Blass, Gooby to represent Bucs at Draft
Team announcer, executive to announce fourth overall pick
PITTSBURGH -- Apparently, the Pittsburgh front office caught former pitcher and current Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass a little off-guard when they asked him to represent the team at next week's First-Year Player Draft.
Was Blass surprised?
"Like my first wife's pregnancy," Blass joked.
In all seriousness, the Pirates announced that Blass, a former pitcher for the Pirates who now broadcasts the team's home games, and Trevor Gooby, Pittsburgh's director of Florida operations, will be representing the ballclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 7 to announce who the team selects with the fourth pick of the draft.
ESPN2 will televise the event live from 2-6 p.m. et at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, making it the first time that Major League Baseball will have its Draft televised.
MLB.com will also broadcast every pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Day 1 coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. Video coverage of the remaining rounds on Day 1 will air at MLB.com, with live interviews and analysis from Orlando by Casey Stern, Jonathan Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Dave Rawnsley. Day 2 of the Draft will get under way at 11:30 a.m. ET and continue through Round 50, if necessary. Every pick on Day 2 can be heard live at MLB.com with analysis from Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Allan Simpson.
Once again this year, fans can follow every pick with MLB.com's live Draft Caster, a searchable database of every draft-eligible player featuring biographical data, statistics, scouting reports and rare scouting video.
As for what exactly his job entails as the team's representative, Blass said he's not quite sure what to expect.
"I've got some background information about the team's previous selections, so I can ham it up a little bit," he said tongue-in-cheek. "I'm just going down to represent the ballclub."
Though he has been part of the Pittsburgh radio team since 1986, Pirates fans remember Blass for his role on the Pirates' World Series championship team of 1971. After the '71 Pirates team dropped the first two games of the Series to the Orioles, Blass limited Baltimore to three hits in Game 3 to give the Pirates a victory.
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
He then closed out the fourth World Series win in Pirates history with a complete-game 2-1 victory.
Blass spent 10 seasons pitching for Pittsburgh, which included a career-high 19-win season in 1972. He finished second in the Cy Young voting that season and finished his career ranked seventh on the team's all-time strikeout list (896) and 14th in wins (103).
Joining Blass on stage next week will be Gooby, who lives down in Bradenton, Fla., and is currently in charge of the renovation work being done at McKechnie Field, where the Pirates hold their Spring Training.
"He can hold my hand up there," Blass said of Gooby, smiling.
Gooby has been with the organization since December 2004, when he left his job as the general manager of the Vero Beach Dodgers to join the Pittsburgh organization.
The Pirates have the fourth pick in the Draft for the second straight year, following Tampa Bay, Kansas City and the Chicago Cubs.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.