Hopefully during the past several days you've read a variety of stories on a host of Pirates who visited the area as part of the team's annual Winter Caravan.
I know I read them all, being a lifelong Bucs fan, and found them to be very interesting.
However, while they provided insight into the upcoming season, they all lacked some REAL information regarding the players/ coaches/ broadcasters. The information you've been craving (you know, the real juicy stuff) but no one had the courage to ask - until now.
During Wednesday's visit of pitchers Jeff Karstens, James McDonald, second baseman Neil Walker, pitching coach Ray Searage and broadcaster Tim Neverett I asked the following probing questions:
1. What is your favorite sports movie?
2. What is your favorite non-sports movie?
3. What person living or dead would you most like to meet?
4. If you weren't doing what you're doing what would you be doing?
Their answers were to say the least surprising and interesting. And here they are:
1. Sports movie: "Pride of the Yankees"
2. Non-sports movie: "Spartacus."
3. Person you'd want to meet: JFK
4. Occupation not related to baseball: Architect. Searage said he always admired his father, who was an architect.
1. Sports movie: "Major League"
2. Non-sports movie: "Old School" and "Dumb and Dumber"
3. Person you'd want to meet: Michael Jordan
4. Occupation not related to baseball: Something pertaining to physical therapy. Karstens said he's always had an interest in physical therapy and never was confident he'd ever make it in baseball.
1. Sports movie: "Sandlot"
2. Non-sports movie: "Dumb and Dumber"
3. Person you'd want to meet: Babe Ruth
4. Occupation not related to baseball: Owning a business. Walker said he thought somewhat of an advantage since he has "decent people skills." He also said he would seriously consider it once his playing days are over.
(At this point, I feel I must inform you the answer of "Dumb and Dumber" from both Karstens and Walker is not, I repeat, not a misprint. I posed the question to both in different sections of our gathering spot. There was positively no way either could have heard the other's answer.)
1. Sports movie: "Hardball "
2. Non-sports movie: "Transformers 2"
3. Person you'd want to meet: Jackie Robinson
4. Occupation not related to baseball: Fishing guide. McDonald said he'd like to take people on chartered fishing trips.
1. Sports movie: "Slapshot"
2. Non-sports movie: "Braveheart"
3. Person you'd want to meet: JFK
4. Occupation not related to broadcasting: Neverett said he couldn't answer this question because he's always been interested in broadcasting. He said he got his start as an intern with Nashville, N.C., a former AA affiliate of the Pirates. He said at the beginning of the season he was doing anything and everything for the broadcasting team except actual broadcasting. He said he begged and begged and finally they allowed him to do play by play for a couple of innings part of the way through the season. He said by the end of the season they apparently were happy with his work because be was doing every inning of both games of doubleheaders. Neverett said he's also done some Olympic games and currently does some college basketball.
OK, there are the answers, What can we make of them? Other than the similar answer by Karstens and Walker, which I personally find a bit scary, I haven't a clue!
(Rossano is news editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)