August 2009 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Pirates Increase Offer To Sano
The Pirates have increased their offer to Dominican prospect Miguel Angel Sano, a team source told the Post-Gazette. However, the team didn't get a response by Saturday night's deadline. Sano, a shortstop that is expected to move to the outfield, is considered the best international amateur talent. Major League teams were able to begin making him offers on July 2.
Pirates Sign Jorge Julio
The Pirates have signed right-handed pitcher Jorge Julio to a deal. The club assigned him to Triple-A Indianapolis soon after.
Pirates Bench Doumit For Poor Play
The Pirates benched catcher Ryan Doumit on Friday following unspecified transgressions on the field. Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington made it clear that the team has no intentions of trading Doumit. "This isn't going to be the first time one of our players experiences a disciplinary issue, and it's not going to be the last," Huntington told the Post-Gazette. "The response isn't always going to be, 'Get him out of here,' and it's not in this situation. ... JR and Ryan are going to handle this, and we expect to move beyond it."
Wilson Writes Open Letter To Pirates Fans
Jack Wilson, recently traded to the Mariners by the Pirates, has written an open letter to the fans in Pittsburgh. "No matter how bad it was, the people in Pittsburgh cared for me," Wilson wrote in the letter that was published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wilson came up with the Pirates in April 2001 as a 23-year-old rookie.
Pirates Won't Call Up Alvarez In 2009
The Pirates will not call up third baseman Pedro Alvarez this season. Alvarez will finish the season in Double-A, and Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington prefers not to jump players more than one level at a time. "We're a long ways from having another option (to Andy LaRoche) at third base," Huntington said on his weekly radio show. "We really like what Pedro has done with the bat, but he still has some strides to make with his glove. It's not just about his offensive performance." Alvarez is hitting .440 with 23 home runs this season.
Nutting Says He Isn't Selling Pirates
Chairman Bob Nutting said emphatically on Sunday that he is not selling the Pirates. "Absolutely not," Nutting told the Post-Gazette. "My family plans to own this franchise on a multi-generational level, and I look forward to my daughters being involved someday, as well. We believe in what we're doing here, and we plan to see it through and win. We look forward to doing that for many, many years to come." Nutting said last week that he would back general manager Neal Huntington in any move he made to improve the baseball team.
Pirates Don't Have A Player Earning MLB Average
The Pirates are the only team in baseball that doesn't have a player earning at least the average MLB salary of $3.26 million. Paul Maholm is Pittsburgh's highest-paid player at $2.5 million, according to the Boston Globe. "Four players in MLB make $20 million to $25 million and three of them play in that [Yankees] infield. [The Dodgers' Manny Ramirez makes $23 million.] With 67 percent of the season gone, the Pirates are only on the hook for less than $9 million for the remainder of 2009," former ESPN and TBS producer Ben Bouma, who lives in Pittsburgh, told the Boston Globe. The Pirates are on pace to set an American professional sports record with 17 straight losing seasons. "Last year, the Pirates are believed to have received a revenue-sharing check of $27 million from MLB, based on figures leaked to the Wall Street Journal," Bouma added. "They receive close to $35 million from the national TV contracts. That is $62 million before anyone buys a ticket, sets foot in PNC Park on Opening Day and buys a hot dog, or watches or listens to a game on local TV and radio. Not to mention what they will receive from MLB for the MLB Network and MLB.com/MLB.TV and Extra Innings packages. On top of this, they let go many front-office people [some with 20 years of service] earlier this season. "This is no longer a problem of 'how baseball is structured' any longer. This is both fundamentally and ethically wrong ... It is high time this [ownership] group is held accountable for the complete mismanagement of the franchise as their excuses have run out."