I was at the game yesterday, but I don't have anything to add regarding what happened in the game. But I wanted to share a number of other noteworthy things:
- Regarding the player introductions, Walker did get a big shout, as I expected, but I don't think it was any bigger than McCutchen's; it may not even have been bigger than Overbay's (who was benefiting, I suspect, from playing the role of "Veteran FA Signee." Oddly, I heard at least one boo when Pearce was introduced. I thought I saw a grown man weep after that, but I can't swear that it was Vlad.
- In general, for how crummy the game went, there was less booing than you might expect. A few years back, when Duke spit the bit on Opening Day, the boos were lusty and early. I think there might be a touch more optimism about this team among hoi polloi.
- On a related note, I biked to and from the game, wearing a jersey. I always love seeing the groups of people in Pirates gear as I come down Penn Ave - all the way out in Bloomfield, you see pairs of people waiting for the bus to get to the game. On the way back, two different people called to me from their car windows to ask if they won. When Dejan Kovacevic and others suggest that this town is absolutely primed to go nuts for a winning Pirates team, I think they're right. On the other hand, the look of "Same Old Pirates" on these people's faces when I told them it was a loss suggested that they won't bother asking again this year. The window for this club to capture the town's heart gets smaller every season.
- Late in the game, I moved down to the second row near first base. There was a funny exchange between a guy in the stands and Rockies first base coach Glenallen Hill. Hill's back pocket had the inevitable can of chew, but also something else. The fan shouted to ask what it was, and Hill, without turning, pulled out what looked like a Werther's Original, then also pulled out a paper of some sort. Then he gave a little shimmy, which was hilarious. The fan started shouting about Dancing With The Stars. Then the fan told him to scratch one leg if he agreed that Wigginton sucks, and the other leg if he disagreed. When the inning ended, Hill came over and gave the guy a talking-to about that (classily, he called him up to the fence to do it, rather than calling into the stands).
- Also up front was Mike Tomlin, in a Cutch jersey, with his two sons. No big deal, but cool. Near as I could tell, people left them alone during the game, and were even pretty good when they were walking out afterward - snapping pictures and calling "Hey, Coach," but not much more. I've read athletes saying that Pittsburgh is great because the fans know you and love you, but also keep their distance.