"I would be quite sure that Huntington has had input in the decision to stay with LaRoche rather than look at Walker. And, although no one with the Pirates would acknowledge such a thing, I would be equally sure that the trade had something to do with it.-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com has a piece on the tragic summer of third base coach Tony Beasley.
How could it not?
If Walker fails, that is just another lousy pick by Dave Littlefield. If LaRoche fails, that is a painful blow -- maybe the most painful one -- in what already is shaping up to be a bad Jason Bay trade."
-- Hey, the Bucs win! The Bucs win! The Bucs....ooops, sorry. I meant the Hillcats. Lynchburg won the Carolina League championship tonight in wild west fashion, hanging on to outlast Salem 8-7.
Ronald Uviedo saved the win for Mike Crotta when he came on in the ninth with runners on first and second and one away. The righty got a pair of infield rollers to close out the game for the 2009 Class A kings, stranding the tying run at third and lead run at second.
Lynchburg leaped ahead 7-4 after two innings - starter Jeff Locke got rocked - and were helped tremendously by back-to-back baby Red Sox errors, with a wild pitch sandwiched between. The miscues led to four unearned runs.
The hitting heroes were Jordy Mercer, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles, 2 RBI, and a run scored, and forgotten man Jamie Romak, who was 3-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI. Chase d'Arnaud had a double and 2 RBI, while Josh Harrison plated three times.
Well done. Maybe in a few years Mercer, d'Arnaud, Matt Hague, Tony Sanchez, Rudy Owens and company will bring their winning ways to the show.
-- The Roberto Clemente "Day of Giving" recognition is scheduled for Friday's game against San Diego. Paul Maholm will be recognized as the team's Roberto Clemente Award winner and MLB nominee. Maholm won the award for his work with the Gilda's Club of Western Pennsylvania. The Pirate minor league awardees will be honored, too.
-- The so-far quiet Pedro Alvarez blew up on the Tapei team today for the US in the World Cup. He hit three home runs and had six RBI in the United States' 14-3 runaway victory.
-- The Rangers signed 44th overall draft pick RHP Tanner Scheppers. Reports claim that he received a signing bonus of $1.25M, a record for the supplemental first round. Texas couldn't sign their first rounder, freeing up a couple of extra bucks for Scheppers, who the Pirates drafted #48 last year but didn't sign.
Scheppers will make his pro debut at the Arizona Fall League.