It is officially opening day in Pittsburgh.
I have mixed feelings on this special day:
-I'm tremendously excited. Baseball is back once again for the long haul. No matter how angry the Pirates make me, I love watching them. I watch all of the garbage just for those few special moments that happen every season.
Most people don't understand us Pirate fans, but we understand each other. Through all of our frustration and disagreements, we all want the same thing. Despite our expectations for this season, low or high, opening day represents a new beginning...even if we're just going to begin losing again, I'm excited for another opportunity.
-I'm nervous. There are so many things that could go terribly wrong this season. Pedro Alvarez' fate will almost be entirely decided. If he stinks it up the entire year--where do we go from there? Where do we put him in 2013? Do we just leave him in the minors? What does he become? It's a question that I'm not even sure I want to know the answer to. Please don't let us down Pedro.
Can Bedard stay healthy? He can be something of an anchor of this rotation--but the catch is, he has to be in it.
-AJ is ahead in his recovery and should be back this month. What will he bring to the table? Can he be the old AJ (or at least show some representation of it), or will he be New York AJ? Huge difference that will determine a significant amount of games this season.
I'm excited to watch the continued development of Andrew McCutchen. He is starting to turn into something very special. Andrew wasn't a superstar last year. I believe that changes this year. Andrew will be a superstar, and he will carry this Pirates team, even if it is only to 70 wins.
Walker needs to bounce back. He had a down year last year. For a guy who is probably going to have to hold down the 4 hole, he doesn't bring a lot of power to the table. But we've seen Walker do damage. He isn't going to bop the ball over the wall often, but he's clutch. He can drive it up the middle with men in scoring position. We need him to do that consistently.
-The bullpen. What are we going to see here? Hanrahan is going to be good, of that I'm certain. Maybe he won't have no blown saves until near around the all star break like last year, but he will be effective. He is the ONLY one I am that confident about. Nobody else stands out. Neal has been adamant about saying bullpens are the easiest thing to build. Prove it to us Neal, this bullpen needs to be solid.
For better or worse, let's play ball!!!!!!!!!!!
First pitch around 1:35 EST, Bedard VS. Halladay