Opening Day in Pittsburgh Offers Promise, Suspense for Pirates - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Opening Day in Pittsburgh Offers Promise, Suspense for Pirates

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PITTSBURGH, PA. -

This time of the year is all about the flowers beginning to blossom, trading the cold weather in for the warm, and baseball. Monday marked the Opening Day for Major League Baseball across America, and in the Steel City, it was all about the Pirates.


"It's great. I've been waiting for baseball all winter," Alex Billingsley, a Pirate fan from
Franklin, Pa. said.

"It's very fun just coming down and watching the Pirates play baseball," Trey Weaver, a
Pirate fan from Franklin, Pa. said.

There is absolutely nothing that can put a stop to Opening Day. That is, except for snow.
A brief flurry put a halt on batting practice in the morning. Players said that snow on
Opening Day is definitely a first.

"I mean, you can say I'm used to it, but that doesn't mean I like it," Pirates infielder Josh
Harrison said. "I've learned to battle through it in my years."

"I'm from Montreal, so I've seen my share of snow, but first time on the ball field. I'm
glad we're taking batting practice inside right now," Pirates catcher Russell Martin
laughed.

Once the snow disappeared, it was time for Opening Day to begin. Pirates Owner
Bob Nutting said he believes his team is ready for a postseason run.

"It's exciting to see everybody out at the ball park. Obviously, the weather is going to be
a little bit challenging today. But there's nothing more exciting than getting started with
Pittsburgh Pirate baseball. Early in the year, optimism is high. Certainly, Clint [Hurdle]
and the players are ready to put on a show for Pittsburgh," Pirates Owner Bob Nutting
said.

The Pirates return most of the talent from last year's roster, and even added players like
former New York Yankee catcher Russell Martin. But at the end of the day this team will
only go as far as All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen takes them. The players
said they are ready for the challenge.

"It means it's the start of a new season; a new beginning. Opening Day has kind of a
different feel. Almost like a playoff atmosphere. But the truth is, is that it's just one of
162 and it shouldn't be different today than it is for our next game. So I'm going to treat
like it's any other game and go out there and compete at the best of my ability," Martin
said.

"We want to win. And it's not a matter of we just want to win 82 games or this or that.
We want to win and that means going to the playoffs and playing into the postseason and
giving ourselves a shot at winning the World Series," Harrison said.

For the folks from the Ohio Valley portion of the country, the start of a baseball season also lends
some hope that Spring is on its way. However the only thing that could possibly take our
mind off the cold weather is, of course, if the Pirates can win.