-P- The Post-Gazette's notebook has a lot of interesting stuff.
As a player, Jeromy Burnitz is awful, but he's got to be the Post-Gazette's Most Valuable Interviewee so far this year:
...Burnitz added: "Everybody who's a part of this expected to be more competitive. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you I honestly felt like the Pirates were going to go all Banzai into the playoffs. My mind-set, based on what I saw of the players and pitchers before, was that there always was that possibility. It looked like a good base of players. But the hopes were definitely higher than how it's worked out."
Hear, hear, Jeromy. Now please go all Banzai on National League pitching for a month, so that the Pirates can trade your crappy contract.
-P- The Post-Gazette also reports that Victor Santos may join the bullpen, rather than the rotation, when he returns. I'm all for this - Tom Gorzelanny has only had one start, but it was good, and given how terrible our starting pitching has been, we're in no position to send guys who give us good starts back to the minors. And having a guy like Santos in the pen to soak up multiple innings every so often could help the Bucs' overworked bullpen quite a lot. (In case you're wondering, the last time Santos logged much time in a big-league bullpen was in 2001 in Detroit. He posted a 3.30 ERA that year.)
-P- Kip Wells was actually good after the first inning in last night's start against the Mets, allowing no more hits after the first. But his velocity wasn't there, and you can't just pretend the first inning didn't happen when projecting how he's going to do in the future. I'd bet there are still some rough times ahead for Wells. The Pirates' offense last night, meanwhile, was pathetic.
-P- Regarding Craig Wilson, trade talks between the Angels and Pirates aren't going anywhere:
This is interesting. In the past, Dave Littlefield has screwed up trades and potential trades by asking way too much for his players, or by insisting on acquiring major-league ready talent. This time, he's doing both. Most of the Angels' "major-league ready position players" are way out of the Pirates' league. In addition, Angels GM Bill Stoneman has been reluctant to deal prospects in the past. Of course, I don't know exactly what Littlefield's planning here, but I think it's safe to assume he's barking up the wrong tree again.