The Pirates are raising ticket prices

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Going to a Pirates game is a bargain compared to most places and you get a great ballpark experience out of it to boot.  Part of the reason it’s such a bargain is that the Pirates haven’t raised ticket prices in nearly ten years.  That changes now, though:

The Pirates raised prices on some of their tickets for the 2012 season, the first time they have done so since 2002, the team announced Tuesday. The average price of a ticket will remain one of the lowest in baseball. Seats in the lower level will become more expensive, but the prices will fall on some upper-deck seats.

Dirty secret: the upper deck in PNC Park is one of the few upper decks in newer ballparks that are actually really great seats. In some cases better than the lower decks.  This didn’t used to be the case back in the old days because those beams everyone hated held the upper deck up closer to the field. In most newer parks, however, the upper deck is way, way back to accommodate all of the people down in the field boxes.

Anyway, supply and demand. The Pirates sold more seats this year than they had been selling. People want to go to PNC Park.  Raising prices a bit just flows from it.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.