If you can't make it to all the Pirates and Rays spring training games this year, be sure to check out our live blogs for both teams at Bradenton.com.
We'll do more than keep you up to date with the action on the field. We'll capture the sights, sounds and smells (think: the whiff of Coppertone). You might not be able to actually TASTE those juicy hotdogs, but this Grapefruit League coverage is going to be good -- and fun.
Here are two nuggets from Thursday's Pirates opener at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater from reporter John Lembo, who was covering the game with Pirates beat reporter Mike Henry:
Top 8th: Pirates at Phillies
The Phillies won a division title last year, right? Where is the hoopla? Nowhere is there a mention of the team winning its first division title in nearly 15 years. Nothing on the scoreboard, on the outfield wall, or anywhere.
There is, however, a framed spring training schedule from 1990 hanging in the press box. It’s autographed by Von Hayes. What's really weird is this stadium is five years old, so someone consciously brought over this old, framed schedule to hang in the new press box. But, hey, it is autographed by Von Hayes. They should probably post a security guard next to it or something.
Bottom 7th: Pirates at Phillies
Here's a great story: Jaret Wright, who nearly pitched the Cleveland Indians to a World Series title 11 years ago, enters the game for the Pirates.
He’s a non-roster invitee whose promising career has been derailed by injuries. Nonetheless, he throws a shutout inning, keeping the Pirates’ lead intact.
The action and insights will be updated each half inning, so you'll be able to stay on top of what's happening.
We're blogging today from the Pirates' home opener at McKechnie Field, and we're also at Ed Smith Stadium for the Rays and Reds. Check them out on our Sports home page and enjoy.