The Pirates interview Ken Macha for some reason

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Look, I’m sure Ken Macha is a fine man. He did little harm when given control of some talented Oakland teams. He did the best he could, I suppose, with a pretty bad Brewers team this year.  But he’s certainly not an inspiring choice for a team looking to fill a manager vacancy in 2011. Especially not a team whose fans desperately, desperately need to be inspired. Yet the Pirates interviewed him yesterday anyway.

Macha is from the Pittsburgh area and still lives there so in some ways, I suppose, this was a zero cost endeavor. All the Pirates had to do was validate his parking.

But is there anyone who thinks that the Pirates need a Machaian figure as their manager? I don’t really like the term “retread” because it sounds kind of mean, but technically that’s what Macha is. Sure, if there was anything in his managerial history that suggests he could get more out of the Pirates than other guy could, go for it — Billy Martin was a retread too and he got results — but I don’t think there is.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.