One Pittsburgh columnist has a message for Pirates fans:
"PNC Park had better sell out."
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Dejan Kovacevic threw that challenge/threat out to Pirates fans Tuesday morning after news broke that Pittsburgh's uber-prospect Gregory Polanco would be making his big league debut in Tuesday night's game against the Cubs. Polanco, if you haven't heard, was rated the 10th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America and the 12th-best by MLB.com before the beginning of the season, and Pirates fans have been clamoring for his promotion to the MLB squad for some time now.
Kovacevic was basically letting Pirates fans know they got their wish and now they need to back it up by supporting Polanco and the team, referencing the somewhat embarrassing major league debut of former organizational top prospect Gerrit Cole.
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"Because after all this fuss, after all this bluster to the point of people concocting all kinds of stuff that had no foundation in fact, after all this oh-my-God-how-can-we-win-without-this-guy, we’ll know this was just a small, vocal group making all this noise," Kovacevic wrote. "But I don’t think so. I think there are way more than 38,000 people in Pittsburgh to buy the remaining tickets to fill the place up. No excuses, like they were when 8,000 seats sat empty for Gerrit Cole."
The notion is an interesting one with the Cubs in Pittsburgh because it points to a similar attitude among Cubs fans who can't wait for the team to call up their own uber-prospects like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Albert Almora. Of course, the attendance problems in the Steel City don't really exist on the North Side of Chicago, but there's no doubting the equal amount of fervor Cubs fans share for the future of the franchise.
Will PNC Park sell out tonight? Maybe. Will Wrigley Field sell out for Bryant's major league debut? It's very, very likely it will.