Back where we started: The Pirates are, once again, below .500

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The Pirates were below .500 on May 29th. Then they figured out their offense, rode A.J. Burnett and some other unexpectedly good arms for a while and put a run on that had everyone in Pittsburgh thinking not only a winning season, but a playoff season. Indeed, they were 16 games over .500 at one point.

And then they stopped winning.  They lost to the Brewers today 9-7 and now stand at 74-75.

They had a chance in this one. They were up 7-4 heading into the eighth when Rickie Weeks hit a tying two-run triple and scored the go-ahead run on Aramis Ramirez’s single in the eighth inning. Credit Chad Qualls and Chris Resop with the meltdown.

Pittsburgh has lost 11 of 13. They’re staring their 20th straight year of losing records in the face.

No done deal for Jeter and Jeb: Rob Manfred says two groups still in play for the Marlins

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For all of the headlines about Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush buying the Miami Marlins, this is looking like anything but a done deal. First is the small matter of the billion and a half bucks Jeter and Jeb need to put together. Then there’s the matter of there being another . . . mystery bidder!

That according to commissioner Rob Manfred who says two groups are still bidding to buy the Marlins. He said this morning at the groundbreaking for the Jackie Robinson Museum, adding “There is no agreement in place. We’re working with more than one group . . . there is not a signed document on any topic.”

Despite this, Manfred said that “the timeline is relatively short; it would be measured in days, not months.” So someone is likely to find that billion and a half bucks soon, I reckon.

Red Sox prospect involved in serious auto accident

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Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.

Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.