PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Home is certainly sweet for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Buccos last year, won 51 games in the friendly confines of PNC Park. That was the second-best home record in all of Major League Baseball. And, as Manager Clint Hurdle tells us, if the traffic coming into the ballpark today is any indication, this will once again be a season filled with home field advantage.
“It took me 45 minutes to get from the Clark Bar to the clubhouse today, because it was absolute chaos today on General Robinson. red meant nothing, green meant nothing. And unfortunately there was no supervision to help the process. So I was actually blocked off 2 blocks from the ballpark for 30 minutes at a standstill. And I just kind of sat there and smiled, thinking this would not have happened 4 years ago. This would not have happened 3 years, this did not happen 2 years, and it didn’t happen last year. So it was a tangible sign of success for me sitting in the car for 45 minutes to move 4 blocks into the ballpark,”said Hurdle.
Closer Mark Melancon also had difficulty getting to the ballpark due to the traffic jam.
“Yea, I want to apologize to all the fans in advance. I kind of cut a few people off, maybe went a back road or a wrong way, but got here all right. It’s a great problem, as long as they’re understanding.” Melancon said with a laugh.
Neil Walker is a homegrown Pittsburgh native, and likewise ran into traffic troubles.
“Definitely had to re-route to get downtown,” said Walker. “That’s the first time that’s ever happened on opening day here, so that’s a first. but I think it’s clear that people are pretty excited about this opening day.”
Today’s season opening win over the previously unbeaten Tigers is the first of a 10-game homestand here at PNC Park.