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Pittsburgh vs. Seattle, 19 June 2007

10:05 PM

Tom Gorzelanny vs. Miguel Batista.

A few thoughts and notes for today:

-P- Matt Capps will miss the entire series with a suspension, making Damaso Marte just about the only reasonably reliable reliever available. These games could be even tougher than usual to watch. No lead will be safe.

-P- The Orioles fired manager Sam Perlozzo yesterday. A graphic on ESPN showed that the Orioles have had nine straight losing seasons, which frankly I think is even more startling and embarrassing than the Pirates' present streak. Fun bar discussion: if Dave Littlefield had been the general manager of the Orioles the last nine seasons (and if he'd had complete control of the roster) would he have put together at least one winning season? Part of me wants to say yes, but given the way he's handled the Pirates' farm system, the better answer may actually be no.

-P- This article by the Stats Geek is pretty interesting. Not to bring politics into this, but I've been talking a lot with my brother recently about political issues (like the gambling referendum that recently took place in Wheeling) in which it seems to me that people do a lot of hand-wringing, but it turns out that the reason they do the hand-wringing is because there's some underlying, much larger problem that no one wants to touch.

So what's the best alignment for the Pirates' infield? And can you sub Jose Bautista for Chris Duffy on some days? Obviously, those are important questions, but no matter approach you take, you need to confront the fact that Bautista, Duffy, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez and Jose Castillo are, as a group, a pretty crappy bunch of players. Sanchez's defense isn't playing well at second and his bat probably isn't good enough for third unless he hits for a higher average and slaps more doubles; Bautista is basically an average hitter but his glove isn't very good in center; Duffy plays good defense but can't hit at all; Wilson plays pretty good defense but can't hit and is overpaid; and who knows about Castillo. This team just needs better players. It's not that finding the best way to utilize the players you have is a bad thing, of course, but it's just shuffling deck chairs.

-P- Speaking of better players, wow - Ronny Paulino is hitting .217/.264/.338 - that's Gary Bennett territory - and he's gotten 35 at bats since June 4. He'll probably keep getting starts this series, too. I'm guessing Ryan Doumit will be the primary DH.