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Inclement weather has hampered PNC Park grounds crew's efforts

| Thursday, March 28, 2013, 6:36 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Inclement weather has hampered the PNC Park grounds crew, but stadium executive vice president and general manager Dennis DaPra said he is confident the field will be in 'tip-top shape' for Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013. A look at PNC Park photographed Thursday, March 28, 2013.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Inclement weather has hampered the PNC Park grounds crew, but stadium executive vice president and general manager Dennis DaPra said he is confident the field will be in 'tip-top shape' for Opening Day on Monday, April 1, 2013. A look at PNC Park photographed Thursday, March 28, 2013.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Head groundskeeper Manny Lopez waters the infield dirt surface at PNC Park on Thursday, March 28, 2013, in preparation for Opening Day.
PNC Park grounds crew members work on the infield Thursday, March 28, 2013, in preparation for the Pirates' Opening Day game against the Cubs on April 1, 2013.
PNC Park grounds crew member Matt Gerhardt rakes the home plate circle Thursday, March 28, 2013, in preparation for the Pirates' Opening Day game against the Cubs on April 1, 2013.

The extended winter has not created ideal conditions for the grounds crew at PNC Park, and stadium executive vice president and general manager Dennis DaPra admitted Thursday that preparing the field for Opening Day has been a challenge.

Despite having to deviate from the feeding and fertilization process, workers have been able to catch up, and players and fans should be pleased with the conditions Monday.

“Everybody who's been in Pittsburgh the past two weeks has seen the snow and the temperatures,” DaPra said. “The temperatures work against us at some point, particularly the water. You can't run the water and water the field because the pipes could potentially freeze, so you have those challenges.”

Although fans often focus on the grass, he said, the dirt requires just as much attention because that's where most of the action takes place. Even with the difficulties the cold and snow pose, DaPra said he has no concerns about the field being as good as ever.

“It's surprising when you get a day and a half of sun, and hopefully we'll get that this weekend,” he said. “It really pops, and the field can jump in really a day. … At the end of the day, the field's going to be in tip-top shape.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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