probably have a separate post of just Jack Wilson plays, honestly.

jumpin jack

2. #2 making it look easy as usual, going deep in the hole and nailing the jump throw:

jack jump throw

1. One of my favorite plays ever. And it wasn’t the only time they pulled it off. Jack and Castillo practiced this.

jack castillo

That was also the night Big Country Brad Eldred made his MLB debut. Sigh.

Go check out the full top plays archive for more.

60 days until the opener…

Go Bucs

Old Pirates Commercials: Every Day is Game Day

Found a few incredible Pirates commercials from way back when and decided to put them into a single video. It includes four TV spots the Bucs used a decade ago with their “Every Day is Game Day” branding. Lloyd McClendon tells it like it is; Tike Redman has some fun on a Slip ‘N Slide; Jason Bay robs a dog of a frisbee; Jason Kendall does a little spring cleaning. Enjoy:

Anyone else remember these? Pretty hilarious stuff. As the Post-Gazette aptly wrote above an article regarding the commercials in March of ’04: “If we aren’t that good, at least we’re funny.” The team finished 72-89 that year, 32.5 games out of first place.

Go Bucs

2006 Pirates Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Video

I recently found the season ticket holder appreciation video that the Pirates sent out after the 2006 season. With the Bucs locking up a winning season last night, I figured now would be a good time to look back at some old memories.

2006 marked the 14th year of “The Streak” as the Pirates finished with a brutal record of 67-95. Still, there were a few cool moments throughout the season: All-Star Game and festivities at PNC Park, Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez playing in the ASG, Freddy winning the batting title, and more.

This video does a nice job of recapping the year with highlights and a bit of commentary from Lanny Frattare and Greg Brown. Enjoy:

Go Bucs

Top Ten Pirates of the PNC Park Era: #1 Jason Bay

 

Year Age Tm G 2B HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
2003 24 PIT 27 6 3 12 3 .291 .423 .506 .929
2004 25 PIT 120 24 26 82 4 .282 .358 .550 .907
2005 26 PIT 162 44 32 101 21 .306 .402 .559 .961
2006 27 PIT 159 29 35 109 11 .286 .396 .532 .928
2007 28 PIT 145 25 21 84 4 .247 .327 .418 .746
2008 29 PIT 106 23 22 64 7 .282 .375 .519 .894
PIT (6 yrs) 719 151 139 452 50 .281 .375 .515 .890
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/21/2012.

Jason Bay comes in at #1. J-Bay came over from the Padres in 2003 and made an immediate impact in 2004. He led all NL rookies in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and extra-base hits, and was the rookie of the year in the National League. 2005 was, statistically, Bay’s best season with the Pirates. He raked at a .306 clip and knocked in 101 runs with 32 bombs, and played in all 162 games. He represented the Bucs as well as Canada in the 2005 home run derby, but couldn’t hit one out of Comerica Park. Bay hit more home runs and drove in more runs in 2006, but his BA/OBP/SLG dropped off slightly. He went on an absolute tear in May of ’06, hitting 12 bombs, including one in six straight games at one point. The 2006 All-Star Game was held at PNC Park, and Bay was elected to the starting lineup to represent the Bucs. 2007 was a down year for the left fielder, but he was still tied for the team-lead with 21 home runs. A new regime took over the Pirates in late 2007, and by mid-season of 2008, it was almost inevitable that Bay would be traded as part of the front office’s mentality of loading up on prospects. He put up nearly the same number in 106 games in 2008 as he did in 145 games in 2007, and went out with a bang. In a May series against the Cubs, he collected his first two walk-off hits in back-to-back games. In late June, Bay helped beat the Rays with a walk-off home run in the 13th inning, and was traded to Boston in the three-team trade that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers just over a month later.

As of now, Jason Bay is certainly deserving of the #1 spot on this countdown. He had 6 solid years in Pittsburgh, but once Cutch puts in the same amount of time, he may take over the top spot.

So, here’s your full countdown of the top 10 Pirates of the PNC Park era:
10. Neil Walker
9. Paul Maholm
8. Joel Hanrahan
7. Aramis Ramirez
6. Jack Wilson
5. Freddy Sanchez
4. Jason Kendall
3. Brian Giles
2. Andrew McCutchen
1. Jason Bay

Go Bucs

Photo: dnkbdotcom/Creative Commons