Friday, June 1, 2007

"Oh my god," Jim Tracy said.

Last night, Shawn Chacon turned out one of the finest starts we've seen all year by a Pirates pitcher. His line:

7 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 K

"Oh, my God," Jim Tracy said. "You couldn't have asked for more."

Not from Chacon. That's for damn sure.

But the Pirates couldn't muster more than two runs off of six Padres pitchers, and wound up stranding 17 runners.

And then, like a swallow to Capestrano or a Mike Williams fastball to the heart of the plate, Salomon Torres blew the two-run leaded handed to him in the ninth inning.

And then, Josh Sharpless saw his ERA rise from a paltry 13.50 to an uncomfortable 21.60.

And then, the Pirates lost.

When Torres was asked if there was specific part of his game that had failed him, he replied, "My head, I guess."

Awesome.

So, to recap, we've got as solid a starting staff as exists in the wasteland that is the NL Central, an offense that ranks 25th in runs scored and has the worst on-base percentage in the league, a manager who loves nothing more than giving away outs at the top of the lineup and a closer who is completely inside his own head.

Awesome.

Yesterday was the point of no return. This was the game that we'll all look back on in three months and say, "Yeah, that was really the beginning of the freefall. I didn't think a team was capable of losing 100 games by the end of August."

"Oh my god," Jim Tracy said. "You couldn't have asked for more."

You're right, Jim. I suppose I should have known better than to have so much as a faint hope that the Pirates would finish anywhere NEAR .500.

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In much more positive, yet completely predictable news, the Pens named Sidney Crosby their team captain yesterday, making him the youngest team captain in NHL history.

"Oh my god," Jim Tracy said. "You couldn't have asked for more."

You're actually right again, Jim. Sid's been phenomenal. And this is the most you've ever been right about anything.

There's really nothing to say about this, other than that it's great Sid will be able to win and accept the Hart Trophy as the newly appointed captain. But the move itself isn't surprising. I think the Pens probably waited the appropriate amount of time to bestow the title upon Crosby, especially given how he carried the team down the final stretch of the regular season, then was a total workhorse in the ultimately disappointing playoff series. The Kid never gave up. I bet a lot of people thought he was the captain already.

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Steelers coach Larry Zierlein apologized for accidentally forwarding a pornographic e-mail to every general manager in the league and commissioner Roger Goodell. The e-mail was reportedly VERY racy.

"Oh my god," Jim Tracy said.
Whoa. Calm down, Jim.
"You couldn't have asked for more."

Glad you enjoyed it, Jim. But please stop. I'm trying to blog here.

Zierlein won't lose his job over the incident, but he's said that he's already e-mailing less.

The Steelers also signed their fourth- and fifth-round draft picks, punter Daniel Sepulveda and guard Cameron Stephenson. Nice to get Sepulveda inked. Can't have the league's top punter/linebacker prospect holding out come training camp.

"Oh my god," Jim Tracy said.

I know, Jim. He's a beast. He's the Matt Jones of punters. Get ready for kick coverage like you've never seen. It's going to be special teams meets Chuck Norris.

Now seriously, go away.