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Pittsburgh Pirates Step Up To The Plate For Puerto Rico

The Pittsburgh Pirates were very upset by the devastating Hurricane Marie that rocked the island of Puerto Rico so they decided to help.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were very upset by the devastating Hurricane Marie that rocked the island of Puerto Rico so they decided to help. The Pirates organized a two-day drive at their stadium, PNC Park earlier this week to help and collect essentials that the island of Puerto Rico so desperately needs. They collected food, water, diapers, wipes and many other things that are in short supply after the hurricane.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might seem like an unlikely group to come together to collect supplies but they did it to honor the legendary Pirate, Roberto Clemente who is a Hall of Famer. Roberto Clemente was born on the island of Puerto Rico and he devoted his life to various humanitarian efforts. Since he was such a kind and giving soul, the Pirates organization decided to honor him in the best way possible, by giving to his home island.
At the end of the two-day drive, the baseball team was able to acquire an astonishing 500,000 pounds of supplies that were sent on two planes and just recently touched down to help the desperate Puerto Rican people.

Local businesses and foundations donated some of the supplies but the fans came out in astounding numbers to donate around 85% of the supplies that the Pirates received. It’s beautiful to see an entire city rally around their baseball team to help a bunch of people in need. Pittsburgh may be pretty far away from Puerto Rico but the people close to the baseball team past and present are very close.

 

The coach of the Pirates, Joey Cora, is a Puerto Rico native as well and he had an amazing discovery as a result of this impressive charity-drive. “We didn’t know there were so many Puerto Ricans here in Pittsburgh,” Cora said. “When they came through that line donating stuff, and telling you that they haven’t been able to communicate with anybody in Puerto Rico, they’re just donating stuff whether or not it’s going to get to their parents or their families.”

Pirates owner, Bob Nutting said “This effort really was inspired by the legacy of Roberto Clemente, and the fact that so many people from his home country are in desperate need of help, I hope he would be proud to see his Pirates organization and the people of Pittsburgh rally together in the relief effort.”

 

The Pirates are not just stopping at 500,000 lbs. of supplies sent on two planes, they are also sending $250,000 of cash donations to the cities that have been destroyed by Hurricane Maria, Cayey, and Caguas. It’s beautiful to see so many people give help to others in need and that is part of what makes this country such a fantastic place to live. I think Roberto Clemente would be very proud of his team and also very thankful for the help they are sending to his native island of Puerto Rico.

 

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Adrian Beltre Announces His Retirement

After 21 seasons, Adrian Beltre has retired from baseball.

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One of the MLB’s most recent ageless wonders, Adrian Beltre, announce his retirement on Tuesday. The longtime Texas Rangers third baseman played 21 seasons and had over 3,000 hits in his career. More specifically, he retires with 3,166 career hits, good enough for 16th all-time. Beltre is expected to be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

In the statement released by Beltre, he thanked his family, the fans, his agents, and all former teams. It seemed like a healthy and clear choice for Beltre, who said it was “time to call it a career. He added, “After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, I have made the decision to retire from what I’ve been doing for my whole life, which is playing baseball, the game I love.”

In addition to his 3,166 hits, Beltre also hit 477 home runs, drove in 1,707 runs, and had a career batting average of .286. Those numbers helped him make four All-Star games, and he also was awarded six Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. Unfortunately, he never won a World Series, but his Rangers did lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 World Series. He went 9-30 in that series.

Beltre first showed up in the majors for the Los Angeles Dodgers at the age of only 19. He stayed with the Dodgers for seven seasons and was a fan favorite. In 2005 he signed with the Seattle Mariners, where he continued to put up strong numbers and be well-liked by the fans. He spent five seasons in Seattle, spend 2010 with the Boston Red Sox, and finally landed with the Rangers in 2011, where he would go on to play his last season in 2018 and, once again, become a fan favorite.

And in addition to his great numbers and long, durable career, Beltre will be remembered for being a great guy that was loved by fans and players alike. Most famously, he hated it when anyone touched his head. Which, naturally, lead to his Rangers teammates regularly trying to touch his head and take his helmet off just to mess with him. Even though he truly did hate it, there was still somehow a love and affection that came with the button-pushing. It was just one of the many parts of his charm.

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Cubs Reportedly Willing To Trade 3B Bryant

Chicago Cubs head of baseball operations Theo Epstein said recently that they would be open to trading star third baseman Kris Bryant. 

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Could it be? Do my eyes deceive me? Or did Chicago Cubs head of baseball operations Theo Epstein just say they would be willing to trade the face of their franchise, Kris Bryant? The answer… is basically, yeah. 

Epstein, during the GM meetings that took place earlier this week, said that he would always be willing to listen to offers for players like Bryant and their other young star Anthony Rizzo. “We’ve never operated with untouchables. It sends the wrong message. Given what we’re trying to accomplish, it would be virtually impossible to envision the deal that would make sense to move them. I just don’t believe in untouchables. Why limit yourself?”

It’s hard to argue with that logic. Also, Epstein is the man that brought the Boston Red Sox their first World Series title ever and brought the Cubs their first one in 108 years. Pretty hard to argue with those facts, too. But even with all that said, would he really trade away Bryant?

Kris Bryant burst onto the scene in 2015 and immediately began proving he was worthy of all the hype behind him. He won the Rookie of the Year award that year and went on to win MVP the following year. He’ll also be remembered forever for making the final out of the 2016 World Series with a massive grin on his face. But his numbers did dramatically drop in 2018. He finished the season with a .272 batting average, 13 home runs, and 52 RBIs in only 102 games.

Outside of any potential trades that may come up, Bryant’s current deal has him on the Cubs through 2021. The Cubs have tried to sign him to an extension in the past – the most recent effort coming in last winter – but the two sides never reached an agreement. So now, especially given his disappointing year, perhaps they’ll be in much less of a hurry to get him signed to any longterm extension.

And then there’s the biggest elephant in the room: the Cubs, in general, as a team, weren’t that good in 2018. At least not nearly as good as they were in the previous two seasons. So who can really blame Epstein for constantly being open to roster changes? You almost have to be willing to make an extremely difficult decision that your fans could hate you for at any moment if you want to remain a contender. And if you ask me, that’s exactly what Epstein is doing when he says he would never count out trading away a player like Bryant.

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Harper Turned Down Nats 10-Year, $300M Deal

Bryce Harper turned down a massive offer from the Nationals and his future remains uncertain. 

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Bryce Harper is the biggest MLB free agent on the market this off-season. And as much as he’s been the face of the Washington Nationals throughout his career, and as happy as he may seem there, apparently he was in no hurry to commit to them longterm recent. According to multiple sources, the Nationals offered Harper a 10-year deal worth $300 million, which would have been one of the biggest deals in the history of the sport. There’s only one problem… Harper rejected it.

Now, this may come as a massive surprise to many. Who would turn down such an incredible deal?! But many others are easily arguing that Harper was just being smart. Why not test the waters? There are surely other teams that would love to have him. Maybe they can offer him more money. And the Nationals offer is still on the table. If Harper doesn’t like any other team’s offer, he can always take the amazing deal and stay right where he is.

It makes perfect sense, really. Harper is, simply put, one of the best players in all of baseball. Many would put him in the top 5. So far, in his career, he’s already hit 184 home runs, knocked in 521 RBIs, posted an incredible .900 OBS, and has made 6 All-Star teams. All before turning 26 (which he just did last month).

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo talked about their efforts to resign Harper at the MLB general managers meeting that took place on Tuesday. “We’ve had conversations and we utilized our exclusivity to negotiate with him late in the season through when he became eligible to sign with a team. We didn’t get anything done, but he’s a guy that is near and dear to us and we are not closing any doors.”

I’m sure that comes as a great relief to Nationals fans. He is a beloved player there. But it has to sting a little bit that Harper is so willing to explore other options. I can only imagine how the fans would react if he bailed. And how they would treat him every time he came back to DC.

“It’s going to be a challenge to put the best product on the field, and that could include Harper and it could be doing things without Harper,” Rizzo added. “There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not. We have to have a strategy and plan put together to win baseball games, not only for 2019 but beyond. I think we have a good strategy in place, a good plan in place, and we have started to begin that process and we will see where it takes us.”

Best of luck to you, Mike. I for one can’t wait to see where Harper ends up.

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