Pittsburgh Pirates Staffers Can't Corral Loose Squirrel On Field ... Hilarious Video

Three Pittsburgh Pirates staffers looked more like "The Three Stooges" on Monday night ... because they failed to corral a squirrel that had gotten loose in the outfield during a game -- and it was comical.

The little critter jetted out into left field during the second inning of the Buccos' game against the Chicago Cubs ... and a short time later, Pirates officials apparently thought it'd be good to send three guys out with a bucket, a towel and a net to get it away from players.

Turns out ... that was not a great idea.

Check out video from the game's broadcast, the trio hilariously tried everything they could to capture the squirrel -- but the animal juked them at every turn.

Eventually, the squirrel grew tired of making the guys look silly -- and bolted through a fence.

The scene was so hysterical, the MLB even had some fun with it ... tweeting out, "sandy cheeks wildin."

The Pirates, though, didn't let the failed efforts to capture the squirrel dampen their night ... they got a huge game from some star rookies, and beat the Cubs easily, 12-1.

Pirates' JT Brubaker Drills Alcides Escobar In The 🥜 ... On Painful Pickoff Throw

PAINFUL PICKOFF
Courtesy of MLB

Men, you might wanna close your eyes.

Pirates pitcher J.T. Brubaker drilled Nationals shortstop Alcides Escobar in the balls ... in what will go down as one of the most painful pickoff attempts in MLB history.

The wild play went down in the fourth inning of Thursday's game between the Nationals and the Pirates ... Brubaker's throw over to first base hit Escobar square in the groin area.

In the video, you can see Escobar taking a lead off first base when Brubaker turns and fires a throw towards the bag (foreshadowing) that misses everything ... except, well, you know the rest.

Escobar immediately grabbed his marbles as he was falling backward to the ground ... and signaled with his right hand to the first base ump that he needed a few to gather himself.

Play was temporarily stopped (understandably so, if you've ever experienced that pain before) as Escobar rolled around on the ground in clear discomfort.

Fortunately, though, the veteran shortstop was able to laugh about it all as one of his coaches and the team's trainer helped him back to his feet.

Escobar would stay in to finish the game, going 1-for-4 at the plate with two strikeouts ... but the biggest hit of the day came unexpectedly, if you catch our drift.

This is why you have to wear a cup, kids!!

Ex-MLB Star Felipe Vazquez Sentenced To 2-to-4 Years In Prison ... In Child Sex Case

Former MLB All-Star Felipe Vazquez has just been sentenced to 2 to 4 years behind bars ... after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

A spokesperson for the Westmoreland District Attorney's Office confirmed to TMZ Sports that Vazquez was also sentenced to 2 years probation as well.

The sentencing comes three months after a jury found Vazquez guilty of 15 total charges -- including statutory sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, child pornography and corruption of minors.

As we previously reported, prosecutors alleged that Vazquez had sex with a 13-year-old girl in his Ford Mustang in Pennsylvania in 2017 when he was 26 years old.

Prosecutors say the former Pittsburgh Pirates closer -- who was named an MLB All-Star in 2018 and 2019 -- then sent the girl graphic videos and photos, and messaged her with plans to have sex with her again.

In his trial, 30-year-old Vazquez denied knowing the girl's age ... but did not deny having a sexual relationship with her.

Vazquez was considered one of the best relief pitchers in baseball before his arrest ... logging 86 total saves from 2017 to 2019.

Vanessa Hudgens Getting Serious W/ MLB BF Cole Tucker ... He's 'All I Need'

Vanessa Hudgens and Pittsburgh Pirates player Cole Tucker are CLEARLY getting serious ... the actress posted a pic with her man Sunday, saying he's "All I need."

The two -- who began dating late in 2020 -- appeared to spend the whole weekend together in New York, while Tucker and the Pirates were in town for a series with the Mets.

And, it seems the couple is going SERIOUSLY strong ... 'cause Vanessa showed up to his games to cheer him on -- and then posted a pic of the two with the mushy caption to cap it all off.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Of course, Vanessa hasn't been shy about her affinity for Tucker over the past few months ... acknowledging their relationship on Valentine's Day, heading out to his games, and posting photos with him constantly.

Yeah, feels like love to us!

As for how Cole did in front of Hudgens during the series in New York this weekend ... he went 0-for-5 and the Pirates were only able to split the games 2-2.

Not the best days on the diamond for Tucker ... but, hey, Dude's definitely still winning in our book.

MLB's Jonathan India Drilled In Forehead W/ 94 MPH Fastball ... Somehow Okay

Insanely scary moment on the MLB diamond Wednesday ... Reds star rookie Jonathan India was drilled in the forehead by a 94 MPH fastball, but thankfully, he appears to be okay.

India was at the dish for his second at-bat of Cincinnati's game against the Pirates ... when pitcher Chad Kuhl lost control of a fastball and accidentally plunked the 24-year-old in the head.

India immediately crumpled to the ground in pain ... and Kuhl got down into a squat in disbelief that he had just misfired that badly.

Miraculously, India popped up to his feet just a few seconds later ... and after a short talk with trainers, he stayed in the game.

In fact, India was feeling so good ... in the next inning, he made a hell of a play throwing out a base runner at home plate!!!

It was an awesome throw ... but it was even more awesome that the dude's going to be all right after all that.

#Phew

Vanessa Hudgens Cheers On MLB BF Cole Tucker ... At Spring Training Game

THE OL' BALL GAME
@ggmagree/Instagram

Vanessa Hudgens and MLB player Cole Tucker are getting pretty serious ... 'cause the "High School Musical" star showed up to his spring training game Tuesday to cheer him on!!

The 32-year-old -- who made things Instagram offish with the 24-year-old Pirates utility man last month -- rocked a Pittsburgh jersey and sat just a few rows behind home plate to check out her BF.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Hudgens was there with her pal, GG Magree -- and you can see in the footage they shot out at LECOM Park in Bradenton, FL ... they were super into Cole's game!!

The two went crazy when Tucker nearly beat out a broken-bat ground ball to second base ... and then they jammed out to "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" later on.

The bad news? Tucker didn't impress much during the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Twins ... he was 0-for-2 with a walk while serving as his team's designated hitter for the day.

But, hey ... it's spring training after all -- AND the dude gets to go home to Vanessa Hudgens at the end of the day.

Not a bad Tuesday at all, right??

Roberto Clemente All Pirates To Wear Famous #21 ... For Clemente Day

Unprecedented Roberto Clemente honor coming up for the Pittsburgh Pirates ... team officials say they'll unretire the Hall of Famer's #21 so their players can wear it for Clemente Day next week.

The team says the tribute will go down when the Buccos take on the White Sox on Sept. 9 ... with each Pitt. player set to don Clemente's famous number for the game.

Afterward, Pirates officials say they'll auction off the unis ... with all proceeds going toward the Clemente Foundation and other Pirates charities.

Of course, it's a HUGE honor ... no one in the org. has worn the number for a Pirates game since Clemente tragically died in a plane crash back in 1972. He was only 38.

"Our staff and players are excited to wear the number 21 with pride as we constantly search for ways to not only honor Roberto's legacy but to keep his memory alive through our community actions," Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said.

"We recognize what this moment represents for all of us within the organization, the Clemente Family, our fans, and the people of Puerto Rico. We take great pride in representing such a great ambassador of the game."

The Pirates and MLB as a whole have honored Clemente every September since 2002 with Clemente Day ... with Pittsburgh doing different things every year to carry on RC's legacy.

Clemente was a 15-time All-Star and 2-time World Series champion with the Pirates ... and was also widely known for his tireless charity work.

Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher Tossed from Game Manager Masks Up to Yell at Umpire!!!

One of the first "YOU'RE OUTTA HERE" calls of the 2020 MLB season just went down in St. Louis, and the usual faceoff between manager and umpire is so very 'rona-hilarious.

Pitcher Derek Holland got tossed by home plate umpire Jordan Baker Sunday in the team's game against the Cardinals, because he was sitting in the stands. That pissed off his manager, Derek Shelton ... who stormed out to the field to give the ump a piece of his mind.

Watch though ... before Shelton and Baker get into each other's faces, they both remember to throw on their face masks before barking at each other. You can even see Shelton step away from Baker as they square up, seemingly trying to keep his distance.

It's pretty hilarious ... normally, managers and umpires are touching noses over an on-field decision like this, but because of the MLB's strict new guidelines, they can't even do that anymore.

We're all adjusting, aren't we?

Jung Ho Kang KBO Suspends Ex-MLB Player 1 Year ... Over DUI Arrests

The Korean Baseball Organization just laid the hammer down on ex-MLB player Jung Ho Kang for his multiple DUI arrests ... suspending the infielder Monday for 1 YEAR.

The former Pittsburgh Pirates stud -- who nearly won the NL's Rookie of the Year award in 2015 -- was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

Kang, who's reportedly been arrested for drunk driving three times since 2009, accepted the punishment ... saying in a statement, "I took putting on a uniform and getting on the field for granted."

"And I was a fool not to see how precious that was. I know I don't deserve to be saying this, but I would love one final opportunity to play baseball."

Kang's been busted for drunk driving in August 2009 and May 2011, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, and he was also arrested for DUI in 2016.

In that case, South Korea officials accused the baseball player of crashing his car into a guardrail and then fleeing the scene. Kang later received a suspended jail sentence in 2017.

Kang was unable to obtain a work permit to return to the U.S. to play baseball after the incident -- missing the entire 2017 season -- and even after he finally made his way back to the States in 2018, he only went on to play in 68 total games.

33-year-old Kang is looking to revive his career in the KBO ... which reportedly will begin his 1-year ban as soon as he signs with a team.

In his four seasons in the MLB ... Kang hit .254 with 46 home runs. He reportedly earned $11 MILLION in his career.

MLB's Starling Marte Wife Dies From Heart Attack ... 'Indescribable Pain'

Tragic news ... MLB superstar Starling Marte says his wife died from a heart attack Monday.

"Today I go through the great pain of making public the unfortunate death of my wife Noelia," Marte wrote on social media. "It is a moment of indescribable pain."

Noelia was at a hospital awaiting surgery for a broken ankle when she suffered the heart attack, this according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Other details surrounding the death were not released.

31-year-old Starling and Noelia had been married for several years ... and the couple had three children together, including two sons and a daughter.

"On behalf of my family," the Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder wrote, "I am grateful for the expressions of esteem and solidarity in this difficult time."

Marte's former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, shared their condolences on Twitter ... writing, "The entire Pirates family extend our deepest condolences to Starling Marte and family during this terrible time. Our hearts are truly saddened by this news."

The D-Backs added, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Noelia Marte. Starling and his family are part of the D-backs’ family and we will do all we can to support him and their children during this incredibly difficult time."

Marte was traded from Pittsburgh to Arizona this offseason ... and was expected to compete for MVP votes in his first year with the Diamondbacks before the coronavirus pandemic suspended play.

#RIP

Cops: Felipe Vazquez Suspected Girl was Underage ... And Had Sex Anyway

Pennsylvania State Police say MLB pitcher Felipe Vazquez suspected the victim in his child solicitation case was underage when he first met her ... but he had sex with her anyway.

TMZ Sports has obtained the police criminal complaint filed by the Penn. State Police in which troopers detail an interview with Vazquez on the morning of Sept. 17, the day he was arrested.

When speaking with cops, the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher says he initially refused to communicate with the girl "due to her age" ... noting, "she appeared to be 16 years of age or younger."

In the documents, cops say the girl told investigators they began communicating over social media in 2017 when she was only 13 years old.

She claims Vazquez escalated the situation by driving to her Pennsylvania home in August 2017 with the intention of having sex with her.

The girl claims Vazquez invited her into his red Mustang and then began to make sexual moves on her ... at one point trying to have vaginal sex.

Both the girl and Vazquez acknowledge he penetrated her with his penis but they stopped almost immediately -- and he left claiming he had to get ready for a game that night.

When Vazquez spoke with cops, he told investigators that the girl initiated the sexual contact that day.

Cops say in July 2019, Vazquez sent her a text message, sexual in nature, expressing a desire to finish what they started.

Vazquez was arrested on Tuesday and he's facing multiple felonies in 2 states including felony statutory sexual assault, felony unlawful contact with a minor and felony solicitation of a child.

He's currently in custody.

Pirates' Chris Archer On Felipe Vazquez ... 'We're Hoping That Stuff's Not True'

Pirates ace Chris Archer appeared floored by the child sexual assault allegations against his teammate, Felipe Vazquez ... saying the crimes he's accused of are "heinous" and he hopes they're not true.

"I do have a 14-year-old sister," Archer told media in the Pirates' clubhouse before taking on the Mariners in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. "So, it's something that hits home."

Vazquez was arrested Tuesday morning after authorities in both Pennsylvania and Florida say they have evidence he tried to have a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

Felipe is facing MULTIPLE serious charges ... including felony statutory sexual assault, felony unlawful contact with a minor and felony solicitation of a child.

When Archer spoke about the accusations, he told media members, "In the U.S., you're innocent until proven guilty. So, until due process is completely played out, we're hoping that this stuff's not true."

But, Archer added, "These allegations are very, very serious."

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle also spoke with reporters hours after Vazquez was arrested ... but would only say, "It's in our best interest to not have any comment."

As for Felipe, his attorney told WTAE in Pennsylvania they're reviewing the charges and have no comment on the allegations at this time.

Vazquez is currently being held in Allegheny County Jail after a judge denied his bail Tuesday afternoon.

A press conference in Pennsylvania further detailing the allegations against Vazquez is slated for 8 AM PT.

MLB Pitcher Felipe Vazquez Arrested For Solicitation of a Child ... Cops ID'd Him By Tattoos

UPDATE

1:31 PM PT -- Records now show Vazquez is facing ADDITIONAL charges in the case ... including felony statutory sexual assault, felony unlawful contact with a minor, felony corruption of a minor and misdemeanor indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.

UPDATE

1:06 PM PT -- Vazquez just appeared before a Pennsylvania judge ... and was denied bail.

UPDATE

The judge says more charges are expected to come down.

UPDATE

1:04 PM PT -- According to an incident report from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, obtained by CBS in Pittsburgh, Vazquez met the alleged victim at PNC Park and took pictures with her outside of the bullpen.

UPDATE

According to the report, the alleged victim contacted Vazquez on social media and that's how the two began talking.

UPDATE

The report also states Vazquez drove to the alleged victim's house in Pennsylvania on at least one occasion ... where she claims Vazquez pulled down her pants while they were in his car and attempted to have sex with her.

UPDATE

11:27 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained the arrest warrant affidavit which spells out how investigators were able to identify and catch Vazquez ... and it came down to his distinct tattoos.

UPDATE

According to the documents, Vazquez sent 2 photos and 1 video to the girl -- none of which showed the MLB star's face.

UPDATE

However, officials say the images depicted numerous "unique and distinguishable" tattoos on his body ... which they were able to match to Vazquez through public images on the Internet.

UPDATE
UPDATE

Officials also say the alleged victim's mother was the one who essentially busted Vasquez -- after she discovered the concerning images and video on her daughter's phone.

UPDATE

The mother texted Vazquez to inform him that her daughter is a minor -- and that's when the case made its way over to law enforcement.

UPDATE

11:26 AM PT -- Now, Vazquez is facing two 3rd-degree felony charges (and possibly more) -- and each count carries a possible 5-year maximum prison sentence.

UPDATE

11:12 AM PT -- Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly says Tuesday the team was "made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vazquez and his subsequent arrest."

UPDATE

"We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously."

UPDATE

"We have informed the Commissioner's Office of the investigation and arrest. The CO will immedatetely place Felipe Vazquez on Administrative Leave (and, as a result, Restricted List) pursuant to the Joint MLB/MLBPA Policy."

UPDATE

"We need to be respectful to all involved and the ongoing legal proceeding. As a result, the organization, our staff and players cannot comment any further at this time."

Pittsburgh Pirates all-star pitcher Felipe Vazquez was arrested this morning in Pennsylvania on some truly disturbing charges including solicitation of a 13-year-old girl.

The 28-year-old closer -- considered one of the best pitchers in baseball -- was taken into custody in Pittsburgh stemming from an arrest warrant out of Florida.

Officials say they were investigating allegations Vasquez had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in Lee County, Florida.

According to officials, the girl, now 15 years old, WAS continuing to have a relationship with Vasquez and had received a video in July from the MLB star performing a "sex act."

Officials say Vasquez also sent the girl text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after the MLB season ended.

Reds Pitcher Amir Garrett Suspended 8 Games For Fighting Entire Pittsburgh Pirates Team

MLB just suspended 8 people for that insane bench-clearing brawl in Cincinnati ... including Reds pitcher Amir Garrett, who basically tried to fight the entire Pittsburgh Pirates team.

Garrett was hit with an 8-GAME suspension for running over to the Pirates dugout Tuesday night and singlehandedly trying to fight ... well, everyone.

Yasiel Puig -- who was on the Reds at the time of the incident -- got 3 GAMES for bull-charging over to the brawl and trying to fight everyone.

During the game, Puig was traded to the Cleveland Indians ... so he'll serve his suspension with them.

Here's how the rest of the suspensions shook out ...

-- Pirates pitcher Keone Kela got 10 GAMES for intentionally throwing a 97 MPH fastball at Derek Dietrich's head in the 7th inning.

-- Reds pitcher Jared Hughes got 3 GAMES for throwing at a Pirates player in reponse to Kela throwing at Dietrich.

-- Pirates infielder Jose Osuna got 5 GAMES for "aggressive and inappropriate actions" during the fight ... which is a fancy way of saying, "5 for fighting."

-- Pirates pitcher Kyle Crick got 3 GAMES for fighting

-- Reds manager David Bell got 6 GAMES for a combination of things including allowing his pitcher to intentionally throw at an opposing batter, escalating the brawl and returning to the field after he was ejected

-- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle got 2 GAMES for allowing his pitcher to throw at opposing batters multiple times.

Everyone on the MLB's naughty list also received undisclosed fines -- along with several other players involved in the brawl including Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams and Reds 1B Joey Votto.

MLB exec Joe Torre issued a scathing statement ripping everyone involved in the fight ... and it sounds like a really disappointed parent:

"The incidents between these two Clubs remain a source of concern, and it’s reflected by the level of discipline we are handing down today," Torre said.

"Everyone on the field should be aware of the example they are setting for fans, particularly young people. I firmly expect these two managers and all others to hold their players accountable for appropriate conduct and to guide them in the right direction."

By the way, all 6 of the suspended players are appealing their suspensions. Stay tuned on that.

Pirates' Felipe Vazquez Names Favorite Cities ... Amid Trade Rumors

LOOKIN' TO WIN
TMZSports.com

Did Felipe Vazquez just drop a huge hint on where he'd prefer to be traded if the Pirates deal him this week???

Sure seems like it ... 'cause when we got the superstar closer out in NYC -- he told us he's a BIG fan of New York and Chicago!!!

Felipe -- who's got 21 saves this season with a 1.87 ERA -- is one of the best players being shopped around ahead of Wednesday's MLB trade deadline.

Felipe tells us he isn't focusing on his possible departure from Pittsburgh, saying, "I'm not worried about that stuff, whatever happens is going to happen whether I like it or not."

But, when we asked what his favorite cities to be in off the diamond are ... he told us straight-up, New York and Chicago!!!

Of course, both the Yankees AND the Cubs are reportedly interested in adding an arm to their bullpen this week ... and could possibly have Vazquez in their trade sights.

But hey, maybe he just likes the restaurants ...

So, could this help facilitate a trade with the Buccos????

Stay tuned ...

Pittsburgh Pirates Jesus, Batman & Buzz ... Epic Costume Party!

Deadpool, Batman, Spider-Man and Jesus all walk onto a plane ...

No, this ain't the start of the next 'Avengers' movie ... it's the Pittsburgh Pirates' epic costume party on Thursday!!!

The Buccos beat the snot out of the Braves in Pittsburgh in the morning ... and to celebrate -- they threw on their best outfits and hit the airport for their road trip to Milwaukee.

The guys really went all out ... MVP candidate Josh Bell made a hell of a Batman, shortstop Cole Tucker really loved his Frozone costume -- and pitcher Richard Rodriguez dressed up as Jesus.

A bunch of the starting pitchers -- including ace Chris Archer -- went with Ninja Turtles ... and catcher Elias Diaz was a stunning plus-sized Power Ranger.

The winner of the day (besides the Pirates, who are now just 4 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central) ... outfielder Gregory Polanco -- who had an Avatar costume complete with a tail!!!!

You know how superstitious baseball players can be ... so do it again tonight????

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