- COMMUNITY LINKS
Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan knows a new year means new excitement for baseball.
Hanrahan was part of the Pirates Caravan which visited Ridgway Area Middle School Tuesday to promote the upcoming season.
â€śItâ€™s cool. Iâ€™m sure these kids donâ€™t get the opportunity too often to see the players," Hanrahan said. â€śItâ€™s nice to see the support we have from the fans this far out. Itâ€™s nice to be able to come out. We prepare all winter for the new season. Once New Yearâ€™s comes around we get excited and get ready to go. Weâ€™re getting ready for that and building the excitement with the kids again in northern Pennsylvania.â€ť
Hanrahan had a 4-1 record with a 3.62 ERA last season with the Pirates. He started his career with the Washington Nationals in 2007 and was traded to the Pirates during the 2009 season. He has a career record of 16-11 with a 4.45 ERA He also has 20 saves and could be a presence in the back end of the bullpen this season along with fellow reliever Evan Meek.
â€śThe only thing that matters is that weâ€™re winning games. If youâ€™re not winning games then it doesnâ€™t matter what role youâ€™re in,â€ť Hanrahan said. â€śObviously, thereâ€™s no competition going on right now, we donâ€™t think about that. Itâ€™s up to them to decide what they want to do. We just go out there and play and try to win games.â€ť
Hanrahan said the fans are knowledgeable about baseball. He makes his off-season home in Dallas, near where Super Bowl XLV will be held.
â€śI like the fans here. Living in Dallas, I get to watch the Steelers in the Super Bowl,â€ť Hanrahan said.
Hanrahan has met with new Pirates manager Clint Hurdle during the off-season.
â€śWe were down at mini-camp, he was there with us. I actually met him at a football game in Pittsburgh. He brings a lot of excitement, a lot of enthusiasm to the team. I look forward to getting started,â€ť Hanrahan said.
The reliever thinks a team game will be imperative to getting back on the winning track.
â€śEverybody going out there, competing, playing hard for all nine innings and doing their job that they need to do that day and playing a team game. Once we play with a team game, then weâ€™ll have a better chance of winning,â€ť Hanrahan said.