Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Widgets

-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette writes that Penguin owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle recently made an offer to buy the Bucs, with the two sides telling different versions of the story. Probably just a feeler and not a big deal; add Lemieux to the list that includes Chuck Greenberg and Mark Cuban.

-- During the Piratefest, Jen Langosh of reports that Frank Coonelly has this to say about adding a vet to to the rotation: "We talked about Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla, Braden Looper. But when we talked about what they would bring and what we had internally, we felt like it was a better investment to give those innings to the winner of the Kevin Hart - Daniel McCutchen battle in Spring Training to let them develop."

-- Also during the Piratefest, Neal Huntington told the fans in a Q&A session that they didn't trade Matt Capps because no one was willing to give up a prospect and take on his potential salary, although he still used that non-tender leak as a fallback excuse.

-- Brian Friday, 25, the team's third-round selection in the 2007 draft and current alpha-dog among Pirate shortstop prospects (though that could change quickly) got an invite to spring training, his first. He hit .265 at Altoona last year. There are now 25 non-roster invitees to camp.

-- Baseball America rates the Pirate farm system as 16th in MLB now, solidly in the middle of the pack. Jim Callis noted "It ranked 26th two years ago and 16th is the highest ranking since 2004. The Pirates have more depth than they've had in a while, and Neal Huntington and Co. are on the right track. They do need more star-potential players."

-- Maz's new statue will feature the iconic pose of him running between first and second after hitting his World Series homer, waving his cap. Great choice. They'll dedicate the bronze on September 5th during a "Tribute to Maz" night, part of the season-long 1960 celebrations.

"I had my number retired," Mazeroski said. "Then I went into the Hall of Fame. Then you get a street named after you. How can you get a better life than this? Now I get a statue. I don't know what to say."

We wonder if the annual October 13th party, now held in Oakland, will relocate from the old Forbes Field wall to the Northshore now? We hope not.

-- Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports tweets that Craig Monroe isn't ready to retire. Over the last three years, Monroe has hit .215 with 23 homers in 693 plate appearances for four teams. Is anyone out there willing to give the 32 year-old a minor league deal?

Hey, there's hope for him - after all, Josh Fogg just got a minor league deal with the Mets.

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