Pirates Notebook: Tracy covets clarity on Bonds
Sunday, August 05, 2007
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pirates manager Jim Tracy expressed hope that there someday will be resolution to the steroids controversy that has engulfed Barry Bonds, if only so that Bonds' status as one of the game's greats can be clearer.
"The one thing I'd like to see is for everything to come out," Tracy said yesterday. "To have to sit there and hear this conversation about whether or not there should be an asterisk, I'd like to see that go away. I've seen this player do some things that are uncanny. Absolutely uncanny."
Tracy went further in his praise for Bonds' ability.
"I haven't seen them all, obviously, but I've never seen a player have a greater impact on the lineup. As a manager, you're always aware of where he is, how many hitters there are until he comes up. And I've also never had a hitter where I thought to myself, every single time he comes up, 'He's going to hit a home run.' I don't know if I'll ever see another player like that."
He praised his defense, too, circa his days with the Pirates.
"People here in Pittsburgh will remember that this was a left fielder who played the position like a center fielder. He was amazing."
The Pirates have five games against Bonds and the Giants next week, a three-game weekend set in San Francisco and a doubleheader at PNC Park Aug. 13.
Bonds' view on Pirates
Bonds told the Associated Press the notion that his departure from the Pirates in 1992 has cursed the franchise is not true.
"Naw, I don't believe that at all," Bonds said. "They've got some good players who can do some things. They just never keep the players. That's been the downfall of Pittsburgh. We all wanted to stay. There just was no chance of us staying."
Osoria up, Bayliss down
The Pirates purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Franquelis Osoria from Class AAA Indianapolis and, to clear roster space, optioned reliever Jonah Bayliss back to Indianapolis.
Osoria, 26, was Indianapolis' closer most of the season, producing 11 saves, a 2.63 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 19 walks in 39 appearances. Tracy, who had Osoria in his bullpen while with the Los Angeles Dodgers, called him "a real sinker-baller."
That still leaves the Pirates with a 13-man pitching staff, one more than usual, and Tracy did not rule out that they could keep it that way for another week.
The bench is down to four players, and one of those, outfielder Xavier Nady, will not return to the starting lineup until Tuesday at the earliest because of a strained hamstring.
Shortstop Jack Wilson made clear yesterday that, although he has agreed to waive his limited no-trade clause if it meant getting dealt to the Detroit Tigers, his preference would be to remain in Pittsburgh if that does not happen.
"I love it here," he said. "I don't want anyone to think I don't."
Wilson, 8 for 15 with a home run in the previous four games, was benched in favor of Cesar Izturis last night. Cincinnati started a left-hander, Bobby Livingston. "Just a day for Cesar," Tracy explained.
Jose Bautista played right field -- his first appearance at any position other than third base this season -- because Tracy wanted to get Jose Castillo into the lineup.
Tom Gorzelanny will make his first start today since July 25 in New York, where he developed shoulder stiffness. He pronounced the shoulder to be in excellent shape yesterday.
The Pirates assigned reliever Danny Moskos, their first-round draft pick in June, to short-season Class A State College. He had two scoreless outings with Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League.
Indianapolis catcher Humberto Cota, who opened the season with the Pirates, will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his long-ailing left shoulder.