Fun game tonight - the ninth inning was very suspenseful, and it was great to see Evan Meek pull through. Ronny Cedeno's hustle in backing up Pedro Alvarez on the Albert Pujols single might have saved the game for the Bucs; I'm not sure I would've liked how the game would have turned out if that hadn't happened.
A bunch of quick notes tonight:
-P- Dan McCutchen will start in place of Jeff Karstens tonight, and someone, probably Charlie Morton, will have to take Ross Ohlendorf's turn on Sunday. I'm fine with that, and it makes sense to me to give Morton as many chances as possible in meaningless games, but his minor league line since being demoted doesn't really impress me much - those 53 strikeouts in 80 innings are pretty ugly. (I have a bit more to say about this over at SB Nation Pittsburgh, a lot of which will probably be familiar if you've followed the Morton debates in the comment threads here.)
-P- I'm guessing most of you probably read the fanposts already, but if you don't, there were a bunch of good ones about the Pirates' financial situation today that I didn't feel comfortable promoting because I frankly just didn't have the chops or the time to verify that all the numbers added up. Anyway, here's D.G. Lewis on the papers' coverage of the financial situation and whether the Pirates can afford to win. JRoth95 has a good fanpost on a similar topic.
-P- One thing I do feel comfortable evaluating is Ron Cook's rambling column on John Russell and ... uh ... the Pirates' finances. The really weird bit is this, which appears completely out of nowhere:
Nutting and Coonelly made a big deal this week about opening the franchise's books a crack to point out that Nutting isn't making the profits that many people think. That's supposed to make us feel better? All it did for me was confirm my belief that Nutting is a bad owner. It doesn't matter if he isn't willing or can't afford to properly fund the Pirates on the major league level. Either way, they're still underfunded.
Maybe it's just me, but don't you usually get what you pay for in America?
Well, yeah - I mean, Ron Cook's columns aren't behind a paywall, right? But seriously: see if you can find any sort of logic in there. Nutting and Coonelly didn't "make a big deal" about opening the books. They opened them because someone leaked their financial documents to the AP. They weren't trying to "make us feel better," they were just trying to explain what the documents said before someone else released them.
It is no surprise that the release of the financial information confirmed Ron Cook's belief that Nutting is a bad owner. There is a certain group of people for whom any bit of information confirms that belief. When Ron Cook pours his cereal in the morning and discovers he's out of milk, I'm sure the first thing that pops into his head is, "This confirms my belief that Bob Nutting is a bad owner." The information that was released suggested that Nutting isn't making any money from the Pirates, so what Cook seems to want is an owner who will dump tens of millions of his or her own money on the team just because.
-P- The leak of financial information may have come from an insurance carrier for several big-league teams.
-P- Nothing hugely noteworthy from the minors last night, although bonus baby Ryan Hafner made his pro debut with the GCL Pirates, pitching an inning in relief. He allowed two runs on two hits, but he also struck out two.