Alvarez, Manny situations a mess 

August, 29, 2008
There are so many unfortunate elements to this Pedro Alvarez story: how a very good kid may spend years being booed as a mercenary in Pittsburgh, how it stains the hard work general manager Neal Huntington has put into the reconstruction of the Pirates, how it hurts fans who are dying to recapture what Jim Leyland and Barry Bonds built.

When this all goes before an arbitrator we will find out how much Alvarez, Huntington and the Pittsburgh fans were caught in the crossfire of the war between Scott Boras and Frank Coonelly, whether or not the union can prove that the commissioner's office did actually wink and allow Coonelly to do an illegal post-deadline deal, and whether or not Alvarez is a free agent or will spend the winter wondering if he can recoup the $6 million he doesn't have.

Or whether this was about maxing Alvarez on the free-agent market.