From the get-go this spring, our team didn’t have a lot of open spots. The roster was pretty much set, and when you have a veteran club like this or a club that’s been to the playoffs and won a division two years in row, Spring Training is more of an opportunity for guys to get ready and keep themselves healthy. If you do that, you consider it a successful Spring Training. I know the fans enjoy the Freeway Series before the season starts, but for the players it’s still a Spring Training atmosphere. The players, in the back of your mind, it’s more a game to get ready.
I think when Opening Day comes and the bell rings, it definitely has a different feel. There’s a little more adrenaline and more focus. It’s not that you just flip the switch and go from off to on, but there is definitely a different intensity. And it’s not really different when you open on the road. Opening Day is Opening Day. It doesn’t matter, the stadium will be full. Their fans will come out and get behind those guys early in a season. And this is a good, young Pirates team and these guys play hard and well. This will be a good challenge for us. — Reed