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Pirates

Clint Hurdle: 'No expectations' of PNC Park's atmosphere for home opener

Jerry DiPaola
| Monday, April 2, 2018, 12:39 p.m.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle watches catchers take batting batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle watches catchers take batting batting practice Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's day started at 2:30 Monday morning when he drove home from the airport in the middle of an April snow shower after a three-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit.

No big deal.

“I've seen snow before,” said the former manager of the Colorado Rockies.

“You wake up to a winter wonderland. That's beautiful. And you look at the green grass and you get ready to go.”

Not long after he reported to work, it was time to get to work, trying to beat the Minnesota Twins in the Pirates' home opener at PNC Park.

If victory happens often enough, perhaps the Pirates can win back part of the disgruntled portion of their fan base. But Hurdle doesn't concern himself with too much that happens outside his clubhouse.

He said he has no expectations on what the PNC Park atmosphere will be like when starting pitcher Jameson Taillon throws the first pitch at 1:05 p.m.

“I learned over life (that) expectations turn into resentments,” he said. “Things are out of my control. If we play good baseball, things will take care of themselves.

“It's opening day. I'm thankful and grateful for every fan who will be here. I'm grateful to be in uniform for opening day again. I'm grateful to represent the Pirates organization.

“That would be my look at it walking in the door.”

The PNC Park grounds crew had removed what little snow was left in the outfield four hours before game time, but left fielder Corey Dickerson still was struck by the sight of tailgaters braving the elements in parking lots surrounding PNC Park.

He said he remembers a rabid fan base when he came to Pittsburgh with the Rockies during the Pirates' playoff seasons.

“It makes it tough on the opponent to perform,” he said. “We need that.”

But he understands the reality:

“You have to win. If you win, they'll support us.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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