Sunday, June 29, 2014
Adios, Jason Grilli
As everyone knows by now, the Pirates traded relief pitcher Jason Grilli over the weekend, and neither Marilyn nor I can quite recall when the departure of a local athlete made us feel as bad as this one did.
Don't get me wrong, Grilli certainly appeared to have lost it this season, and his departure from the Pirates, either by trade or outright release, was not unexpected, and it can certainly be defended in pure baseball terms. That, however, doesn't make it any easier to take, because Grilli was a most likable Pirate. Loved how he took charge when he came in from the bullpen, loved how he could close out games, loved those three quick punches to the catcher's chest protector when the final out was made. Just loved his whole attitude. And we should never forget that the magical season of 2013 for the Pirates would no doubt not have occurred had Jason Grilli not been a part of it.
The sad fact of Big Time Athletics is that the one opponent that ALWAYS wins in the end is Father Time, and that looks like that is the case with Jason Grilli. Nevertheless, I hope he tears it up for the Angels for the remainder of this season.
One other point was made about Grilli the other night by my friend Tim Baker. He pointed out that much was made prior to the 2013 season that Grilli accepted a "hometown discount" to sign with the Pirates when he was a free agent, and a lot of good that did him now. As Tim put it, "remember that the next time your favorite Bucco signs with another team for a boat load of money."
Farewell to Grilled Cheese. He served the Pirates well, and you will never hear a bad word about Jason Grilli from The Grandstander.