Let’s get real … real special.

Now it’s real.

Thus far, I’ve only been covering the Bradenton Pirates. 

But now, as I sit in the mid-morning press box at PNC Park, with the Pittsburgh skyline opening in front of me, this whole adventure becomes tangible. My whole life isn’t flashing in fornt of my eyes, just the Opening Day bits of it — like showing up in school with the ticket, which got you an excused absence from afternoon classes and down to Forbes Field.

Opening Day may be special everywhere — it should be special everywhere — but is extra special in a place like Pittsburgh. As I took an early-morning stroll around town, people greeted each other with, “Opening Day, huh?” Today, that takes the place of “Hi” or “Good morning.”

There is something extra in the air. A winter’s anticipation gives way to confirmation, that indeed a new season and new hopes have arrived. They’ll go through pre-game warmups — really, putting the finishing touches on a two-month warmup — ceremonies, on-field recognitions. They’ll line up on the foul lines, in black-and-gold and red, then the Pirates will charge the field, an umpire will bellow, “Play Ball!”

And we’ll climb aboard for a six-month magic carpet ride. Next stop? Who knows? But that, too, is part of the seduction, part of the tease. It is the magic.


now that was great writing.

That was really a good read. I’ve never lived in a major league city and never been to an opening day game, but it is still special. Nods to all the baseball fans at work who know baseball is back. It’s not so much a shared secret, its part of the yearly passage that makes baseball fans bond.

Anyway thanks. You are doing a great job.

I’m wondering why Clint Hurdle has made the double switch to put McGhee in at 1B the last two games. He did it as he put a pitcher in to start an inning and the pitcher’s spot would be coming up. In neither case did it seem like the pitcher would go multiple innings which is when a double switch is really useful. McGhee is still a liability at 1B for the moment. So why not just put the new pitcher in the pitcher’s spot and let McGhee pinch hit for him at that moment (and it you wanted to leave him in, do a double switch at that point)? It just seems like it makes your defense weaker without any purpose. The first time McGhee did make in error at first in that half inning and that could have cost them. Double switches are cool and all, but they should have a purpose. I’ve felt like Clint didn’t need to do that either time the last two games.

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