There were a lot of Pirates fans in Nats Park on Wednesday night. This should not be surprising. The Nats are struggling, the Pirates are hot, there are zillions of Western Pennsylvania transplants in this area — all the usual reasons we cite when Penguins fans have invaded Verizon Center, or when Steelers fans took over FedEx Field.
Now, I don’t think this is necessarily a point of pride for anyone — not for the Pittsburgh sports fans who are so proud of the city in which they no longer live, nor for the D.C. sports fans who are so tired of such episodes. But it seemed pretty noticeable on Wednesday, so let’s notice it together.
Like, Ray Knight noticed it when these fans surrounded the MASN center-field studio after the game and chanted “Let’s Go Bucs.”
“These people here saying Let’s Go Bucs, there’s about eight or 10 of them, and it kind of irritates the heck out of me,” he said, and then grimaced awkwardly.
“Don’t leave the set,” Johnny Holliday said. “Stay here. Stick here with me, ok?”
The Pittsburgh TV announcers noticed, too, in gruesome fashion.
“Listen to the crowd. Are we at a home game?” asked Root Sports analyst Bob Walk, when the crowd got noisy after a Pirates RBI double in the top of the 9th.
“PNC Park East,” quipped play-by-play man Tim Neverett.
Pirates PBP guy on Root Sports just glossed Nats Patk as “PNC Park East.”
— Ed Morgans (@writered21) July 25, 2013
Pittsburgh writers noticed.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) July 25, 2013
Nats fans watching on television noticed, especially during the standing ovation Francisco Liriano received when he was removed from the game, as seen above. (Via @ATBechtold)
And fans at the game obviously noticed, too.
There are so many Pirates fans at the game in DC this is ridiculous. Sounds like a home game. — John AuBuchon (@john_aubuchon28) July 25, 2013
HAHA! Pirates Fans Booing because Alvarez is being walked, it sounds like a PNC Park crowd tonight in Washington D.C. I Love It! — Donald (@BucsFaninPA) July 25, 2013
There is more pirates fans than there are nationals fans in DC tonight — Collin Fish (@CjFish25) July 25, 2013
Nationals Park? “PNC Park East” — Jared Seaton (@jmseaton) July 25, 2013
Also, here’s slightly better audio of the Ray Knight thing, although it’s only six seconds, obviously. (Via @recordsANDradio)