As expected David Wright received a less-than-welcoming reception tonight at PNC Park. Each of the five times he came to the plate the Mets' third baseman was the object of a fairly long and loud round of booing, which didn't diminish much at all as the night wore on.
The source of Pirates' fans ire was Wright's initial exclusion of Pedro Alvarez from the Home Run Derby roster. That was remedied yesterday when Carlos Gonzalez withdrew from the competition and Alvarez was added as a replacement. However, the last minute inclusion did not seem to satiate the fans in attendance tonight, who presumably were still angry over the perceived slight of their third baseman.
After the game Wright was asked about the reception here received tonight, here are his comments in full:
It's kind of cool that they're that passionate about their players. But I'm not going to lose any sleep about being booed a couple games in Pittsburgh, that's for sure. Seems like their knowledgeable and know what's going on and it's kind of cool that they're that upset about it and that passionate about it. Made for a nice atmosphere.
For his part, Pedro Alvarez was asked if the first inning home run he hit was a little more special given the situation and he responded, "No."
Before the game Pedro Alvarez and David Wright had a short, and seemingly friendly, conversation on the field. Alvarez said afterwards that he was just saying "hello": "We've been friends ever since we've started playing against each other. Just saying hi, just like I say hello to everyone else."
Whereas Pedro Alvarez downplayed the drama surrounding him and Wright tonight, Pirates' manager readily acknowledged the unique circumstances and said the Pirates' players were excited for their teammate:
They (the players) are real excited for Pedro and obviously the drama along the way and to hit a home run the first at bat, then I heard guys bumping gums about all that. Little did I know that's the last thing we'd bump gums about on offense for quite a while.
For the night, Wright went 2-for-5, with one double and an RBI. Alvarez went 1-for-5, with one home run, two RBIs and two strikeouts.