PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates’ third baseman Pedro Alvarez says a lesson from his father during the early stages of his career impacted the way he approaches baseball.

“My dad always taught me to play this game the right way from a very young age,” said Alvarez. “One of the very first things he taught me is to never disrespect the game.”

That’s why the Pirates’ third baseman won’t be seen breaking his bat or pounding a water cooler during a bad performance. He believes it’s important to keep his emotions in check and maintain a calm mindset.

“If I do get out, I get out. There’s always a next at bat,” said Alvarez. “It’s a matter of clearing your head, being ready for the next pitch and being there for your teammates.”

Alvarez said he tries to block out criticism as much as possible as well, and that he knows what he is capable of.

“It’s just a matter of staying positive, staying strong-willed and believing in yourself, because at the end of the day — and you can pertain this to life as well — you’re not always going to please everybody,” said Alvarez.

Despite recent instances where Alvarez has been removed from the lineup late in games, he says he will continue to keep the same mindset: when he’s in the game, he will play to help the team win.

“My main goal every day is to see how I can help this team and controlling what I can control. Last I checked, I can’t write the lineup. Wherever the team needs me, whatever I can do to increase our chances to win a ballgame, that’s what I’ll do,” said Alvarez. “It doesn’t matter if I’m hitting seventh, first, last — the important matter is that my name is in there, and once my name is in there, my job is to help this team win.”

Alvarez’s contract with the Pirates expires in 2017, and the third baseman admitted no contract talks are in the works. For now though, he is happy to be in Pittsburgh.

“I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunity to be able to play here. I’m very thankful,” said Alvarez.

“Wherever that takes us, we’ll see. Right now, I’m very happy to be here and to be getting the support I’m getting from the organization and the city of Pittsburgh.”

Alvarez said he feels uplifted at times by the support he receives from fans.

“I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of support from this city,” said Alvarez. “Along with my teammates, they are what keep me going because they have gotten a glimpse and they know it’s there.”

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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