BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) — As the Pirates took the field at LECOM Park Wednesday, for the last time this spring, a second game was playing out just behind the right field wall.
The loading game.
Pirates staff members call is a game of Tetris.
There are suitcases a plenty, enough golf clubs to have a PGA event, boxes too numerous to mention and the unusual.
“Over here we got the Jordy Mercer blow up bed,” said Scotty “Bones” Bonnett, the Pirates clubhouse manager.
Bonnett is overseeing the efforts to get all the Pirates stuff home to Pittsburgh.
No, Neil Walker is not back with the team, but Bonnett says, “it is his stuff going back to Pittsburgh.”
It’s a long story.
It’s a full load on a big truck.
“Hey, any chance I can stow away? That’s my only chance of getting to Pittsburgh,” said Pirates coach, Mike “Spanky” LaValliere.
But there probably won’t be any room left for Spanky when all is said.
“It takes a whole family to pack up all the stuff we got,” said Mercer.
“I think I started packing like a month ago or something like that,” said Pirates reliever Felipe Rivero. “I got a little one and there’s too much stuff.”
Rivero’s son is 2.
“He has so many toys, that’s all I can say, so many toys,” Rivero said.
“It’s a crazy couple weeks here to try to organize what you want north and what you need to stay down here,” said Pirates closer Tony Watson.
Adam Frazier packed at the last second.
“Wasn’t sure until a few days ago I was going to make the team or not, so I didn’t want to count my chicken’s before they hatched,” Pirates utility player Adam Frazier said.
Knowing there can be last-minute roster changes, Bonnett and the crew take that into consideration.
“If you’re a player and you walk out here and see your stuff on the back, you might be a little nervous,” he said.