Part of Pittsburgh Beautiful (yours truly and PB founder, Chris Klein, and our better halves) spent this past weekend in Gettysburg taking in some of the more historic aspects of the United States. But it was baseball that stopped us in our tracks at the Museum at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Abner Doubleday fought in the Civil War. Part of me knew this was a fact. Doubleday, in fact, had an important role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg, but, contrary to what I always assumed was true, Doubleday did not invent baseball.
Maybe Clint Hurdle should visit Gettysburg for a taste of reality.
Maybe then he will stop running Sean Rodriguez out to play.
The myth is that Rodriguez will snap out of it. That is what Hurdle has said – something along the lines of the Pirates and Rodriguez are looking for a breakthrough.
None is forthcoming. No breakthrough. Not happening.
This is nothing new. Rodriguez, hitting .149 after a hitless weekend that was symbolic of the Pirates’ horrible effort in losing all four to visiting Arizona, batted just .167 in 132 at-bats combined between Atlanta and Pittsburgh last season.
Atlanta could not trade Rodriguez fast enough. They did not care for a second about Rodriguez’s professionalism, his clubhouse leadership, his veteran presence.
They saw the facts, and the facts dictated their decision to unload a player who is obviously finished.
Rodriguez hit the lottery. He landed in Pittsburgh where Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington appreciate intangibles and immeasurables over the truth. Huntington proved it when he explained why the Pirates started Rodriguez in the final three games of the Arizona series by suggesting that Rodriguez is close to finding his stroke because, seriously now, he has looked good in batting practice in the tunnel.
Insert that laughing hysterically emoji here:
Looks good in the tunnel? Really?
Well, he looks terrible in the actual games, so maybe go by that, instead.
Other Pittsburgh sports tidbits:
- Another revelation this weekend occurred after Gettysburg when Erin and I were back home and she was watching Steven Brault sing the National Anthem on the Facebook machine. You can guess my reaction: “Isn’t it sad that the Pirates are so pathetic that the best thing they can do is keep replaying that video of Brault singing the Anthem because it is the best performance by a Pirate at PNC Park all season?”
“David, maybe you should look at it differently,” Erin replied.
As usual, she is right.
Her take is the right take. In the midst of athletes using the National Anthem as a means of protest, Steven Brault had the courage to stand in front of dozens of fans at a Pirates game and sing his heart out. I tremendously respect Brault’s effort and was completely refreshed that the Anthem was a platform for something worth watching by a professional athlete.
- The Penguins added an undersized but very talented offensive defenseman, Calen Addison, in the second round of the NHL draft. His game is described as NHL ready – a transitional puck mover with great offensive instincts who can skate. Sounds like Kris LeTang. The notable thing about the pick – Addison is a right-shot, something the Pens have needed on the blue line since, well, since forever.
- The Pens used the 58th pick in the draft to select the 33rd ranked player according to elitehockeyprospects.com, Filip Hallander, out of Timra in the Swedish Hockey League. He is big – 6’2”, 187 pounds, and prides himself on a physical style low in the offensive zone. Sounds like Patric Hornqvist, and who would complain about that type of player in the Pens’ lineup. Patience, though, as Hallander is only 17.
- Finally on the Pens – reports are that they are interested in bringing back Chris Kunitz. Please see Sean Rodriguez, and move on.
- The Steelers report in 31 days – sans Le’Veon Bell, presumably. Mike Tomlin is not concerned. He recently commented that Bell will certainly arrive in shape and ready to contribute when he does decide to report for work. Maybe Tomlin forgot Bell’s very forgettable first three games of the 2017 season when he skipped camp.
Maybe Mike Tomlin should join Hurdle on that trip to Gettysburg.