Thursday’s Rays/Pirates exhibition tilt featured a combined 30 hits, 31 runs and took nearly 4 hours to complete. That said, Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra described the setting with unusual gusto (“the worst baseball game of my life was 100 times better than the best day I ever had in an office”), detailing a) Jose Tabata’s misadventures in centerfield, b) Tampa bullpen coach Bobby Ramos taunting the paying customers and c) home plate umpire John Hirshbeck punishing the Rays’ S-Rod for excessive (and weirdly inappropriate) celebrating. Among other things. But here’s an item that really stuck out — could the NBC columnist have discovered a future big league GM in the making? Or at least a really good wedding planner?
As the National Anthem was being sung, the Pirates’ employee who seemed to be in charge of everything going on that day saw that one of the padded panels on the outfield wall had fallen down. He jumped on his walkie talkie and started stage managing. In the space of, like, 25 seconds, he had (a) dispatched a couple of members of the grounds crew to fix the wall; (b) got someone else to go tell John Russell and the umpires about the panel and to not start the game yet; (c) spotted a plastic bag floating across the field and got someone else to run out and retrieve it; and (d) watched the guy retrieve it and reminded everyone on the line to NOT walk over the pitcher’s mound if you have to go out on the field. The dude was just hyper-competent. If they could bottle whatever moxy he has and distribute it throughout the rest of the organization the Pirates wouldn’t be in nearly the dire straits they’re in these days.