After what felt like maybe the longest All-Star break in history, the Pirates return to action tonight in Milwaukee. On top of that, the deadline to sign this year’s draft picks (meaning Mark Appel) comes at 5 PM this afternoon. So we go from five days of almost nothing, besides the odd trade rumor, to baseball overload. I’m OK with baseball overload.
I don’t expect any real news on Appel to come until shortly after the deadline this afternoon, so I’ll put up a post for him around lunchtime. I thought about doing a second-half preview, but I think that my first-half review functions as pretty much the same thing. What I will say is that I’m very interested to see what Neal Huntington’s approach to the trade deadline is here; on top of the Pirates angling to put themselves in position to win a playoff spot (hot damn, do I like typing that), Huntington’s approach here should tell us a lot about what he thinks of various players and prospects in the organization and that should give us some insight into his plans for 2013 and beyond.
I haven’t been this excited about a baseball season’s last 77 games in a long time. It feels like Christmas morning right now.