By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
Morning, Lunatics …
>> The Tuesday column from the Pirates’ 128th opener attempts to sum up a truly ‘special’ day.
Here’s Andrew McCutchen afterward …
And a collection of some of the pregame fare …
Neil Walker’s walkoff wins it, by Travis Sawchik.
Even the replay rulings went the Pirates’ way, by Karen Price.
Barry Bonds tried to make nice, by Rob Biertempfel.
Game notebook, by Biertempfel.
Random blogginess from the scene: No question Francisco Liriano had a terrific opener, with six scoreless innings and 10 Ks. Especially coming off a late-spring injury, that’s above and beyond. At the same time, 104 pitches and only four groundouts run counter to what Liriano himself cites as his main goal: Be more efficient. … Let the record show that Travis Ishikawa not only went 2 for 3 but also looked a lot like the player we’d seen this spring. Professional-looking at-bats. We’ll see. … Clint Hurdle always balks at using the term platoon, even when it’s wholly merited, but it sure sounds like that’s exactly what we’ll see in first base and right field. Credit to the manager for bypassing whatever glamor sometimes accompanies an opening-day start. Just win the game. … Replays happened. Calls were overturned. Big whoop. Welcome to the 21st century, baseball, where the other three major sports had been living for a decade-plus. What next, a salary cap? … There was a broad disparity in the accounts of whether or not Bonds was booed, cheered or both. My view, tweeted out almost immediately, was that he was heavily booed. Because he was. Where I was listening. For that matter, most writers seemed to see it that way, while most TV/radio guys seemed to see it the other way. Simple explanation? The press box is right behind the sections filled with displaced season-ticket holders from Three Rivers Stadium. Total diehards. That’s where we writers were. The broadcast guys were down on the field. … That was quite an atmosphere in there. I’m fascinated by how the rest of the homestand will shape up in that regard.
Here’s our opening-day photo gallery featuring the work of Chris Horner, Chaz Palla and Steve Adams, including this gem from Palla:
Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.
Here are official game highlights on MLB.com. Among those, of course, you’ll find this …
>> Highly encouraging news for the Penguins: Paul Martin back at practice. Chris Adamski reports from Consol.
Brooks Orpik won’t be punished for a perfectly clean hit. Imagine.
Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, including setup for tonight’s game against visiting Carolina.
Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.
Here are official game highlights on NHL.com.
>> Former Pitt man Orlando Antigua, already owner of an incredible backstory, is the new head coach at South Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Here’s our WPXI-TV Subway Final Word panel talking about the Steelers’ offseason …
>> Thank you, as always, for reading. I’ll have another baseball column for tomorrow, and then it’s off to Winnipeg.