Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call: PNC Park is now Smoker-Friendly

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


Not the Mets trade we expected

The Pittsburgh Pirates made an honest to god trade yesterday. They picked up LHP Josh Smoker from the New York Mets for Daniel Zamora and cash considerations. Smoker has pitched limited innings at the Big League level. He is coming off a fairly mediocre 2017 season as he had a 5.17ERA but a very solid 10.9SO/9. Smoker has good velocity but struggles with control. So, basically, he is an ideal candidate for the Pirates bullpen. Smoker, however, has had success at the Triple-A level. In two Triple-A seasons, he has a 3.70ERA with a S/9 of 12.2. Matching that with his velocity, it’s easy to see why the Pirates felt he was worthy of a pickup.

Smoker seemed very excited about joining the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Regardless of how the Pirates perform on the field this season, it’s important to remember they are still a Big League team and the players are literally living out their dreams getting to play for them. Management deserves all the criticism possible but it’s refreshing to see a player excited about joining the organization. It’ll be interesting to see what Ray Searage can do with Josh Smoker.

A personal end of an era

I love getting the chance to do Wake-Up Calls because it gives me an opportunity to editorialize. I have mentioned before that for the past 10 years I have been a Pittsburgh Pirates season ticket holder. Admittedly, over the past few years, it’s mostly provided my the chance to cover games in person for this website but it’s still been a large part of my life. Well, for the first time since 2006, I will not have season tickets. I officially opted to not renew my package yesterday. That may not seem like a big deal but for me, it is. For most of my college and post-grad life, I was the Pirates guy.

I endured plenty of losing so this decision isn’t an emotional response to the Pirates rebuild. However, I’d be lying if the rebuild wasn’t the main factor in this decision. I love baseball and I love going to games. However, I am 30, married, and have other responsibilities now. In my 20s, it was easy to spend entire weekends at PNC Park but that simply isn’t feasible anymore. I will never forget all the great games I saw in person as a season ticket holder but that chapter of my life is over…for now.

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Steve Kubitz

Steve Kubitz was born and raised in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a long time and annoyingly positive baseball fan. He bought into the Pirates' 5-year-plan before it was cool. He is best known for staying calm about losing streaks on twitter and trying his best to make sure other fans don’t overreact to when the Pirates lose a tough ballgame to a division rival. The only thing he isn’t positive about is the wave during close ballgames.