Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call – Ending the year on a high note

In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

It has come to an end for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After what most would consider a disappointing season, the Pirates now embark on the offseason while making necessary preparations to compete in 2018.

Despite the overall struggles during a year that saw the team compile a 75-87 record, the Pirates finished the season strong. Pittsburgh won its final two games of the year against a good Washington Nationals team and won seven of its final 10 games to finish out the year.

In the regular season finale against the National League East champions Sunday, the Pirates were led by a young core including Josh Bell, who went 2 for 4, and the duo of Max Moroff and Jacob Stallings who combined to drive in seven runs in an 11-8 victory.

What a year for Josh Bell

A key piece of the Pirates future finished off an impressive rookie campaign Sunday. Josh Bell upped his batting average to .255 with a pair of hits in the Pirates finale while driving in another run to finish the season with an even 90 RBIs.

Bell’s 26 home runs and his RBI total rank him tied for second in the NL among rookies and he finishes the season as the top rookie in categories such as walks, hits and games played. Bell missed just three games all season, proving to be a reliable player in the Pirates lineup night in and night out. I have said it before and I will say it again, Bell may get a little more consideration in the Rookie of the Year voting than people may think.

Help for Puerto Rico

We all know the devastation that  occurred in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. For those that may not know, this devastation really hits home for me. I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and while I grew up in the Pittsburgh area, many of my family members still reside on the island.

I have received an abundance of support and well wishes from people thinking about my family, which I appreciate more than I can explain. Slowly but surely I have been able to get updates on family members, ensuring their safety while my mother and father have been able to communicate with family members as well.

While it’s fantastic to know they are OK, there is still work to be done. Everyone on the island continues to struggle and the Pirates are just one organization willing to help. Many reporters, including MLB.Com’s Adam Berry, reported that Pirates Charities and Pirates coaches, players and front-office staff are working with FedEx to collect and gather hurricane-relief supplies. They will also personally deliver them to Puerto Rico.

The team is holding relief supply drives today and tomorrow and it’s amazing to see. Obviously, Roberto Clemente, one of the best players to ever come from the island, is a big inspiration to those in Pittsburgh and it’s great to see others willing to do good, just like Roberto did.

Puerto Rico is beyond special. While I never lived on the island for more than a year, it has always felt like home. To see people willing to help and care for the Puerto Ricans struggling each day is incredible. So, kudos to the Pirates organization, all organizations around the sporting world and everyone who is willing to give aid to those in Puerto Rico. It is without a doubt a pleasure for this particular Puerto Rican to see.

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Jose Negron

Jose Negron is a 22 year old journalist from the North Huntingdon area. A recent graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, Jose has written for Rumbunter and Pirates Breakdown for the past year. He is the former Editor in Chief and Sports Editor of Cal U's campus newspaper, the Cal Times. He also covers high school sports for the Mon Valley Independent and serves as a contributor for Pittsburgh Sporting News, covering the Pirates. During the summer of 2015, he also interned with TribLive Radio, writing for their online blog, helping in the production of various radio shows and even appearing on the air.