BRADENTON (KDKA) — While a Florida day at McKechnie Field might sound good if you’ve been in Pittsburgh the last two months, the Pirates are anxious to come north.
“I’m ready, can’t say I ‘m ready for the weather but I’m ready,” center fielder Andrew McCutchen.
Gone are the easier days of Spring Training if there ever is such a thing. The word now is intensity.
“The goal each day is to win your day, and go out there and not have a wasted day and get your work in,” pitcher Tony Watson said.
While some teammates of last year have moved on to other teams, the core group of Pirates that have seen the playoffs three years in a row is in tact as they wrap up business in Bradenton.
They share a special drive.
“We feel like that we kind of changed the culture a little bit and we want to keep it that way and it’s not just a fluke deal of two or three years it’s an every year thing and w’re going to be right in the mix of things,” shortstop Jordy Mercer said.
Even in these winning years the Pirates have had their issues in April and May. They want to change that.
“We’re just aware of it now and I think that creates more of an urgency,” closer Mark Melancon said.
Win a few more games in April and September doesn’t have to be so desperate. But the players don’t look at this long road ahead that way.
“I look at last year and say, yeah we won 98 games and there were times when in April, but there were probably times in May and times in July. You can’t pinpoint a start or a finish, you just want to come in everyday and put the team in the best position to win a ballgame,” second baseman Josh Harrison said.