A roller coaster of emotions: Final Four and Opening Day

This has been a Spring Break I will never forget. Three amazing events all wrapped in a week was so very special.

You all read about my Cooperstown trip and here is a quick, depressing synopsis of my Saturday in Indianapolis.

 

Final Four and Opening Day 085.jpgIt was surreal. Surreal that not only was West Virginia playing in the Final Four but also that I was there to witness it. However, the Mountaineers were shalacked. Up and down, it was ugly. We were killed on the boards and Duke was simply shooting lights out.

Final Four and Opening Day 013.jpg 

It was a great road trip for my WVU buddies and I. Although West Virginia was destroyed 78-57 it was an amazing time with unforgettable memories. It is definitely the best sporting event I have ever been to. Surpassing Game 3 of the Stanley Cup from last summer and the 2006 MLB All Star Game in PNC Park.

As tears flowed down my face Saturday night, I felt a shock of jubilation come Sunday night.

Opening Day was abreast!

I rose at 7 am Monday morning and was on the road to Pittsburgh by 8.

My group of six gathered at Primanti Brothers for a tasty breakfast of meat, coleslaw, fries and tomatoes.

The gates to PNC Park opened at 11:30 and we found ourselves in the left field bleachers. In a “right place at the right time” moment I caught a ground rule double off the bat of an unidentified Dodgers batter. My first Opening Day ball!

From there I ventured over to the Pirates dugout. There I met a fellow blogger, Ms. Kristy of “Hands off My Pirates Booty” 

 

 

Final Four and Opening Day 133.jpgmShe was enjoying batting practice from her beautiful seats right along the dugout, just seven rows back. It not only offers a great view of the game, but the city as well. I am sporting my freshly bought Lastings Milledge T-shirt. I was surprised at the variety of T-shirts offered this year.

The game itself was everything I could have asked for. A win!

 

The jolly roger was raised indeed as the Bucs exploded for an 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.

I was nervous at first as Zach Duke let up two runs in the first inning, however our ace settled down and pitched a solid five innings.

The man of the hour was Garrett Jones, let me re-phrase that, Garrett FREAKING Jones.

Jones went off with a two home run performance and showed he will be our go to guy for power. Both HRs were impressive. The first was a 450 foot blast into the Alegheny River. The other an opposite field homerun to left over the head of Manny Ramirez.

Final Four and Opening Day 158.jpgIt was cool to see Manny. He was greeted with a throng of Boos from the crowd. Although I gave him a standing O as he approached the plate for his first at bat.

Speaking of the crowd, it was great. A sellout crowd of over 39,000 saw the first game of the 2010 season. And boy did they see a beauty. I’m glad the city of Pittsburgh was welcomed with a heralded perforance. I know it will not be packed with 39,000 every game but hopefully today showed what this team can be capable of and bring some new faces to the ballpark.

That being said, this team is solid. Talented in fact, they will surprise some people this year and may, just maybe break that .500 mark and compete after the All Star break. Until then I plan on enjoying each and every game and cannot wait till I am back in the park. Like every year, it was a great Man Day Monday.



Final Four and Opening Day 145.jpg

 

17 Comments

Matt good win for the Pirates… just one thing the pic with standing looking really cool with Ms Kristy.. who’s the dude behind grabbing himself.. LOL

Sorry about the Mountaineers…

-peter
Phillies Outside

It was nice finally meeting you yesterday! What a game! Hope you had a great time. I’ll let you know about tix info soon.
Kristy
http://kristylovesherbuccos.mlblogs.com/

PS. Peter Nice that you picked that guy out! SO FUNNY! I didn’t notice.

Matt.. Garrett Jones was sic. Good win in the opener and good luck on the season! And yes, I’m hopin the boys in Blue will give you a better game tomorrow!

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

What an awesome start for the Buccos! BEAT L.A.! Matt, I’m glad you joined RSBS in raising your glass to baseball on Opening Day… just remember, beer will make you fat unless you exercise regularly, so stay active. (That’s my PSA for the year). CHEERS!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

I’m sorry WVU didn’t make it all the way. On the Pittsburgh side of things, I was impressed with Garrett Jones. AND he’s looking like a steal on my fantasy team.

http://stonebutch99.mlblogs.com

You were going up against Manny, but you definitely won the battle of the ‘dreadlocks’ with Milledge and McCutchen. Manny and the Dodgers could not compete with those!
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Great win for the Pirates and what a fun opening day for you. That breakfast was serious food!!!!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Congrats on the win! Too bad about the Mountaineers, though. I sure hope the Padres can get that first W tonight!!
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

I hope the fact you lost out to the eventual champ took a little something off the hurt from the tourney. Still can’t beat the experience though…right? I like the look of these Buccs. I’m with you, they can surprise and ruin a couple of team’s days. I left a couple of more encouraging words for you on my response to your comments. I know it’s been a tough go with the Buccs, but hang in there. You’ll look back one day and remember them fondly. These are the Golden Years! Just enjoy your great ball park and the game. Have a great season! I might head to Pitt again this year.
Mike

Opening day feels like a holiday doesn’t it? Especially when you get to go to the game. That’s pretty cool you got to go and see the Pirates beat the Dodgers and Manny. I am a little biased being a Rockies fan so I don’t like the dodgers or Manny haha. I have to work during our opening game but I am going to the opening series. I’m going to a game on Sunday! Good luck to you guys this year and yes, BASEBALL IS BACK!
http://rockies2917.mlblogs.com

Class gets in the way of everything! I wont make it to the game unti its half way over. Boo! Sucks you have a test! Hope you get to come tommorow! Should be another beauiful day for baseball!
Kristy
http://kristylovesherbuccos.mlblogs.com/

Good luck to you today Matt. But, kno I’m bleedin Blue for a Dodger W. ; )

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

That is an amazing couple of weeks. I’ve always wanted to go to a Final Four and watch a basketball game with 70,000 other people. Who knows, maybe my Ohio U will get over the hump of the second round and make a run next year and will face WVU.
And its also good to see you had a great day Monday (but who didn’t?) Love those new programs too but my only beef is that there is no scorecard in them. A lot of other teams do that. I got sick of paying $2 a game for one so I got my own scorebook. Hope to see you either this spring or summer.
Steve
http://section316.mlblogs.com

Matt,
You got the home Opener, but I hope Kershaw gets the W tonight!
What a thrill to be at the Final Four. Your team lost but just to be there! You will always remember that!
You have already started the season on a high note!
Good luck to the Pirates AFTER my beloved Dodgers leave town.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/
http://DodgersBlueBlog.com/

A standing O for Manny?
I saw your #85 on the t-shirt before I read the part about it being Milledge, and I knew who it was. That’s my little bit of Pirates knowledge–it’s easy to remember jersey numbers that are really high.
I’m sorry that your basketball team lost; and I hope the Pirates sweep this series against the Dodgers!

OMG, did you really eat that for breakfast? I think that would give me indigestion for the rest of the day. Sorry about your Mountaineers – I was rooting for them, ‘cuz I really don’t like Duke. But you got to see a great Pirates win!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

well well well you are just having a blast these days ;)

glad you had fun! I need to go to a game!!

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

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