What happend between Oct. 1, 2008 and April 6, 2009?
Doumit fans hearing the 'silence' of success
2009 -- Pitchers and catchers reported to Pirate City by the end of the day Feb. 13; the entire squad came several
days later, and Spring Training is underway - with very little noise about Ryan Doumit anywhere.
Last year by this time the Post-Gazette started reporting that there may be an unanticipated competition for the
starting catcher's position. All reports from management were that Ronny Paulino was the starting catcher and the Bucs
wanted Ryan's bat in the line up somehow. As all Doumit fans now know, Ryan won the starting catcher's job in spring
training, started both the season and home opener behind the dish, and went on to play a career high 116 games.
In December, just before Christmas, the Bucs locked Doumit up for three years in a contract that carries
a additional unique 2-year option clause. There is no doubt he is the Pirates starting catcher.
But it's so quiet. So very, very quiet. That must be what success sounds like: signed to a contract, healthy,
confident, doing his job are all factors why - except for fantasy league blogs and a few rude folks who run Pirates blogs
- Doumit's name is virtually unmentioned, except for a tidbit about one day's batting practice where Doumit clocked
one past the 340 foot fence and off a shed on the neighboring golf course, and this exchange between former World Series Champion
Pirates Catcher Manny Sanguillen and Ryan:
"One-hundred thirty-five games catching, Ryan?" Sanguillen asked of this 2009 season.
Ryan Doumit replied.
Other than that - not even a photo creeps out of Bradenton of the starting catcher. Stay tuned
to this site ... we'll get something somehow!
Doumit to take part in Pirate Caravan activities starting
Jan. 11, 2009 -- Fans have a chance to mingle with Ryan Doumit and several
other Pittsburgh Pirates during the upcoming Pirate Caravan.
The caravan is the annual "tour of players and coaches" that covers three states and numerous
stops. Some are short autograph sessions, others are more interactive.
The Caravan kicks off Jan. 18 at Seven Springs Ski Resort in Somerset, Pa.
The Somerset opening of the tour includes manager John Russell, players Sean Burnett, Ryan Doumit and Andy
and broadcasters Bob Walk and Tim Neverett; third base coach Tony
Beasley, players Paul Maholm, Nate McLouth and Ross Ohlendorf,
and broadcasters Greg Brown and John Wehner. The event is from 5-8 p.m. and includes Autograph
Session, Pirates President Frank Coonelly attending, Pirates Trivia, Pirates Deal or No Deal, Guitar Hero with players. It
is free to the public.
The next day, the two groups separate and Doumit's touring group (Russell, Burnett, Andy LaRoche,
Walk and Neverett go to Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio and Washington, Pa. The second group (Beasley, Maholm, McLouth, Ohlendorf,
Brown and Wehner) take a separate route around Pa. (A link to the full schedule of locations and times is below this article.)
PiratesFest is Jan. 23-25 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. It's three
days of autographs, games, ask Frank Coonelly and other fan events. Adult tickets are $10 and ages 14 and under are free.
The link to that page on the Pirates official Web Site is located below. Players appearing at PirateFest have not yet been
Need a photo? Several fans have emailed the site administrator here asking
how to get a photo off this site for Ryan to sign during the caravan. These photos are not for sale (so as not to make money
off of Ryan's success) but this site CAN provide one 5x7 photo free of charge. Email email@example.com and give your name and mailing address. Please choose the photo you want (in the email say where you saw the photo
- what page on this site, how far down on the page or what article it was with). Check your email frequently to look for questions
from the administrator to make sure there's no confusion. If you need the photo for caravan Andrea can hand it to you there,
before the doors open.
This just announced: the Pirates have added a Ryan Doumit bobblehead this season -
his bobblehead night is April 18.
Read more about Pirates Caravan 2009
Read more about PiratesFest 2009 Jan. 23-25
Merry Christmas to Doumit fans! Catcher, Pirates reach 3-5year,
Dec. 22, 2008: The Pittsburgh Pirates announced
the signing of a three year contract with starting catcher Ryan Doumit today that also includes a two-year option that could
make the deal worth $26.5 million over 5 years.
In his first year of arbitration eligibility, Doumit is the first arbitration-eligible
player to reach an agreement with the PBC this winter.
The contract includes a $300,000 signing bonus, $2.05 million next season, $3.55 million
in 2010 and $5.1 million in 2011. There is a $7.25 million club option for 2012 with a $500,000 buyout and exercising that
option automatically triggers an $8.25 million option for 2013.
Also, there are incentives. One of the escalators involves All-Star appearances.
If Doumit is an All-Star once in the first three seasons of the extension, the salaries on each of the two option years goes
up by $125,000. If he is an All-Star twice, the option years go up by $350,000. If he is an All-Star each of the first three
seasons, the option years go up by $500,000. Silver Slugger awards can bring similar bonuses.
Doumit was in Pittsburgh for a 2 p.m. press conference following the signing, and was
described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as "visibly moved" by the investment the Pirates are making in him. His first statement
"Wow. I can't relate to you what I feel right now. But I also know that, with a contract
like this comes high expectations. And no one has higher expectations of me than I do. I believe in myself. I know what type
of player I can be, and I know what type of player the fans expect. It's my job and my duty as a Pittsburgh Pirate to give
those fans everything I have."
General Manager Neal Huntington, on the unique 5-year deal (being that the two years
at the end are lumped together as a one-time approval or refusal) said, "This contract has raised the bar in our eyes,
in our fans' eyes and in Ryan's eyes. He wants to be a great player, and he has to live up to this."
In 2008 Doumit won the starting catcher job out of Spring Training, though that tag
didn't officially come until May. He did start both the season opener and the home opener, and the majority of games after
that. He made $412,000 this year, hitting .318 with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs in 431 at-bats, starting the most games in his
professional career. Before last year he averaged 211 at-bats as a part time player. He had the most home runs as a Pirates
catcher since Mark Parent in 1995 and he was two off the club record. His .323 average while catching led the National League,
and his .407 with runners in scoring position was "easily the best in the league by a player with more than 100 at-bats,"
according to the Associated Press.
Doumit is a product of the Pirates system, drafted in 1999 as the PBC's second round
choice. He is a graduate of Moses Lake, Wash. high school where he played on the state championship baseball team coached
by his dad, Peter Doumit. He was one of three players in that class to be drafted by a major league baseball team, and the
only one on an MLB roster of those three at this time.
Video of Ryan's press conference
Read Ryan's press conference comments here
Read a Washington's paper's account of the Doumit family feeling blessed this season
Pirates, Ryan Doumit reportedly close to multi-year deal
Dec. 18, 2008 -- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported
today that the Pirates and Catcher Ryan Doumit are very close to a multi-year deal and could wrap it up as soon as this week.
"The Pirates are on the verge of signing catcher Ryan Doumit to
a multiyear extension, and it could happen within the week, according to a source directly involved in the negotiations,"
the PG reports.
The article also reported the Pirates and Nate McLouth's agent aren't
even close to a multi-year deal. The Pirates are reportedly now looking at a one-year deal for McLouth.
As for the switch-hitting catcher,
"There was no immediate word on the terms or length of Doumit's
contract, but it could cover all three arbitration years, and it surely will result in an exponential raise over the $412,000
he made this past season while batting .318 with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs."
Contract talks begin between Pirates, Doumit
Dec. 11, 2008 -- The Pittsburgh Pirates are reported
to have had the first face-to-face meeting with Paul Cobbe, Ryan Doumit's agent, yesterday in Las Vegas.
The PBC brass are in Vegas for Major League Baseball's winter meetings.
The Pirates are reportedly trying to get Doumit, Nate McLouth and Paul Maholm locked up through their arbitration years. All
three are first year arbitration eligible now.
The Pirates also traded Ronny Paulino, the Bucs' starting catcher
in 2006 and 2007, to the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies for one of their catching prospects, Jason Jaramillo. According
to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today, Jaramillo will compete with Robinzon Diaz, the player that was named later in the Jose
Bautista trade with Toronto, for Doumit's back up. Raul Chavez, the 36-year old veteran catcher that backed up Doumit last
year, was sent back to AAA this winter.
Doumit has been sought out by other teams as catchers seem to be in demand for 2009. From the
Neal) Huntington acknowledged getting "lots of hits" on his big four of Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Matt Capps and Doumit,
but it was plenty clear from his tone that these were nothing more than one-way inquiries that did not get far.
Winter meetings conclude today in Las Vegas, but news of whether Doumit accepts the Pirates
offer or asks for arbitration could be out this week. Stay tuned.
|Talking frankly about the PBC
|Frank Coonelly visits with PBC Bloggers at a recent gathering in Pittsburgh's Strip District.
Words of praise from the boss
Dec. 1, 2008 -- On Nov. 2, Pirates
President Frank Coonelly was the guest of the gathering of the PBC bloggers and had very complimentary things to say about
2008 Starting Catcher Ryan Doumit.
Background: The PBC blog was started on the Post-Gazette (link
can be found on the Pirates/MLB page on at www.postgazette.com) and became what all refer to as "The Asylum." It is called that
because those of us who can't get through the off-season without talking Pirate Baseball every single day contribute to the
200-plus posts each day in the offseason - way more posts during the season - are clearly certifiable. The administrator
of this site is active on that blog and attended the gathering referred to in this article.
Mr. Coonelly accepted an invitation to talk to some of the PBC regulars
at a gathering at Primanti's in the Strip District on Sunday, Nov. 2 and even fielded a phone call from one of our bloggers
calling from Brazil. He took every question we threw at him and answered it.
When asked about Ryan Doumit, Mr. Coonelly said while his defensive
work will to continue to improve, his performance at the plate and as a team leader impressed all levels of PBC management.
One blogger asked if there was a way to keep foul balls from finding
Doumit's facemask. Mr. Coonelly chuckled and said "I wish. He's a very tough kid. A very tough kid."
PBC management expects newly hired pitching coach Joe Kerrigan to work much more closely with
Doumit in handling pitchers and calling the game, the president said.
Mr. Coonelly also reiterated what had also been published in
news articles in September and October: The Pirates intend to offer Doumit, entering his first arbitration year, a long-term
contract that could carry into the first year of free-agency.
Photo courtesy of Roy Turkalj from the PBC blog.
Looking ahead to 2009...
Dec. 1, 2008 -- With the winter baseball meetings
right around the corner, it's time to look ahead to 2009.
All the headlines from the home page since the site launched
late in the 2007 season have been divided into two separate pages on this site: 2008 Headlines and 2007 Headlines (as always,
get there by using the navigation bar on the left). Hopefully that makes it easier for this site to open for fans.
Daily baseball coverage is back on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
From one of the first "fresh" Pirates Baseball Club articles this winter comes this in an article about off-season moves
"As for trades involving the Pirates' most important long-term
pieces at the top level -- (Ryan) Doumit, center fielder Nate McLouth, starter Paul Maholm and closer Matt Capps -- there
has yet to be a single substantive discussion on any front, and none is expected. No players under this management are deemed
untouchable, but these four are as close as it gets."