Sorry for the sap, but that's the way it was. Step by step, from the Maz statue out by the Allegheny River, to the special security entrance set up beyond right field, to having my temperature taken by a little gun-looking thing aimed at my forehead, to submitting a written waiver in case I die or something ... to seeing the big smile through the mask of Glen the Omnipresent Elevator Man who works both here at PNC Park and over at Heinz field ... to the wonderful older lady at the one food stand kept open beaming, "It's sooooooo nice to be here, even like this!" ... to a long, satisfying stroll along the concourse while Cole Tucker was taking hacks in a sim game against Geoff Hartlieb ... to the stairwell leading up to the press box.
Back to work. Back to baseball.
And no, I'm not going there. No coronavirus. No complaining about regulations. Not after the Pirates finally were permitted to open PNC Park to media types like me and Alex Stumpf. Not after the first Tuesday in many months that felt like something other than just another Groundhog Day ending in Y.
Not after the two of us bounced around like bleeping schoolkids:
Again, we'll see.
The same Allegheny County Health Department that ruled last Friday no gatherings of 25-plus were allowed also announced earlier in the afternoon that we'd had 204 new cases in the previous 24 hours and ... yuck.
But for now, there's this. There's work. There's baseball.
Oh, and there's also one other thing that's even more precious on this particular parcel of our North Shore: There's hope.