Saturday, May 27, 2006

Today's Pirates Notebook

Chuck Finder does the Pirates Notebook today. Here are a few comments and reactions:
  • Whoever is writing the headlines at the Post-Gazette shares my disdain for Tracy. "Tracy blames bad start on players" is a deliberately critical and inflammatory headline. I've also concluded during the past week that Dejan Kovacevic has lost faith completely in Tracy. He too is becoming increasingly less guarded and more openly critical in his reporting.
  • Photo-finished! In the absence of competitive baseball, Tracy's butchery of the English language continues to be one of the only sources of entertainment this summer, at least for me. Maybe this is what is meant by "We Will Entertain."
  • In the interview reported in the Notebook and even here on the Pirates web site (via Bucs Dugout), Tracy is finally expressing some emotion and impatience. This is not a bad thing:
"Every ... little ... aspect of the game has to be important to you if you're going to change the culture," Tracy said slowly for emphasis.

"That's not something you're going to convince a group of people about overnight. Over time, you're very hopeful that they gain an understanding of that. I'm not going to continue to jog in place, I promise you that. I'm patient; with young players, you have to be patient."

Tracy also maintained that, while he expects improvement soon, change might be in the offing.

"When the messenger has sent enough messages and they're not being heard, then you find something else," he continued. "It is going to get better. Because I didn't take this job to fail."
  • Tracy tiptoed up to the Freddy question, looked over the precipice, and promptly took two steps backward: "Are you going to take a guy who's hitting .342 and not play him? But that's not [a question] to dwell on for a very long period of time." I think that the move that is being contemplated by the front office when Randa returns is for Freddy to replace not Randa as the anointed third baseman, but Castillo as the regular second baseman. Between the critical comments by the announcers during games, the visible in-game scoldings in the dugout from Tracy, and the tenor of the comments by Tracy in the Notebook, it seems to me that Tracy and Littlefield are losing patience with Castillo's inability to get his head out of his ass during games.
  • If you want to know what the party line is about anything, just listen to Lanny during broadcasts and to the knuckleheads on the FSN Pittsburgh post-game show after games (if you can bear it). The key reason for the Pirates poor start? The Casey injury. This explanation of course ignores the evidence that Craig Wilson has been more productive replacing Casey than Casey ever would have been. But it's an explanation that might be believed by that majority of fans who don't pay much attention. And so, of course, that is the explanation that we are going to hear.

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