-P- Dodger Math, one of the more amusingly bitter baseball blogs out there, disses Jim Tracy and the Bucs for playing Humberto Cota instead of Ryan Doumit.
-P- Van Slyke is right - the Pirates stink and the Chris Shelton thing is a fiasco wrapped up in a debacle, but I'm a little bit surprised by the sudden spike in anger among the Pirates' fanbase after what is, after all, just a handful of ugly games. Not that I don't welcome it. People should be mad.
-P- Romo Phone Home wonders what the Bucs are going to do with Craig Wilson. I agree with Billy: Wilson could become a bigger problem for the Bucs' PR staff if he continues to hit well, because you can't put him on the bench, and you can't stick him in the lineup because putting Sean Casey or Jeromy Burnitz on the bench would be admitting you made a huge mistake. Trading Wilson could work out poorly for the Bucs, too, particularly if he continues to tear the cover off the ball once some other team gives him the regular job he deserves. Here's hoping Wilson gives the Pirates' front office some headaches this year.
-P- Tracy describes the ongoing problems with Oliver Perez's delivery:
Tracy blames this very flaw for the significant variation in velocity that was such a concern with Perez last season and again during spring training.
Perez threw regularly in the mid-90 miles-per-hour range while having a 2.98 ERA and striking out 239 in 2004, but was mostly in the 88-mph range when his ERA was nearly three runs per game higher last season.
Perez looked like he was mostly down around 88 MPH today against the Dodgers; the highest reading I saw was 91 MPH. He's still trying to blow his fastball by hitters, but he doesn't have the velocity to do that right now.