With the football game running so late last night, I didn’t really have time to get together any sort of substantial post for today. It’s funny; the Steelers making the Super Bowl keeps most of the main population of the city from having to worry about baseball for two more weeks, but it also generated way more interest in PirateFest the last time it happened. Maybe that won’t be the case next year, but I’m guessing next weekend Pittsburgh will be chomping at the bit for anything sports related and the Convention Center will be deluged with bored people in Hines Ward jerseys. PirateFest probably won’t make them less bored, but it’s something to do.
Anyways, I had some thoughts about the Pedro Alvarez stuff. As everyone knows by now, DK mentioned in his final mini-camp report that Alvarez showed up at mini-camp out of shape and the Pirates were generally disappointed in how he looked last week. Really, that’s not something that anyone should want to hear given that Alvarez is hugely important to the theoretical turnaround this franchise is attempting and any bad news about him is bad news for the team. That said, I think that Frank Coonelly’s response to this is about the right; Alvarez now knows what’s expected of him and so long as he responds correctly to that, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
The one thing that I think is important to note is that mini-camp is always voluntary, especially for position players (unless minor league camp works differently, though I doubt that). So while it’s lame that Alvarez came into mini-camp out of shape, at least he came in to mini-camp and seems like he wants to get into shape. Let’s see how he shows up to Bradenton and how he handles himself at big league camp in February and March before we jump to any conclusions.