Cold weather greets Bucs, fans on Opening Day
Perhaps this is exactly what the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates need:
Wind chills. Grey skies spitting drizzle and the occasional snowflake. Fans wrapped in blankets, mittens and tukes.
Hardly the scene one imagines for baseball's Opening Day. But who knows? Maybe the cold weather is a sign of good things to come.
After all over the past three years — which all ended with losing records — the Pirates played their first home game of the year under sunny and warm conditions.
- In 2010, when Garrett Jones hit two home runs in an 11-5 romp over the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was downright balmy: Sunny with highs in the upper 70s.
- In 2011, temperatures hit the mid-60s, softening the sting of a 7-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
- And last year, it was sunny and 57 degrees on Opening Day, a pitchers' duel that saw the Philadelphia Phillies prevail 1-0.
This year? Temperatures will barely climb into the low 40s. The sun is not expected to make an appearance.
And that's great news — at least, it is if you're a Pirates fan desperate to put a positive spin on an otherwise gloomy start to a new season. What the Pirates need, after 20 straight years of losing, is something different.
For Opening Day is a day of hope. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle likened it to Christmas morning: “You're getting, all wrapped up in a bow, and trying to figure out what's inside.”
Many fans around here are jaded, and rightly so. The only present they expect is an old, re-gifted puzzle. Missing a couple pieces, of course.
But thousands of others descending on PNC Park today in an annual ritual are hoping for something new, something different ... maybe even something sparkling, like a piece of jewelry that slides onto your finger.
After all, it's Opening Day. Nobody has a losing record. Everyone's hopes are intact. Twenty years of losing mean nothing because that was then, and this is now. No mater the weather or history, on this day, anything is possible.
Follow the Trib today as our team of reporters bring you the sites and scenes from Opening Day on the North Shore.