Major Leagues ban weapons from clubhouse
BRADENTON, Fla. — Hoping to avoid a Gilbert Arenas-style controversy, Major League Baseball has told its clubs to post its "Weapons-Free Workplace Policy" in the clubhouses. Arenas was suspended by the NBA and faces criminal charges after pulling a gun in the Washington Wizards locker room.
A copy of the MLB policy hangs on the bulletin board at Pirate City, next to the daily workout schedules. The policy bans from the premises all deadly weapons, which it defines as "any instrument designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury to a human or animal."
Animal• That means crossbows now are forbidden. Over the past couple of years, a handful of Pirates, inspired by Adam "Duck Commander" LaRoche, became interested in bow hunting. It wasn't unusual to see carrying cases containing the high-tech crossbows at players' lockers.
Before a couple of games last season, Brandon Moss took archery practice on the field at PNC Park.
"I guess I'll have to switch to rubber tips (on arrows)," Moss joked Friday morning.
» Outfielder Ryan Church checked in to Pirates training camp Friday. Only seven position players — including Andrew McCutchen, Lastings Milledge, Delwyn Young and Ronny Cedeno — have not yet been spotted at Pirate City. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday.
» Neil Walker worked out at yet another position, second base. "I'm going to try 'em all," Walker said, laughing. Walker fielded grounders from infield coach Carlos Garcia on Field 3.
» Reliever Jean Machi was given medical clearance and threw a bullpen session. Machi was held out of Thursday's workout and had extra physical tests.
» Jimmy Barthmaier (shoulder surgery) threw 30 pitches, and Neal Cotts (elbow surgery) threw 60 off the bullpen mound. Bullpen coach Luis Dorante caught Barthmaier's session. Before it began, Dorante shooed away coach Manny Sanguillen, who warned he was going to yell if Dorante let a single pitch get past him. "Go away. Go watch the catchers hit, Manny," Dorante said with a wink.
» The second group of pitchers, including Charlie Morton, Daniel McCutchen, Octavio Dotel and Evan Meek, threw their first bullpen sessions yesterday. In this round of bullpens, each pitcher threw 35-40 pitches, half of them from the stretch, concluding with three first-pitch strikes. In the next round, the pitch count goes up to 40-45; after that, it will be 45-50 pitches.
"It's very upbeat. They're very confident about what they're doing. There's a lot of optimism and energy, and we'll feed off that." — Manager John Russell, when asked if he senses a different mood in camp this year
2.60 — Kevin Hart's ERA in eight games (four starts) last season for the Chicago Cubs
6.92 — Hart's ERA in 10 games for the Pirates