SAN FRANCISCO Neither Freddy Sanchez nor Jack Wilson is in the lineup tonight. Hmmm …
• The Pirates signed their fifth-round draft pick, left-hander Nathan Baker. He went 4-3 with one save and a 3.63 ERA this year as a junior at the University of Mississippi. The amount of Baker’s signing bonus was not immediately available. The Pirates have signed 18 of their 51 picks.
• With less than three weeks to go until the Aug. 17 signing deadline, the Pirates are ramping up their efforts to get a few more of their draftees under contract. There’s a perception among many players and agents that it pays to wait until the last minute to sign a contract, holding out for the most cash. However, that also can hurt a player because it cuts into the time he could be spending in the minors.
Having a more well-defined bonus slotting system, similar to the NBA model, instead of MLB’s “suggested” slot amounts, might make the process easier and quicker. Pirates president Frank Coonelly said that topic surely will come up when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated.
“There’s no question the draft will be a priority,” Coonelly said.
Some pundits have suggested allowing teams to trade their draft picks. Coonelly’s in favor of that, but only if there is a firm slot system in place.
“With out (a slot system), trading picks would be dangerous and would given even more influence to agents,” Coonelly said.
• Last night, Barry Bonds caught the ceremonial first pitch. It was a surprise to the fans at AT&T Park, who instantly erupted when King Asterisk was announced. Giants fans were cheering wildly, and the handful of Pirates fans in the park were booing like crazy.
• It was quite the odd assortment of folks waiting outside the Pirates clubhouse after last night’s game. There was the usual, small cluster of media; the assortment of wives, girlfriends, parents and other family members; Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, the former mixed martial arts champion; and a couple of heavily tatooed guys with “Hell’s Angels” patches on their leather jackets.
Lineups for tonight’s game
PIRATES 1.Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Young rf, 3. Garrett Jones lf, 4. Ryan Doumit c, 5. Steve Pearce 1b, 6. Andy LaRoche 3b, 7. Ramon Vazquez 2b, 8. Luis Cruz ss, 9. Charlie Morton (2-2, 3.86) rhp
GIANTS 1. Andres Torres cf, 2. Randy Winn rf, 3. Pablo Sandoval 3b, 4. Bengie Molina c, 5. Lewis lf, 6. Ryan Garko 1b, 7. Eugenio Velez l2b, 8. Juan Uribe 2b, 9. Barry Zito (6-10, 4.68) lhp