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Pittsburgh vs. San Diego, 20 September 2007

3:35 PM, WPGB

Matt Morris (9-10, 4.84) vs. Brett Tomko (3-11, 5.40). I'm glad I went to the Chris Young-Ian Snell matchup last night instead of this one, even if the game last night did end badly. Here's the box.

-P- The Pirates are unlikely to keep Cesar Izturis. That's not surprising or anything, given that we now at least appear to have the beginnings of a competent front office. Whether or not to pay $5 million for Izturis' .604 OPS is a question too easy for a GMing 101 midterm, but it's a question Dave Littlefield might well have gotten wrong.

-P- At the game last night, my friends and I wondered why Jim Tracy took Ian Snell out after seven even though he was cruising and had only thrown 92 pitches. Well, here's why:

He had thrown only 92 pitches through seven and looked as if he could go more, especially after hitting 94 mph on the radar gun in the latter stages. But he told Tracy after his final inning that he was done.

"We were interested in having him back out there for the eighth," Tracy said. "But you don't do that when your guy tells you there's nothing left in the tank."

"My arm was kind of sore," Snell said. "I've never thrown this much."

The article doesn't follow up; hopefully Snell's comment was an innocent one, because the last thing this franchise needs is for Snell to develop arm problems.

-P- The Astros will name former Phillies GM Ed Wade as their new general manager. To Astros owner Drayton McLane, I say "thank you." It isn't easy for the Pirates to compete with a small payroll, a crowded division and a spectacular mess left by a disgraceful former GM, but having three teams in the division run by Wade, Wayne Krivsky and Jim Hendry certainly helps. It's also nice to know that Wade will be around to keep the Pirates away from 30-something relievers, like a mother stacking the Chips Ahoy on the top shelf. Wade never won more than 88 games for the Phillies in eight years, didn't get them to the playoffs once, and let Larry Bowa be as disruptive as a manager could possibly be. What the Astros think they're getting here is completely beyond me.