Friday, July 20, 2007

Game 95: Astros at Pirates

Oswalt and Gorzelanny at seven.

Yes it is about the Jack

After considering Littlefield's comment that the Izturis acquisition "has nothing to do with Jack Wilson," Dejan Kovacevic predicts Jack Wilson will be traded at the deadline.

John Perrotto wonders how this might happen.

The Pirates may have a hard time trading Wilson. The only contender that could use an upgrade at shortstop is Toronto, which starts veteran Royce Clayton at the position. But the Blue Jays are only on the periphery of the American League East and wild-card races.

Boston shortstop Julio Lugo is struggling, but it would be highly doubtful the American East-leading Red Sox would bench a player in the first year of a four-year, $36-million contract to take on Wilson. Wilson is due to make a combined $13.75 million in 2008 and 2009 in the final two years of a three-year, $20.2-million contract.

The Red Sox are much more interested in some Pirates relievers, particularly left-hander Damaso Marte, and, to a lesser extent, right-handers Salomon Torres and Shawn Chacon.

Jack Wilson will also be compared to this winter's shortstop-playing free agent class. It is possible that a non-contending team might want to acquire him for 2008.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Welcome Cesar Izturis

Jim Tracy's pipe dream of .618 the rest of the way is one step closer to reality.

Dejan Kovacevic writes that this might portend the trading of Jack Wilson. Certainly that was the first thing through my mind.

The second thing was: how much of Jack Wilson's salary will the Pirates pay in 2008 and 2009?

The third thing is: what kind of beer should I have to celebrate the acquisition of Cesar "82, Baby!" Izturis?

... 3:20pm ... no Jack Wilson trade forthcoming, Dejan Kovacevic reports in his update.

So this really is about doing whatever it takes to field a .618 team the rest of the season.

(Long pause)

Rob Biertempfel wrote this amusing interview for the Trib.

[Bob Nutting:] ... We have a very solid core of people. I have faith in the team we have in place.

Q: Does that include the team management staff -- general manager Dave Littlefield, manager Jim Tracy and his coaches?

A: Long pause.

A good follow-up question might have been: "Mr. Nutting, among your important papers, do you keep a 'shit list'?"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Game 94: Rockies at Pirates

Far in the deep where darkness dwells,
The land of horror and despair,
Justice has built a dismal Snell,
And laid her stores of vengeance there.

Francis and Snell starting soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Game 93: Rockies at Pirates

Fogg and Youman at seven.

Lashing continued horses poor

The blog stats are rarely interesting.

But yesterday, they show that Honest Wagner received not one but two hits from this URL.

That about sums it up, eh.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Game 92: Rockies at Pirates

Buchholz and JVB at seven.

Integrity of the game

Sally Jenkins gets lyrical about the "integrity of the game" for the Washington Post.

Not a large percentage of fans visit Cooperstown; many fans ignore the All-Star game; most fans could not say who won the Cy Young last year; the majority of fans give up on the season and turn to football, or yardwork, or whatever, when their team is eliminated from the playoffs. Bonds is after an individual record in what most people enjoy as a team sport.

So why should we care about the home runs in a career record? Over and over we are told we do, we must, we will care about such things. The Giants stink this year, and they challenge no one for nothing in the standings. I don't care about the math about that team's obnoxiously talented and over-the-hill clean-up hitter. But I will get out of my seat to ask this question because I do not like to see so many heads exploding.

Baseball writing has its own stories, and they are not always much like the stories most often experienced by the fans of the game. No baseball writer in the country thinks Jack Wilson is a great shortstop, yet he's pretty much adored by the people who pay to enter PNC Park. There are many disconnects between the revellers and the bards who sing about them, and this Bonds thing might be a big one.

The Phillies lost 10,000 games. Is that not a more significant - yet still insignificant - bit of trivia? I feel bad for the Philadelphians who have most lived through that. Well, no I don't, but I could if I thought more about it. Somewhere there is an 85-year-old secretary or clerk who has persisted through some bad luck at listening to games on the radio.

Why does Bonds matter? Do that many people care so much? Is it wise or good or useful for writers about a team sport to express such concern about statistics that have nothing to do with wins and losses, or with the pursuit of a championship?

I also smirk at the suggestion that this game has (or should have) some kind of integrity that all do (or must) respect and keep holy. "Integrity" is more important to hundreds of more important American institutions. There must be integrity in government, for example, and in the courts, and in law enforcement. Why is the integrity of baseball a high priority?

What's next? The integrity of video games? The integrity of hamburgers? It's laughable to assert that baseball has, or should have, some kind of "integrity" that compels all fans to entertain such serious attitudes about a pretty trivial statistical milestone.

Sunday, July 15, 2007



In ten years, MLB will have some kind of plastic/composite ash substitute for the bats. They will tout it as superior to wood, call it "performance lumber," and charge everyone a lot of money for it.

Game 91: Pirates at Braves

Maholm and Carlyle at one.