There has not been much new reading material featuring a fresh angle on the longstanding problem that's been the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's been this way for a while, actually. The question of whether or not the new management can accomplish much under the same-old ownership group is going to take a year or more to sift.
It does look, however, like they are once again making the choice to not spend money this off-season. Given the available talent, it may or may not be a wise decision. I find it hard to get excited about the possible return of Shawn Chacon. I suppose it would be good for one set of running jokes. But like a lot of Pirate fans, I could use some new running jokes. The old ones, born of frustration and humiliation, are losing the bright, shiny, amusing luster they once had.
Both Bob Smizik's chat and Dejan Kovacevic's Q & A repeat what appears to be the developing consensus: the change in management means little as ownership continues to take what must be substantial profits. And it may be 2009 before we have enough data to firmly believe these.
In other news, Jose Castillo is a worthless bum. Good riddance I say. Whether or not he ever plays well for another team reflects only on Jose Castillo. The Pirates gave him plenty of opportunity and, from what I could gather, sufficiently sound advice for self-improvement.
And no, the Steelers should not be resting people or going into the game with a half-assed plan that compromises the desire to win with some desire to curl into a fetal position and not get hurt. If players are too hurt to play, they obviously should not play. But the healthy players should all be in there. The Steelers have looked pretty mediocre in the second half, and they need to practice winning games before the playoffs begin.