October 2007 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Pirates Claim LHP Dumatrait Off Waivers From Reds
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have claimed left-handed pitcher Phil Dumatrait (pronounced ?doo-MAH-tray?) off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager, Neal Huntington. Dumatrait, 26, spent a majority of the 2007 season with Triple-A Louisville, where he went 10-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 22 starts. He made his major league debut with the Reds on August 2 at Washington and made six starts with Cincinnati over the final two months of the season, pitching a career-high 6.0 innings in a no-decision against the Dodgers on August 9. Originally selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft (22nd player chosen overall), Dumatrait was named Boston?s Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2002 after going 8-7 with a 2.88 ERA in 26 starts with Augusta (A) and Sarasota (A). He was traded to the Reds organization, along with cash considerations and a player to be named (LHP Tyler Pelland), in exchange for right-handed pitcher Scott Williamson on July 29, 2003. Dumatrait missed the 2004 season after having Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on April 12 of that year. In 145 career minor league games (142 starts), he has gone 45-44 with a 3.33 ERA To make room for Dumatrait on the 40-man roster, the Pirates outrighted catcher Carlos Maldonado to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Pirates To Begin Interviewing Next Week
Sometime next week, general manager Neal Huntington likely will begin the interview process for the Pirates' four major job openings. Huntington has drawn up wish lists of candidates for manager, assistant general manager, scouting director and farm director. Friday, Huntington confirmed he has not yet conducted an interview or asked for permission to speak with anyone. When a club grants another club permission to interview someone under contract, it's usually a seven-day window of opportunity. As a courtesy, Huntington would prefer not to interview candidates whose teams are still alive in the playoffs. At least two men believed to be on the radar for the Pirates' manager job -- Red Soxs' pitching coach John Farrell and Indians' third base coach Joel Skinner -- are involved in the American League Championship Series.
Pennsylvania Pols Ask MLB To Retire Clemente's No. 21
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives wants Major League Baseball to retire Roberto Clemente's No. 21. In a resolution passed Tuesday, the lawmakers are the latest group to contend that Clemente should be honored in the same way that Jackie Robinson was for breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947. Robinson's No. 42 was retired for all teams on April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Clemente's Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates began in 1955 and ended when he died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while trying to deliver relief supplies following an earthquake in Nicaragua. "Roberto Clemente was more than a great baseball player," said state Rep. Angel Cruz, who sponsored the resolution as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. "He was a humanitarian who gave so much of himself for those in need."
Pirates Claim Thompson Off Waivers From A's
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have claimed outfielder Kevin Thompson off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager, Neal Huntington. Thompson, 28, spent a majority of the 2007 season with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, where he hit .281 with 18 doubles, five home runs, 37 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 77 games. He also batted .190 (4-for-21) in 13 games with the New York Yankees, knocking in a pair of runs with a double in his season debut on April 10 at Minnesota. Thompson was designated for assignment on September 1 and was claimed off waivers on September 7 by Oakland, where he made nine appearances during the final month of the season. The right-handed hitter was originally selected by the Yankees in the 31st round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. He spent seven years in New York?s minor league system before making his major league debut with the Yankees on June 3, 2006 at Baltimore. Thompson batted .300 in 19 games with the Yankees in 2006 and hit his first major league home run on June 10 off Oakland?s Kirk Saarloos. In his big league career, Thompson has made 16 appearances in right field, 10 in left field and eight in center field. To make room for Thompson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates have designated infielder/outfielder Matt Kata for assignment.
Pittsburgh Might Hire Chuck Tanner As Advisor
There was growing speculation yesterday that Chuck Tanner, who managed the Pirates to the 1979 World Series championship, could be one of general manager Neal Huntington's first hires. Tanner would come aboard in the role of senior adviser.
Pirates Fire Jim Tracy
Jim Tracy was fired as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday after two seasons filled with long losing streaks and little discernible progress. The team scheduled an afternoon news conference to announce the dismissal. Tracy's patience and back-patting weren't enough to turn around the Pirates. He produced records of 67-95 in 2006 and 68-94 this season, the shortest run of any non-interim Pirates manager since Bill Virdon was fired late into his second season in 1973.