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Barry Bonds booed, cheered, hated-on at PNC Park

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Barry Bonds was on hand at PNC Park to present Andrew McCutchen with his 2013 MVP Award this afternoon. Bonds is likely a polarizing figure in Pittsburgh. His leaving via free agency following the 1992 season kicked off the Pirates’ two decades plus in the wilderness. Plus all the PEDs stuff. As a result, you have to assume there would be a lot of boos for him. But you also would figure that some people would cheer for him there because he did play an awful lot of great baseball in Pittsburgh and his Pirates teams won a lot of games.

I didn’t get the broadcast on in time to see Bonds’ appearance, but I went to Twitter to see the reactions:

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that (a) there were boos and cheers; and (b) whether you think there were substantially more of one than the other says more about what you think of Barry Bonds than what 40,000 people in the crowd do.

In other news, regarding Sullivan’s tweet: what is one supposed to if one is booed apart from “appearing oblivious?” Is Bonds supposed to cry? Beat someone up? Or is he supposed to just sit there and display character traits that we really want him to have because we dislike him, like obliviousness?

Or maybe I’m off base here and maybe it was hard to get a gauge on what was happening there? Maybe people don’t have particularly strong opinions?

Oh.

Report: Giants close to signing closer Mark Melancon

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Mark Melancon #43 of the Washington Nationals reacts after the final out as the Nationals defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 in game three of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.

Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.

The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.

What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.

Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.

Blue Jays sign Steve Pearce to a two-year deal

NEW YORK - MAY 09: Steve Pearce #28 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on from the dugout during the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 9, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.

Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.