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.

Roberto Osuna to be the Astros new closer

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When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.

This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.

Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.