Great Moments in Fandom: Mark Teixeira once tried to change his name to "Kurt"

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Odd story over at Walkoff Walk today: when Mark Teixeira was a kid he was a huge Nirvana fan. So big that, when Kurt Cobain offed himself, Teixeira took to calling himself “Kurt.”  Turned in schoolwork and filled out forms with his name as “Kurt Teixeira” and everything.

Rob at Walkoff Walk calls it “an unhealthy obsession,” but I think every kid goes through some phase of intense fandom like that at some point.

If you don’t believe me, just do a Google Search for “Kip Winger Calcaterra.”  But understand, I was young and impressionable . . .

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.