HeraldNet ran a pretty good article on Pittsburgh Pirate hitting coach Don Long. The article starts off recapping how long caught half a bat upside his head last season. After the gruesome details, the article goes on to recap his career and some great advice he received from Lee Elia.
It is interesting to read how Long took Elia’s advice and has parlayed it into his every day coaching style. Just reading how Bay reacted to him should explain why he is a good coach.
Dejan Kovacevic, over at the PG, is running some frequent updates from Pirates mini-camp. He has been updating as need be, which seems to be at least three times a day.
A few highlights include Capps and Gorzy coming to mini-camp in excellent shape. Maholm is shaping up to be the staff leader. At least one LaRoche is hitting before June. Moss took his first hacks in a cage after walking around all day like Pedro Cerano, Major League, with a bat in his hand. Hopefully he was not cursing Jobu for not helping him hit breaking balls and hopefully no one sacrificed any live chickens.
When Dejan took over the Pirates beat a couple years ago, I cringed. I really did not enjoy his coverage of the Penguins. Why? I do not remember. But as the Pirates beat writer, he has been fantastic and has really grown on me. The guy seems to never sleep and it is fantastic actually getting so much Pirates info year round. I always liked Paul Meyer, but Dejan is an old school baseball reporter. I can imagine him in a hat with his press badge gnawing on a day old cigar. Thanks DK, you truly are a bright spot for a desolate franchise. The great thing, more than once I have seen on ESPN, and other large sites, references to the tireless Dejan Kovacevic. Well done old chap.
There is an AP recap of some of the events of the owners meeting in Arizona. The main focus of the article is a salary cap.
There has been a huge call for a salary cap by many owners after the Yankees most recent spending spree. Needless to say the large market teams don’t mind what the Yankees are doing, but the rest of the owners seem to be banding together on the topic.
I’ve been trying to dig up some info on what is going on with Doug Mientkiewicz and the Pirates. From what I have unearthed, it seems there was an un-official understanding with Greg Landry, Doug’s ex-agent, on what the Pirates terms would be and a general idea of what the contract offer would look like. The Pirates are still interested in bringing Doug back, but, as Dejan reported, there does not seem to be a good fit between what Doug would like to have in playing time and what the Pirates can offer in terms of playing time.
Along the same lines, if the Pirates found a taker for Adam LaRoche and could get fair return, Doug and Steve Pearce would likely split time at first if terms could be reached with Mientkiewicz. As of now, the Pirates have not been shopping LaRoche but a few teams have inquired loosely about his price tag.
All six players eligible for arbitration filed before the deadline.