Pirates will try anything to distract us

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arnold_palmer_090908.jpgThe Pittsburgh Pirates are doing their best to distract everyone from this, their 17th consecutive losing season. And while I’m not one to say their streak makes them the worst sports franchise in history, I’m also not above picking on them, or old people, for that matter.

Which brings us to Tuesday’s pregame ceremony, in which the Pirates honored Arnold Palmer in celebration of his 80th birthday, which is Thursday. Palmer, who hails from Latrobe, about an hour east of Pittsburgh, was interviewed by Jim Nantz on the field and shown a video tribute. Then the circus continued

Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm, team broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass and professional golfer Peter Jacobsen took part in a “closest to the pin” contest on the field while players from both teams watched from the dugouts.

Jacobsen was the only participant to hit the “pin” — really team mascot the Pirate Parrot — in center field on a shot from near home plate, earning money for charity.

The good news is that PNC Bank made a $1 million donation to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in Palmer’s name.

The bad news is that after the game finally started – 11 minutes late – it was back to reality, and the visiting Cubs tied a major league record by beginning the game with eight straight hits.

Sigh.

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If you Twitter, and also like the ’74 Eldorado, follow me at @Bharks.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.