Monday, May 9, 2011
We're in Pittsburgh, Memories of the Killer Tomato
There was a period of time that I looked forward to the Pittsburgh series at PNC Park because I knew that Olmedo Saenz was going to absolutlely dominate. For some reason, Olmedo simply loved playing Pittsburgh. It took former Dodger manager Jim Tracy a few season before he realized that Olmedo really liked playing in Pittsburgh before he put him in the starting lineup. By 2006, Grady Little needed no promptings, Saenz was starting at first base each game in the Steel town.
Saenz, a key pinch hitter and occasional sub during this past decade, was a great teammate and positive clubhouse influence. He always seemed to have a smile on his face. He came up with some clutch hits over his 5 year span with the team. Known as The “Killer Tomato” due to the phonetics of his name "Olmedo" that rhymed with the spoofy horror film, he was also known amongst Dodger fan faithful as “Big Sexy.” His words following a 12-6 win in Pittsburgh on August 5, 2005, (where he went 3 for 5f with a double and a homer) were, “My swing was feeling pretty sexy.” That was it, "Big Sexy" stuck.
I realize it was a small sample size but take a look at these numbers. In 36 career at bats at PNC Park, Saenz had 18 hits, including 5 homers, 18 RBI, an On base % of . 556 with SLG. of 1.031 and OPS of 1.567. 33 total bases over 36 at bats. He was an absolute masher in Pittsburgh.
Since Ned is so in love with aging vets, I say with tongue in cheek that he should have placed a call to Panama and resigned the 41-year old Killer Tomato. At least for this 3 game stretch.
PNC Park is absolutely beautiful. This is definitely a place I'd love to visit. Who after all, can dislike the Pittsburgh Pirates? Such classy Hall of Famers as Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell excelled for them for so long. Chuck Tanner was a fine manager and well liked in baseball circles. His clubs were fun to watch. Back in the 70s, a series with the Pirates would always be a battle. They had some solid clubs and two world championships in thet decade.
I definitely wouldn't mind seeing the Pirates start winning again. Their fans have been suffering long enough. With a .500 start this season after 34 games, things seem to be looking up for the Pirates.