First Pitch: Recapping Actual A.J. Burnett News
Jan29

First Pitch: Recapping Actual A.J. Burnett News

After months of no real updates on the A.J. Burnett saga, and nothing but repeats of the same old news, we finally got an update today. Travis Sawchik reported that Burnett planned to pitch in 2014, and that he would be open to returning to a team other than the Pirates. I had a bunch of thoughts on the entire Burnett saga, and decided to list them in no specific order. I then went on to sum everything else up at the end. I’ve...

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First Pitch: Things to Do in Bradenton During Spring Training
Jan28

First Pitch: Things to Do in Bradenton During Spring Training

I get asked a few times per week for advice on things to do during Spring Training — whether it’s tips on McKechnie Field and Pirate City, or just places to eat. A few years ago I put together a post, based on my limited time in Bradenton. I’ve been living here for the past year, and now have a much better idea of some of the best places to go in the area. I’m going to assume that if you’re coming down...

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First Pitch: When Could the Pirates Expect a $100 M Deal?
Jan24

First Pitch: When Could the Pirates Expect a $100 M Deal?

Yesterday, Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly was on 93.7 The Fan, and discussed the likelihood of the Pirates ever issuing a $100 M contract. Coonelly said that the Pirates would eventually sign a $100 M deal, but couldn’t say when. That’s kind of a vague response that would technically be correct since it leaves the possibility of a $100 M deal open for as long as the Pirates are in existence. I wanted to take a...

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First Pitch: The First Baseman of the Future Probably Isn’t Playing First Base
Jan23

First Pitch: The First Baseman of the Future Probably Isn’t Playing First Base

The Pittsburgh Pirates have question marks at first base and right field entering the 2014 season. If you look through the farm system for long-term answers in right field, you don’t have to go far to find the right-fielder of the future. His name is Gregory Polanco, and he should arrive in mid-2014. If you go through the farm system looking for the first baseman of the future, you’re not going to find any leading...

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First Pitch: The Difference Between the Haves and the Have-Nots
Jan22

First Pitch: The Difference Between the Haves and the Have-Nots

As you know, I’ve written a lot about how MLB’s economic system is unfair. Large market teams can spend with no concern about financial risks or dead contracts in the future. Small market teams have to be smart, and have a large group of players that are completely unavailable to them. The difference in payroll is about $100 M from what the mega teams spend and what most small market teams spend. The gap is even starting...

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First Pitch: The Downside of Being a Top Prospect at a Young Age
Jan21

First Pitch: The Downside of Being a Top Prospect at a Young Age

Last week, during our top 20 prospect countdown, we profiled Andrew Lambo and Stolmy Pimentel as part of the 11-15 ranked prospects. Both guys share a lot in common in that they: **Were once top prospects at a young age. **Have both struggled at the Double-A level. **Were both traded to the Pirates at a low value. **Both had big bounce back seasons in 2013, finally dominating Double-A, carrying that over to Triple-A, and even making...

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