Some links, leading off with a few interesting items in the Post-Gazette:
To find out one significant reason why the team cut loose outfielder Craig Monroe, one must rewind to a play Tuesday in Minneapolis, which, no coincidence, marked his final at-bat with the team.
With two outs in the eighth inning and the Pirates trailing, 8-2, Monroe struck out swinging over a Glen Perkins pitch that got away from catcher Joe Mauer. Monroe ran casually -- somewhere between a jog and a run -- to first base and was safe only because Mauer made a throwing error.
Monroe did not make another appearance in the three games leading up to being designated for assignment late Friday night.
No one associated with the team discussed the play for the record, but the coaching staff and front office, multiple sources confirmed, were livid.
I'm not sure why you'd need a poor play like that to convince you that Craig Monroe is awful, but that play made me angry too.
-P- Nyjer is fast, but McCutchen is faster. That triple last night? Whew!
-P- The same story says that West Virginia pitcher Rudy Owens will probably be promoted soon, which is exciting. Owens, 21, has a 2.20 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 11 walks in 69.2 innings. I'm not sure how he'll fare at Lynchburg, but he's proven he deserves to be there.
-P- Tony Sanchez hit a game-winning single in his pro debut for State College last night.
-P- I know the game in Denver last night didn't end well, but I was happy to see Nyjer Morgan, Andy LaRoche and Brandon Moss have big nights--the offense has been missing them for a while. Charlie Morton looked pretty good, too.
-P- Somewhat off-topic: yesterday I missed a golden opportunity to hype a great Pittsburgh band my group played with last night. They're called Meeting of Important People, and they make extremely catchy, well-made pop songs that sound a little bit like Weezer, or maybe the Shins, or Nada Surf's last couple of records. They're a really good live band and very nice people who listened to me prattle on about extremely dorky music-theory stuff for upwards of a half hour, so they're well worth getting to know if you live in the area, or even if you don't. I highly recommend their new record.