After all the controversy surrounding the initial omission of Pirates' third baseman Pedro Alvarez from the 2013 Home Run Derby, I was wondering how things would unfold when he actually participated. I feared a shut-out akin to Jason Bay's the year he participated. I also highly anticipated Pedro actually winning the thing which would have been a great story (Pittsburgh may even have held an official ceremony similar to the one that was held for Hines Ward when he won Dancing with the Stars).
Alvarez didn't put of the big 0, and he didn't win, he simply finished with six dingers, didn't advance to the second round, and then called it a night.
I can live with that. Can you? If you clicked on the link to Alvarez's Derby performance, you'll see that ESPN was ACTUALLY interviewing another player while it was going on--oh the humanity. I kid. I kid. I know people were upset with ESPN for doing something similar a season ago when Andrew McCutchen participated in the Derby.
In all seriousness, A Derby is nice and all, but I just want to see a Pirates' player do something noteworthy in the Midsummer Classic. I'm talking something on par with Fred Lynn's Grand Slam or Reggie Jackson hitting one off the transformer.
I've been watching the All Star Game for nearly 30 years, and I have never witnessed a Pirates' player truly impact the game. You might say it's because Pittsburgh has been pretty awful over the past two decades, which would mean mostly token Pirate players getting invited to the game and not having many opportunities to shine. And while that's mostly true, from the late 80's into the early 90's, Pittsburgh's baseball team was represented quite nicely at the All Star Game, with the likes of Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke and Bobby Bonilla making annual trips. However, they did nothing in those games (a nice prelude to how they would perform in the NLCS later in the fall). And after a bit of a resurgence over the past three seasons, the Pirates have been represented quite nicely in the exhibition game--five Pirates were named to the 2013 squad--but nobody wearing the "P" on their hats has taken advantage of the moment and given the nation a glimpse of the new and improved Bucco baseball.
Maybe it will happen Tuesday night. If not, I'm sure I'll be writing a similar piece next July.