This is one of my favorite holidays, so here's my speech to our beloved Buccos...
A wise man once said "A life without failures is a life without lessons learned". Well this team learned a helluva lot last year. It's time to take some of those lessons and apply them to our trade, boys. It's time to look back at 2010 one last time and take from it what you can.
Now realize we're in 2011. A year where the only members of this team that remember a winning Pirates team are coaching. None of you remember the day baseball died in Pittsburgh, but you have a chance to live its rebirth. Do not take that lightly.
You have an opportunity to reward yourself, your teammates and most importantly your fans. You have the opportunity to be revered as gods in this town, even if you never do anything else in your life. If you can't see that you don't play for people other than yourself, I've got a handful of tickets for you to watch in the stands. (Buccoboy holds up a group of tickets in his hands).
I'm not asking for you to become the greatest player of all time at your position. I'm asking that you play up to your potential. If you do that, I promise we will improve throughout the season. As the talking heads dismiss our strong play early on as a fluke, we'll continue to play our game. As the talking heads and our rivals write us off as a first half wonder, we'll continue to play our game. And maybe, just maybe, we'll see where we can go.
It all starts today. We can not let any game go without lending it importance. When you look at the schedule, they are all the seventh game of the World Series. If you don't understand that, I've still got my tickets for you.
Now, for today's game, it's really simple. Fielders keep your focus, hitters swing a big stick, baserunners slide hard with your spikes up and pitchers...pitchers, grow a set and throw the f'ing ball inside.
Nobody puts their head down unless it's to tie their shoes or field a ground ball.
Lets get after them...