ShareThis Page

Pirates notebook: Coonelly confident of single-season attendance record

| Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 7:42 p.m.
A Pirates fan celebrates amid the crowd after Jordy Mercer drove in Josh Harrison for the team's third run during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Trib Total Media
A Pirates fan celebrates amid the crowd after Jordy Mercer drove in Josh Harrison for the team's third run during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, at PNC Park.

With a pennant race and a remaining schedule full of division opponents, Pirates team president Frank Coonelly feels confident they will set a new record for single-season attendance this year.

“We still have some work to do,” Coonelly said Tuesday. “But I'm like a pollster. I'm reading the trends and ready to say that we're in a good spot.”

The Pirates' single-season attendance record is 2,436,139, set in 2001, the year PNC Park opened. Last year's total was 2,256,862. Attendance through 62 games last year was 1,689,015, and they sat at 1,796,448 through 62 games heading into Tuesday.

After the conclusion of the two-game series with the Tigers, the Pirates have 18 home games left in the regular season.

Most are important games, which makes Coonelly optimistic.

“As things have shaken out, we have the Braves, who are fighting for their division; we have the Cardinals, against whom we're fighting for our division; we've got the Reds coming in; and the Brewers the last home series of the year,” Coonelly said. “Our fans have the opportunity to watch games directly involved in the pennant race essentially from here throughout the end of the year. The only series that is not directly affecting our pennant race and other pennant races is the Red Sox; and they happen to be the World Series champs.”

Another rehab start for Cole

Gerrit Cole will make at least one more rehab start in Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday before coming off the DL.

Manager Clint Hurdle said they would like him to add to the innings and pitches after the last outing, which was six innings and 72 pitches.

Walker shows improvement

Second baseman Neil Walker (back) was still unavailable, but Hurdle said he's “on the back side” of a potential DL stint and could be ready to play this weekend at Washington.

When the problem began more than a week ago they kept him from baseball activity, Hurdle said. After he regressed Sunday, they decided to do nothing but rehab work for three days.

“Then we'll put baseball activity (back in the plan) the next three days, then look for an opportunity sometime after that to get him back in the lineup,” Hurdle said.

Ice bucket challenge

Coonelly accepted coach Dave Jauss' ice bucket challenge at PNC Park.

Coonelly said he watched Jauss and his wife take the challenge — a social media phenomenon that involves dumping a bucket of ice water over one's head, filming and posting it, then challenging friends to raise awareness for ALS — after Sunday's game.

He didn't realize Jauss would in turn challenge him.

“I've read some articles talking about what an increase in funding has taken place because of the ice bucket challenge, so it's terrific ” said Coonelly, who in turn challenged Pirates vice president and general counsel Bryan Stroh. “It's a little quirky, people throwing ice buckets over their heads, but whatever it takes to raise money and funds for a great cause.”

Injury updates

The Pirates recalled right-hander Brandon Cumpton and optioned Casey Sadler back to Indianapolis. Hurdle said Cumpton will pitch out of the bullpen, likely in multiple innings situations. ... Shortstop Clint Barmes (left groin strain) will begin a rehabilitation assignment Wednesday in Double-A Altoona and will eventually move to Triple-A Indianapolis.

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.