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-P- This has already been discussed in the comments, but wow:

A source close to the Nutting family indicates that Pirates ownership is losing patience with General Manager Dave Littlefield and may fire him at the end of the season... If Littlefield is let go, his waterloo will have been acquiring $18.5-million worth of declining veterans in Sean Casey, Joe Randa and Jeromy Burnitz last winter and getting little production in return.

It´s hard to believe that the Nuttings are only now realizing that Littlefield isn´t ever going to bring a winning team to Pittsburgh. I didn´t think they even cared about that. Obviously, though, this move would be better late than never. Control your excitement, though:

The Pirates' payroll in 2007 almost certainly will be less than this year's opening-day figure of $47 million. Part of that... stems from ownership realizing the only thing raising the payroll got them this year was a 14th consecutive losing season.

I hate these people.

-P- Nate McLouth just hit the DL with a sprained ankle, so the Pirates demonstrated just how devoid of talent their upper minors are by calling up Rajai Davis. Allow me to summarize Davis´ abilities in arithmetical form:

Chris Duffy - defense - any pretense of power = Rajai Davis

-P- Congrats to Jason Bay for playing 307 games in a row.

-P- Ryan Doumit is starting rehab in Bradenton; John VanBenschoten started for Class AA Altoona yesterday, striking out three and walking three in five innings.

-P- Brian Rogers, the pitcher acquired in the Sean Casey trade, was promoted from Altoona to Class AAA Indianapolis.