Pedro Alvarez took grounders at first base yesterday, perhaps the sign of a new chapter in his tenure with the Pirates. Alvarez was recently removed from his regular role at third base after committing a league-leading 24 errors. All-Star Josh Harrison is expected to get the lion’s share of the playing time at the hot corner going forward.
Alvarez seems at peace with the transition, though. He had a discussion with manager Clint Hurdle and was philosophical about it in a discussion with the media about it later. Via MLB.com’s Tom Singer and Stephen Pianovich:
“It’s just another opportunity to help this team any way possible,” Alvarez said Saturday prior to another cram session at first. “I think it shows the faith and the desire and the want that the organization has in me for me to help in any way possible. Moving over, taking ground balls at first … gives Hurdle and this team some options to be able to use me any way possible. I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
Along with the poor defense, Alvarez’s power at the plate has declined. A year after leading the league in home runs with 36, he has only 15 along with 49 RBI and a pedestrian .234/.320/.400 slash line.
If you’ve ever found yourself on I-75/71 in Kentucky, just over the river from Cincinnati, you’ve no doubt noticed the water tower for the city of Florence, Kentucky. Its top is painted with red and white stripes and, instead of featuring the town’s name or the name of the local water concern, it says, “Florence, Y’all.”
The water tower is a nice welcome to Dixie, even if Kentucky isn’t really Dixie. The point is that, if you’re from Ohio or Michigan or someplace and you see it, you know you’re on your way to Lexington or Louisville, or points south. To warmer climes, southern charm and hospitality and, hopefully, a nice little trip.
The folks who support the Frontier League baseball team in Florence no doubt realize the kind of chatter that surrounds that water tower, because they just voted to rename their team:
And they added a handy dandy explainer:
I like it. And I like the idea of naming a baseball team after a notable and much talked-about roadside sign. Which is to say that, if I ever get a baseball team here in Ohio, I’m also gonna name it after a famous sign you see while driving on the interstate not too far from me:
Yeah, that’s a thing. And my baseball team would not even be the first sports thing named after it.
Alternatively, I could put one closer to my house and call it the “ODOT SUCKS.” May be better.
Viva local culture.