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Too much Pedro

January 22, 2009 - John Mehno

I mentioned this in Sunday's column, but I wanted to expand on it a bit before the Super Bowl stuff really becomes all-consuming (that should be in about 15 minutes, by the way).

The Pirates ought to be good and mad that No. 1 draft pick Pedro Alvarez showed up for the team's mini-camp in less-than-ideal physical condition. Alvarez is stocky, and there's been concern that his weight could be an issue in his career. You'd think after collecting a signing bonus of more than $6 million that he'd be anxious to get his career underway and show how serious he is about playing baseball.

Showing up soft around the middle isn't the way to do that. Blustery agent Scott Boras, who pulled all the strings on Alvarez's holdout last summer, supposedly offers his clients a complete range of services. That includes providing nutritional information and personal training. Where was he when Alvarez was sitting around during the holdout and again during the winter?

The PIrates are coming off a year in which Tom Gorzelanny endured an embarrassing minor league demotion because he wasn't in shape and wasn't taking his job seriously. Every player on the major league roster was given a conditioning program to follow in the offseason and a target weight for spring training. In that context, it's even more troubling that Alvarez wouldn't take care of himself in the offseason. If he doesn't have those habits now, when is he going to develop them?

When you invest that much money in an untested player, you'd like to hope he would return the faith by at least working out.

Now, back to the Super Bowl at hand.....

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