ShareThis Page
Pirates notebook: Pena has emotional return to Pirate City |

Pirates notebook: Pena has emotional return to Pirate City

Jonathan Bombulie
| Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:51 p.m
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Dominican Republic manager Tony Pena delivers his line-up card to the umpires with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle before an exhibition game Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Tony Pena this week went back to Pirate City for the first time since he played for the Pirates in the 1980s.

“I spent all of my young life there,” Pena said. “I signed with the Pirates when I was 18, and I left the organization when I was 29.”

Thirty-one years later, Pena is manager of the the Dominican Republic’s team in the World Baseball Classic. The DR on Wednesday beat the Pirates, 10-6, at LECOM Park, which was called McKechnie Field when Pena played for the Pirates from 1980-86.

“There are a lot of memories,” Pena said. “Not only here at this field. Go to Pirate City, where I grew up.”

The old Pirate City sometimes is remembered by former players as being like a dumpy roadside motel. The dorm rooms were small and sparse, and the workout equipment was low-tech.

The DR team held its training camp at a vastly different Pirate City. A series of renovations added a two-story performance center, new practice fields, expanded clubhouses and comfortable dorms and offices.

“I worked there (on Monday) and looked around the whole complex,” Pena said. “Tears started coming out of my eyes.”

Glasnow scuffles

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow pitched 21⁄3 innings and gave up six runs on five hits and four walks. After giving up one run in 22⁄3 innings over his first two outings, Glasnow’s ERA shot up to 10.50.

“I beat myself, for sure,” Glasnow said. “The first two (innings), I fared pretty well. I had a lot of offspeed stuff working. That last inning got away from me a little bit.”

All four of the walks came in the sixth inning. During that inning, the physical therapist went out to check him on him.

“I’m not sure (why),” Glasnow said. “I’m good, though.”

Manager Clint Hurdle said pitching coach Ray Searage “thought he saw something” with Glasnow and sent out the therapist.

“Obviously, there was nothing to be seen,” Hurdle said, “so it basically was a wasted trip.”

Planet of the aches

Head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said reliever Jason Stoffel’s comeback from shoulder discomfort is “stuck” in strength-and-conditioning mode. “We have ceased throwing out to 60 feet at this point,” Tomczyk said. … Infielder Jason Rogers (right ankle) resumed limited baseball activity, including throwing on flat ground and hitting off a tee. It will be at least another seven to 10 days before he resumes running and agility drills. … Right-hander Casey Sadler (elbow surgery) is expected to pitch in a game for the first time later this week. … Righty Brandon Cumpton (elbow, shoulder surgeries) has progressed to throwing off the slope. … Righty Ivan Nova has no restrictions after taking a liner off his chest and right hand in his last start. Nova threw a side session without problems.

Back to their roots

When the Pirates play the St. Louis Cardinals in Williamsport this summer, Jared Hughes and Tony Watson can reconnect with the town where they began their pro careers.

On Thursday, MLB is expected to announce the Aug. 20 game that was originally set for PNC Park will be moved to BB&T Ballpark at Bowman Field in Williamsport. The big league event will help mark the 70th anniversary of the Little League World Series.

Bowman Field is the home of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters, who were a Pirates affiliate from 1999-2006.

“When I got sent out from (rookie camp) in Bradenton after I signed (in 2006), I went straight to Williamsport,” Hughes said. “I was like, ‘OK, here I am in pro ball. This is pretty awesome.’ ”

Hughes made five appearances for Williamsport before being promoted to Low-A Hickory.

When Watson was drafted in 2007, Williamsport had switched its affiliation to the Philadelphia Phillies. However, Watson’s first outing with short-season Class A State College happened at Bowman Field.

“Very fond memories,” Watson said. “It’s a very cozy park.”

Bowman Field, which opened in 1926, is the second-oldest operating minor league ballpark in the country and is undergoing a $1.25 million renovation. The first phase of improvements reduced capacity from about 4,000 seats to 2,500.

Fans who already bought tickets to the Aug. 20 game at PNC Park will receive refunds. The Pirates will be compensated an undisclosed amount by MLB to make up for the lost revenue from surrendering a home date.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review NHL/Penguins reporter. You can contact Jonathan via Twitter .

Categories: Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.