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Hey, batter, batter!

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CHICAGO — You’re probably tired of reading about the Pirates’ lack of run production. I’m tired of writing about it. Yet, there it remains — the most frustrating aspect of this season so far.

“It’s the one thing right now that is holding our ballclub back,” manager Jim Tracy said today. So let’s get into it.

Please, stop with the e-mails demanding Adam LaRoche’s immediate demotion to Class AAA Indy. The guy’s got a three-year track record. He’ll come around.

And, yes, I agree that Ryan Doumit should be in the lineup every day, especially while he’s riding this hot streak. But you have to be careful how you do it. I generally like Tracy’s approach — take some time from Ronny Paulino, a bit from Xavier Nady and a smidge from LaRoche. A four-man rotation, with the hottest guy at the time being the constant.

I really like the move of Jose Bautista into the two spot, so long as he can keep his strikeout rate down and show some patience at the plate. I might even be willing to consider Doumit there (although the 3-to-1 K/BB ratio is yucky), once LaRoche gets his groove back.

Tracy shook up the lineup today, and it paid off with a win against the Cubbies. Consider, though, that nearly all the production came from the top four hitters. That won’t happen every night.

After the game, Tracy would not commit to using the same revamped lineup Friday against Atlanta. My guess is you’ll see some version of it, depending upon where Doumit plays.


One of my biggest pet peeves about traveling — there are not nearly enough electrical outlets in airports, especially major airports.

I had to wander around O’Hare for a half-hour until I found a free spot to set up, plug in my laptop and get some work done. With everyone today carrying either a laptop, digital music player, mobile phone or other device that needs plugged in at some point, it’s ridiculous not to have more outlets.

Oh, and comfy chairs, too.
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