Pedro Alvarez is not in the best shape of his life

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Pedro, Pedro, Pedro:

It will take a big man to carry the Pirates offense next season, but not quite as big as Pedro Alvarez happens to be at the moment, apparently. Alvarez has put on a few pounds this off-season, and more than one team official isn’t thrilled about it. At last report, the third baseman had ballooned in excess of 240 pounds, at least 15 pounds more than he finished last season.

He’s young and he’ll lose it if he tries so this is no big whoop. And of course, he’s destined for first base anyway.  But really, dude. This is not what any Pirates fans wanted to hear in late January.

UPDATE:  Some readers are telling me that the source of this report — Piratesreport.com — is not reliable.  I’m not familiar with them, so I really don’t know.  Probably worth taking this with a grain of salt, though.  Presumably MLB.com or the Post-Gazette or someone will follow up on this soon and we’ll know for sure.

(link via Big League Stew)

Video: Nolan Arenado throws out Ty Blach from his back

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Giants starter Ty Blach thought he had a one-out single in the bottom of the third inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game in San Francisco, but Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado had other ideas. Arenado ranged to his left and dove. The ball began to skip away from him, but Arenado quickly re-grabbed the ball, spun around from his knees and whipped a throw across the diamond. He fell on his back like a turtle that had been flipped over as the out on Blach was recorded.

Arenado had also given the Rockies their 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a two-run single. He finished 2-for-4 with two RBI on the afternoon. On the season, he’s hitting .294/.346/.547 with 15 home runs, 61 RBI, and 50 runs scored in 348 plate appearances.

Report: Umpire John Tumpane pulled a woman from the edge of the Roberto Clemente Bridge

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Stephen J. Nesbitt and Steph Chambers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have an enthralling report involving umpire John Tumpane. On Wednesday afternoon, prior to the game in Pittsburgh between the Rays and Pirates, Tumpane had finished a run and lunch. As he was crossing the Roberto Clemente Bridge just outside of PNC Park, he noticed a woman climb over the bridge’s railing above the Allegheny River.

Tumpane was worried and headed towards the woman. What began was an act of heroism. He started a conversation with the woman, who said, “I just wanted to get a better look of the city from this side,” and then said, “I’m better off on this side. Just let me go.”

Tumpane refused to let her go. He had his arms wrapped around her and spoke words of encouragement until police and paramedics arrived. As the woman was being put into the ambulance, Tumpane asked for her name and prayed for her. He said he hopes to reconnect with her before he leaves town for the next series. He called it an “interesting afternoon.”

The recap here doesn’t do Chambers and Nesbitt’s reporting justice, so please head over to the Post-Gazette to read the full story.

In a sport in which home plate umpires are some of the only ones wearing caged masks, it’s easy to forget that they are human beings, too. We curse at them for making calls that go against our teams, but they can be capable of greatness, too. Tumpane certainly showed that on Wednesday.