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Wakeup Call: Bye, bye, Bedard

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> This is NOT confirmed by the Pirates, but I just heard — at about 1 a.m. Tuesday — that they’ve released Erik Bedard, this from a long-time, highly reliable source with direct ties to the pitcher.

Bedard, signed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal out of free agency last winter, is 7-14 with a 5.01 ERA and has given up 16 runs in his past three starts.

Here is Bedard’s official page.

He’s been lousy of late, plus visibly out of sorts with his mechanics, and the team might be looking to get Kevin Correia back in the rotation. But I didn’t see anything like this coming.

And I’ll repeat: The Pirates themselves haven’t confirmed this, and it’s a little late to be calling anyone, so I’m giving what I have here.

I’d expect a team announcement on this sooner rather than later on Tuesday.

UPDATE 9:40 a.m.: The Pirates make it official: Bedard is unconditionally released. No word yet on rotation replacement.

>> Now that was a significant loss.

The Pirates’ season wasn’t lost last night, and the game wasn’t lost solely in the ninth inning. But what a scene at PNC it was, with Rod Barajas (.199)  leading off, Gaby Sanchez (.213) pinch-hitting for Clint Barmes (.223) and Michael McKenry (.254 and 2 for his past 24) filing to the plate for three quiet outs.

Take a mental snapshot of that one. It might come in handy a month from now when trying to evaluate things.

In the interim, still two games left in this series. Still a chance.

>> Assuming there are no further maladies found when David DeCastro has his knee surgery tomorrow, the Steelers will keep him off injured reserve, according to the reporting of our Mark Kaboly.

Better be sure he can return. We’ve seen in the recent past where Aaron Smith gets carried all year and, with all due respect to DeCastro, he’s not Smith. A healthy 53-man roster includes every necessary backup, especially on a line that’s now already lost a couple guys.

>> Farewell, Charlie Batch?

Let’s assume Jerrod Johnson can move to the practice squad. Let’s also assume Byron Leftwich is the No. 2 QB, since, well, he is.

Is a No. 3 QB really the best use for what’s now a 52-man roster?

>> The NHL and its players’ union meet today in New York, and there’s a possibility — maybe more — that talks could break off afterward.

Sorry, not buying any of this. It’s August. Camp doesn’t even open until Sept. 21. I still see the owners’ position as being so phony it’s hard to believe they’d lose a single game over it.

>> Forget about Shane Doan, if you haven’t already.

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