Checking in from PNC Park

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Checking in from PNC Park

After a long, oppressively cold winter, it sure is nice to be writing to you from the press box above a mid-morning, sun-soaked PNC Park. The North Shore is already filling up with Pirates fans busily lighting grills, pouring drinks, hoisting Jolly Rogers and sharing that unique, holiday-like cheer that baseball fans feel on this day. Down on the field the grounds crew is getting things ready for batting practice, while a few players run wind sprints and play catch in center field. The pace of the day is about to pick-up as the Pirates' locker room opens to the media soon and fans will begin streaming in for the pre-game ceremonies. It's going to be a fun and exciting day, but it's kind of hard to want anything to change right now.

Happy Opening Day, everyone.

Bucs Dugout Gameday Coverage

I'm very happy to announce that Bucs Dugout has been given a full season press credential, which means we'll be able to provide full gameday coverage of home games again this season. It's a credit to Charlie and the Bucs Dugout community that we're in this position. Thanks goes to the Pirates for granting us the access.

Like last year, my goal is to provide both a pregame and postgame notebook, along with breaking news and special features/interviews. I plan on being able to cover most of the home schedule (and some road games), though there will be some scheduling conflicts with my job. I'm really happy to have the opportunity to cover the team and I am excited to see what this season has in store.

Bucs Opening Day Most Similar Scores

Similarity scores are one of my favorite sections on the player pages at BaseballReference.com. First developed by Bill James, similarity score is designed to discover who each players most similar to, in terms of accumulated statistics, historically. It can be used as a means of forecasting a player's career, or just appreciated as intrinsically interesting. Below are the age based similarity scores for each player in today's starting lineup for the Bucs. (Age based similarity scores compare players at the same age, rather than the entirety of a historical player's career.)

Starling Marte = Chet Ross

Travis Snider = Daryl Boston

Andrew McCutchen = Carlos Beltran

Pedro Alvarez = Dean Palmer

Russell Martin = Benito Santiago

Neil Walker = Bret Boone

Travis Ishikawa = Hank Arft

Jordy Mercer = Not enough career plate appearances

Francisco Liriano = Randy Wolf

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