It was only a few short days ago when it was announced that former Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Barry Bonds would be on hand at PNC Park for Opening Day to be a part of pre-game festivities and handing over the NL MVP award to Andrew McCutchen.
When Pirates fans heard this news, it didn’t take long for the venom to start on social media. Fans were demonstrative in their angst towards the Pirates organization for letting Bonds to return to the city where he won two MVP awards in 1990 and 1992. Fans who are planning to attend the game Monday were starting talks of a sellout crowd booing and harassing Bonds when he is announced.
However, this moment isn’t about Bonds. It isn’t about that 1992 throw from shallow left center field that was off the mark and allowed Sid Bream and the Atlanta Braves to advance to the World Series. No, this day is about Andrew McCutchen.
However you view Bonds as a person and as a baseball player, you have to remember one thing: him being in Pittsburgh on Opening Day means nothing. He isn’t coming back to try and mend fences, but merely to honor the next Pirates player to bring home the MVP award.
When Bonds is announced, there should be nothing but applause for a man that not only played great baseball for Pittsburgh, but is there to honor the next superstar in Pittsburgh baseball lore, and that is McCutchen.
There is no doubt the applause for the man Pirates fans call “Cutch” will be heard all across city of Pittsburgh at 12:30 p.m. when the festivities start on March 31, but one sound that shouldn’t be heard on this day of celebration is booing.
By booing Bonds, fans are in a way taking away from the player who deserves the attention — that player being McCutchen, who deserves only applause. Not only did he have a phenomenal season last year, but more importantly, he brought meaningful baseball back to the city of Pittsburgh and the Pirates fanbase across the globe.