Friday, July 14, 2006

Trading Sean Casey

The Sporting News reports Casey could wind up in San Francisco.

On the non-blockbuster front, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates could deal Sean Casey to the Giants if they can't work out a long-term extension. Joe Randa, Jeromy Burnitz and Craig Wilson are all likely to head out of the Steel City as well; unfortunately for Pirates fans, it doesn't seem that the same can be said for GM Dave Littlefield.

Casey's career has shown that he's good in limited doses and bad when playing game after game after game. Tracy went to the well more than once too often after Casey returned from his injury. Casey needs regular rest. He'll probably come back from the ASB and hit real well for a week. Then he'll go 0-for-16 over a four-game stretch. Two weeks of 660 OPS later, Tracy will give him one day off.

Casey should be starting five days a week, and he should be getting days off even after an 8-for-12 series. Endurance is not his middle name. The Pirates have plenty of guys who can play first for a game or two. It is the easiest position to fill. It should not be difficult to find time off for Casey by playing the usual platoon advantages with the corner outfielders and middle infielders capable of manning first.

This is another example of how the Pirates fail to get the most from the players they have. Littlefield once talked about flexibility, but Tracy has been anything but flexible. Certain players must conform to certain narrow expectations. When they don't, Tracy takes a page out of G. Ogden's playbook and demonstrates an inflexible patience that only makes the matter worse. This macho stubbornness may look good in the mirror, but it's not been effective as a strategy for managing our young ballclub.

The Pirates won't recognize Casey for what he is. So like most of you, I hope they do not sign him to an extension--at any cost. Even if he's cheap, he's a Loser if he clogs the first-base position with daily 770-820 OPS production.

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