This really felt like the end.
I mean, if you didn't think the end was here already, this has to have you feeling that way.
A few moments past 9 a.m. on Wednesday, as Pirates general manager Neal Huntington was speaking to our crew on The Fan Morning Show --- yours truly, Josh Miller and Jim Colony --- he dropped a hammer on Pedro Alvarez.
Then the GM circled back and parlayed that with another heavy strike in the direction of the former third baseman who played his way into being a first baseman and, by the sounds of it, appears to have played his last game for the Pittsburgh Pirates if the GM has his druthers.
At least that's what I take from Huntington's words.
And I don't see, at all, how you could take away anything else.
This just really feels like the end now.
Huntington --- who undeniably has been one of the cruxes of a grand turnaround with this franchise --- was asked what he thought of Alvarez's first full season as a first baseman.
The returns weren't positive.
They weren't even tepid.
"It was certainly a harder transition than we anticipated," Huntington said of a season in which Alvarez hit 27 home runs, drove in 77, struck out 131 times but the bigger focus was on his ghastly 23 errors.
Huntington continued: "While it's not an easy position, we anticipated that, like many, he would go make a successful transition, and it was much more challenging than we anticipated."
That's the jab.
Then came the swooping, driving, powerful, one-hitter-quitter overhand punch that felt like it put Alvarez down for good with this franchise.
Huntington was, later in the interview, asked about disappointments from the 2015 season.
He didn't hesitate.
"I think the easy one is Pedro at first base," Huntington said. "We anticipated some bounce-back with the bat; [he] obviously did a nice job with power. First base was much more difficult than we anticipated."
I don't know if there is any way you could lose anything in translation in all of that. For me, it's quite simple: The last thing the Pirates want to do is keep Alvarez around moving forward.
Alvarez made $5.75 million in arbitration last season and will be due a raise this coming season, his final one of arbitration before he hits the free agent market for 2017.
That said, the message resonated loud and clear on Wednesday morning through stereo speakers--- if you didn't get it already when Sean Rodriguez started the Wild Card Game over him --- that top brass would feel better if they could get Pedro Alvarez off their hands immediately.
Will he be traded? Perhaps that's the best option.
Could he be non-tendered? Stranger things have happened, for sure, but that seems in the cards.
There is so much uncertainty with Pedro Alvarez, the player drafted by the Pirates at the head of their draft class in 2008 who was supposed to come in and change the power production of the franchise.
One thing is certain, however: When Huntington spoke on Wednesday, this really felt like the end for Pedro here in Pittsburgh.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 "The Fan." You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.
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