A few notes, beginning with a look at the impact of today's late games on the playoff race.
-P- The Cardinals lost to the Reds tonight, 7-2, leaving the Pirates 2.5 games back in the NL Central race. With so few games to play, the Pirates' odds of winning the division are still pretty close to Dumb And Dumber territory, but they aren't out of it yet.
By the way, the Reds noticed us paying attention. This will likely be the last time I ever say this, but thank you, Reds, for winning.
-P- In another bit of good news, the Giants lost to the Padres today, so that means the Pirates are effectively ahead in the race for the top Wild Card spot -- they have the same record as the Giants, but the Bucs hold the tiebreaker.
-P- The Pirates set a single-season record for home attendance at PNC Park, with 2,442,564 fans. It doesn't sound like attendance will have a huge impact on the Pirates' spending, however.
"The more revenue we generate, the more money we can spend," Huntington said. "(The attendance record) might not have the impact everyone thinks it should or that everyone wants."
-P- The Bucs will not retain Altoona manager Carlos Garcia, Cory Giger reports. Garcia had been with the Pirates since 2008 and had also managed at Bradenton and served as a big-league first base coach.
"The organization puts you in that position because they believe you can lead the staff and the players, and definitely they don't feel like I was doing it in the way they wanted me to do it."
Altoona prospect Alen Hanson had unknown issues this year that resulted in him a suspension (or at least a de facto suspension), although it's unclear whether there's any connection to Garcia's situation. Anyway, the Pirates' decision not to retain Curve manager Matt Walbeck a few years ago caused a mini-controversy, but I doubt this one will, not only because the Curve didn't win this year, but because the Pirates have made pretty clear since then that they have some idea how to develop players. Anyway, best of luck to Garcia, who of course was also once an infielder for the Pirates.