Pirates Opener: Let’s Get This Party Started
By Tom Smith
You have heard all the hype. Survived the winter of all winters. You have made it through spring training. Now, just a few hours away is opening day. On Friday, we put up our first Who Are You Cheering For? Now let’s round it out with the rest of the roster.
Jeff Clement–How can you cheer against the guy? He has been fielding more groundballs than I spent shoveling snow this winter. I want Clement to hit the first homer of the season at PNC today.
Aki Iwamura–Please don’t be Freddy Sanchez. Stay healthy. Please don’t be Freddy Sanchez. Take a few strikes. Work the count. Get on base. Let Cutch see some fastballs. Somebody interpret this for him before 1:35pm today. Thanks.
Ronny Cedeno and Bobby Crosby— Be a little bit better than Jack Wilson. Sure, neither can field like Wilson, but in a combined effort this tandem can top Jack’s 687OPS I think. The Pirates will need it for another season and a half at least. Did you know Crosby went 54 games (248 chances) without committing an error at 1B last year while with Oakland. Hmmm…
3B LaRoche–I am looking to see LaRoche play possessed from day one. He had three errors in his first two starts last year and went 0-for-18 at the plate. I talked about it the other night with a friend, when LaRoche does this, it will only make the Bucs better. He thought LaRoche could force the Pirates hand. Bucco fans will be watching this situation closely. The guy is nothing but a professional, so I could see the Bucs making certain they find a spot for the hard working third baseman.
Ryan Doumit–Stay healthy man. Can Doumit have a career year and hit twenty homers and take the top spot in HR’s hit by a Pirate catcher away from Jason Kendall? That wouldn’t hurt at all.
Neal Walker, Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez–Hit, hit, hit.
Charlie Morton–Trust the heat.
Ross Ohlendorf–Trust the heat.
Brendan Donnelly–He is a winner. He has the highest winning percentage (29-9; .763)among relief pitchers since 2002 with a minimum of 35 decisions. Next in line? Joe Nathan at 34-16 and .680. I would like to see some distance put on those numbers this season. Heh man, turn up the Three 6 Mafia and lead this team big fella.
Octavio Dotel–He hasn’t thrown a pitch on a big league bump since last September 25. He didn’t throw much in ST. I pray I get to see him pitch a ton this year.
*Opening Day Links from RumBunter: Home Opener Traffic Information. What’s New at PNC Park. Opening Day Festivities. McMutrie Sisters Throw First Pitch.
*One of my favorite days of the year is summed up so very well by Mat Germain at this link. It’s Time. Turn up the music, get in the truck, we’re going to the yard. Some people say I have very bad taste in music, so you may want to stop here. Enjoy the game. If you can’t make it to PNC, be sure to check out BuccoFans for all the up to date information. Raise the Jolly Roger will have a live blog. I will send some tweets from the game too.
An uncensored version is here for our older readers: