I hate Busch Stadium.
I hate seeing Matt Carpenter walk to the plate with that calm, cool approach and that lengthy beard.
But I am so happy baseball is back and could care less where the season begins or the fact that Carpenter has been 34 for 10+ years now it seems.
Bulldog righty pitcher and naturally anointed ace of the pitching staff Joe Musgrove will get to be the Opening Day starter for the first time in his career under the most unusual circumstances in baseball history. Expectations are low for this rebuilding squad, yes, but as I’ve recounted in past posts there will always be a few things to look forward to with this young squad.
Then again, there are a lot of things about this team that point to them being the same old Pirates. Gregory Polanco is on the injured list. Chris Archer and Jameson Taillon are on the injured list. Josh Bell’s defense is still questionable at best and his offense remains a topic of discussion as to whether or not its replicable. An athletic infielder not named Adam Frazier is being experimented with in the outfield. All coupled with questions about sophomore performances and all-around concerns about pitching, this Pirates’ team is similar to what we have been dealing with for the past several years.
I think the best way to attempt to enjoy what could be a tumultuous 60 game season for the Buccos is to take it game by game; Opening Day is a no brainer in terms of excitement, even with no fans and COVID-19 concerns. It will be interesting to see how Derek Shelton handles his new roster and lineup card game by game, and whether or not new pitching coach Oscar Marin will have an immediate impact on a rather unimpressive group of pitchers in years past. And just how many doubles can Bryan Reynolds hit in 60 games? Will Ke’Bryan Hayes get a quick call-up?
Here’s to the return of game threads and arguments in the comments about how long Cole Tucker will remain a Pirate, to cryptic Ben Cherington quotes and Pirate memes. Friday beckons.