Brace yourselves: kittens playing in an All-Star Game is coming

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If they don’t get Andres Galarraga to throw out the first pitch they had best not even bother. But apart from that, I am behind this 100%:

After winning six million viewers with its Super Bowl Sunday “Kitten Bowl,” Hallmark told advertisers Thursday it is creating a similar event, “Kitten Paw Star Game,” to air opposite baseball’s All-Star game in July 2015.

The MLB-focused event will feature kittens in baseball outfits batting balls — plus celebrities and baseball stars to cheer the kitties on.

I just pray to God that the ratings don’t eclipse the actual All-Star Game or else I’m going to have to go into the “no, baseball isn’t dying” business full time.

I am curious about the 2015 start date for this, though. What’s the holdup? Selecting a host city? Figuring out the fan balloting to select the players? Vast logistical issues which make throwing a bunch of cats into a room with high walls problematic? Inquiring minds want to know.

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”