Written by Amanda Rykoff on 02 October 2013.
Like most baseball fans and writers in America, I’ve been captivated by the tale of the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates. A smaller market team overcoming two decades of misfortune and misery to not only break a 20-year streak of sub-.500 futility but make the postseason for the first time since 1992, nearly winning a division title. The Pittsburgh Pirates would be hosting the first postseason game ever at PNC Park, its gem of a ballpark which opened in 2001. But unless you were one of the 41,000+ fans and media at PNC Park on Tuesday night, you could not watch the adoring fans welcome home their conquering heroes, exploding with emotion and gratitude.
TBS, one of MLB’s three broadcast partners for the postseason, did not show the traditional pre-game player introductions, National Anthem or ceremonial first pitch before Pittsburgh’s 6-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Let that wash over you again: there was no television coverage of what should have been -- and was -- some of the most compelling drama of the evening.
This was the best story in baseball and I, along with most interested observers, could not wait to see how the Pirates and their fans celebrated the return of postseason baseball. As 8 o’clock on the east coast approached, I kept waiting for TBS to leave the pre-game studio show with Keith Olbermann, Mark DeRosa, Pedro Martinez and Dirk Hayhurst to bring us the on-field player introductions, National Anthem and ceremonial first pitch. It never happened.