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McClatchy Keeps Spinning

Time for a new round of rationalizations. And the world yawns.

"Blame can be put a lot of places," McClatchy said yesterday. "When you're struggling, a lot of people point fingers at the manager, but everybody in the organization has to take some responsibility. That's a broad brush, but if you ask the players if they executed over the last three weeks as well as they wanted, they'd probably tell you they haven't. We have to improve our execution."

I've got to admit, McClatchy's getting better at making twisted logic sound reasonable. Here's how it works: since the Pirates were at .500 three weeks ago, there must not have been anything wrong with the franchise then. Right? And since the Pirates have played badly since then, it's the players' fault because they haven't "executed."

Whether or not the players "executed" in the last three weeks or not, this is not a .500 team, and everyone outside Pittsburgh knew that before the season started. Rather than pointing fingers at the players, who have been about as good as they've been expected to be, McClatchy should be admitting that he hasn't been willing to take the risks necessary to field a competitive team, and that management has made a number of mistakes that have cost them. The players are at fault in the sense that they ultimately play the games, of course. But if you put Homer Simpson in charge of safety at a nuclear plant, then you need to take responsibility when people start catching three-eyed fish.