Yesterday was a light day,but today sure isn't.
If you count the Pirate win,three stories that normally would be a lead item gets posted today.
Neal Huntington was officially named the Pirate GM yesterday and it seems like the Pittsburgh media is mixed.
Bob Smizik in particular.
I am mixed as well because Huntington does come from Cleveland and their organization has a plan for building that has proven successful,yet Huntington does not seem to be directly involved
in much of the process.
Frank Coonelly seems to have locked in on Huntington and did not really deviate from his first thoughts.
Was this really the best choice available?Or was this a "I will hire someone that is not a likely candidate to get a job soon,so I will take him and in his gratitude,he can be easily controlled"?
I am trying my best to stay positive on this,so I won't be too critical,but there certainly some questions to be answered on Huntington.
Huntington,in an unrelated note,looks very much like Virginia Senator Jim Webb (D).
Hell,it only took a week to find a picture of the guy and thanks to Battlin Bob for finding one.
I liked what I heard,but not a lot in real specifics.
Huntington's ability to evaluate talent is first and foremost and the reviews there too are mixed.
The rebuilding will start soon,lets give him a chance and just comment as they come..............
According to a undisclosed source-The Washington Nationals have said no to Pulaski,Virginia and will not be involved in the Appalachian League in 2008.
The ownership contacted Pulaski baseball to let them know that they had voted down a internal proposal to establish a foothold in Pulaski.
There are still are a few teams interested,so Pulaski baseball in 2008 is not over yet.
The Nationals have really dropped the ball here and I am somewhat surprised as the Nationals seem to be using the Braves as their model for building and Atlanta has always been a strong Appy League supporter.
I think the Nationals have done well in most of their program (with the exception of Jim Bowden) but they made a mistake on this one.
Meanwhile,a town that did nothing wrong other than put money into their park and support the team still goes without baseball.
Thanks Toronto-wouldn't want you to think that I had forgotten you in this,since the whole damn thing is your fault to begin with!
Then again-Pulaski Pirates sounds cool......Hmmm.........
Now to the on-field action as the Pirates stopped their losing streak at nine in a row with a 6-5 win over Arizona.
The Pirates wasted a huge lead,thanks to the arson squad,but was able to score in the bottom of the 8th and grab the victory.
Josh Phelps ripped a pinch-hit single to left to score Adam LaRoche and finally snap the losing for the Pirates.
Nyjer Morgan led the Pirates hitting with a solo homer in the bottom of the first.
The homer was Morgan's first of the year and his career.
Nate McLouth's seventh inning single scored two runs and added two RBI to his total.
Another miserable night for the Bucco bullpen,as the Pirates used three pitchers in the Arizona 8th and watched the Diamondbacks get back into the game.
Romulo Sanchez allowed 3 runs without retiring a batter,Damaso Marte gave up a run,John Grabow could not slam the door on the situation before finally Salomon Torres got Pittsburgh out of the inning.
For his efforts,Torres got the win (2-4),while Matt Capps pitched the ninth in earning his 18th save.
But this bullpen blowup cost Ian Snell his 10th win in what was his final start of the season.
Snell closed the year strong,as he allowed 1 run over 6 innings.
Series continues tonight at PNC Park.
Arizona: Livan Hernandez (11-10) at Pittsburgh: Matt Morris (9-11) 7:05
Ohio State 3rd string passer Antonio Henton was suspended from the team indefinitely by coach Jim Tressel for his arrest for solicitation Monday night.
Now this is the type of thing that I have no problems hammering on a young man for.
Putting any feelings on prostitution/solicitation aside,athletes cannot afford get caught in any illegal activity,even lightweight stuff like this.
It reflects badly on the program and the suspension is warranted.
Henton was pleaded not guilty,but the funny part is that he allegedly offered 20 bucks to an undercover officer.
Either Henton was short on dough or the city of Columbus really needs to find more attractive officers when they do sting operations.
The Ashland Arrows need to keep winning if they have hopes of returning to the Ohio state tournament.
The Arrows,despite a 4-1 record, are ranked 11th in their region and only the top 8 in each region earn playoff bids.
In a sad,yet happy note (I know,I know they don't really go together) Chicago Black Hawks owner Bill Wirtz passed away yesterday at the age of 77.
Always sad when someone passes,but I cannot think of any Hawk fans that are crying too much for Wirtz,as he has presided over the demise of the once proud Hawks from a pillar franchise to one that was ranked as the worst in SPORTS in 2004.
That is a pretty good stunt considering the Pirates and Arizona Cardinals are part of the group that you are considering!
Here is a site that covers Bill Wirtz and his stewardship quite well.
Sorry that you passed on,but perhaps now the Hawks can begin to catch up with the other teams in the 21st century and they can start with televising home games so that I can hear the Hawk commentators more than three times a season!
Watch for next week to be a big week of cleaning some things up here with the Pirates season ending.
We will have Devils and Black Hawk previews,The 1st annual (to be named) awards for the SAL and Carolina Leagues and maybe our season review on the players that we cover here as far as their actual stats/season went.
Don't forget to vote in the poll on your favorite feature that we do on a regular basis here!
Calfee Park-Ryan Heimberger
Phelps-Gene Puskar-AP Photo