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News Roundup

-P- Craig Wilson expresses the closest thing to anger I've ever heard from him:

Major League Baseball's trading deadline is July 31, and the Pirates surely will shop Wilson, given that he can be a free agent after this season and that the team rebuffed attempts by Wilson and agent Steve Hilliard to discuss a contract extension this past winter.

Wilson could try to accelerate that process, of course, by demanding a trade.

Asked what options he might have to address his situation, Wilson replied flatly: "That's a very good question."

You go, Craig. It's amazing that Wilson has been able to hold it in so long.

-P- Speaking of Wilson, Bob Smizik calls him a platoon player:

He's looking more and more like a platoon player. He thrives on left-handed pitching but is considerably less successful against right-handers, who form the majority of the major-league pitching corps. For his career, his on-base percentage is about 70 points lower against right-handed pitching and his slugging percentage is about 90 points lower.

That's an interesting bit of writing, telling readers that Wilson is considerably better against lefties than righties - which is true - without giving them the relevant context by telling them how ridiculously good he is against lefties. Wilson has an .820 OPS this year against righties and an .809 OPS against them for his career. Those are very good numbers, and other than Wilson, the Bucs haven't had a first baseman or rightfielder post an overall .820 OPS in more than 100 at bats since 2003, when Reggie Sanders and Matt Stairs did it. So who's Wilson supposed to platoon with? Players who can consistently post better than an .820 OPS against righties are rare and usually expensive.

-P- Jim Tracy says it's the players' fault:

Saying he doesn't hit, field, throw or catch, Tracy laid the club's National League worst record squarely at the players' feet.

"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.

Not only do I think Tracy is a bad manager, I'm beginning to think he's a bad person, too. Obviously, the Pirates are not a good team and would probably have a losing record no matter who managed them. But that should be totally clear to everyone already - would it kill Tracy to take some of the blame for the Pirates' losing? I don't expect him to acknowledge that his insane managerial tactics haven't helped or that his messing around with some of the Pirates' players has probably actively hurt, but a promise to try harder would be nice, at least. Blaming the losing on the players is just classless. The Pirates' players sucked it up and agreed with Tracy, but it may be noteworthy that the ones quoted here (Jack Wilson, Roberto Hernandez and Nate McLouth) have played well recently.