You know how I feel about open letters, but this one from the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Pirate owner Bob Nutting is pretty good for the genre:
Dear Mr. Nutting,
Major league sports is a brutal business. What with aggressive
player agents, deep-pocketed competitors and more venues vying for the
public’s entertainment dollar, it is not a pursuit for the faint of
Still, your family has had an ownership stake in the Pirates for 14
years and you’ve been the controlling owner since January 2007. Not
once during the Nuttings’ involvement has the team had a winning
season. The Pirates’ streak of 17 losing campaigns exceeds any run of
futility in the history of professional sports. It is, no doubt, as
frustrating for you as it is for the fans.
The difference between you and the other Pirates faithful, though, is you can do something about it.
The letter goes on to describe the epic-ness of Nutting’s fail, and implores him to call Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle and sell the team already. I’m sure there are countless Pirates fans who nodded in approval as they read this over their Count Chocula this morning.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.