Discussing Pittsburgh Pirates, any off season improvements will be realized more
internally than externally. Both have confidence in Jim Tracy's ability to evaluate
& make decisions. Lefty power hitters do better in this park making Jason Bay's accomplishments even greater. Farm hand Brad Eldred might've done as well as Sean Casey
at a much lower price tag. They both love Jose Batista, John remarking how Dave Littlefield lost him in the rule 5 draft then had to scramble to get him back. John is
a big Freddy Sanchez fan---he's injury prone but gets hits, is good at 3B, would've been a cheaper alternative to Joe Randa. Notes Jose Castillo has more offensive potential & hits better on the road. Jason Bay was great across the board last year, 44
doubles, 20+ sb's. Omar Minaya traded him from the Expos for nothing, & Pirates were
lucky to stumble upon him. They have some good starting pitching & bullpen, like Oliver
Perez, Paul Maholm, & Zach Duke. Jeff says the Pirates view Mike Gonzalez as their closer & believes Jim Tracy is good at choosing the right pitchers.