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Vuk’s Local Sports Wrap

By: Mike Vukovcan
Steve Pearce, Jose Bautista
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KDKA (Pittsburgh)- Here’s my take on some of the local sports headlines. I’ll get into Jaromir Jagr, Neal Huntington, Jose Bautista and more.

*Makes me laugh how fans and media are now such big backers of former Pirate Jose Bautista. After hitting 52 HR’s in 2010, Bautista is on pace for 65 HR’s this season. If the Pirates and GM Neal Huntington were idiots for getting rid of him, so too are the New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays.

I’m waiting for someone in the media to show me a column or commentary that was done right after the trade saying how terrible it was. I’ll be waiting a long time for that.

Here’s something Dejan Kovacevic of the Post-Gazette wrote the day of the trade: “Bautista, 27, long has been seen by some in baseball as best suited for the super-utility role, as he can play every position on the diamond except catcher.”

Here then wrote this a few days later, “As for Bautista, it is entirely possible that he was miscast as an everyday player. Then again, it also is possible that Bautista is right that he was not given a fair chance, at least within the context of 2008. I know this much: Jose Bautista belongs in the majors in some capacity. If that does not happen in Pittsburgh, it will happen somewhere else.”

That’s my point. NO ONE had a strong opinion then that the Pirates undervalued Bautista. It’s easy for everyone to second-guess in 2011.

*Here’s something that I’d love to see Huntington do and that’s admit that a mistake was made with either Lyle Overbay and Matt Diaz.

Both were signed this off-season to help with the Pirates offense and neither has provided anything but alot of outs.

If the Pirates organization wants to show fans that they’re serious about winning then it’s time for Huntington to make a trade to bring in a bat to play 1B or RF.

I’m no suggesting they go acquire a $15 million/year player but I am saying go find a player that’s a proven hitter.

If it takes trading Paul Maholm, Ryan Doumit, or a minor league pitching prospect, do it.

So Pirates fans and more importantly player in the clubhouse that we’re serious about winning.

Sticking with Overbay and Diaz will show me that nothing has changed with the Pirates front office.

Admit a mistake was made and go spend some money to fix it.

*Ron Cook of the Pgh Post-Gazette and 93.7 FM “The Fan” wrote a column today about Jaromir Jagr. I respect Cook but I had one major problem with his story.

How is it Jagr’s fault that former Pens GM Craig Patrick made one of the worst trades in the history of professional sports?

It’s Jagr’s fault that Patrick settled for a return of Kris Beech, Frantisek Kucera, Ross Lupaschuk and Michael Sivek? Give me a break.

Immediately following the trade, it was reported that Patrick turned down a better package of players from the NY Rangers.

Trades like this were why Patrick was fired by the Mario Lemieux and the Penguins.

You can blame Jagr for things like being a bad teammate, being a cancer, being a coach killer but it’s silly to blame him for Patrick failing to bring back a quality return for the game’s best player.

*Is Pitt’s Todd Graham ever going to receive a verbal commitment for the Class of 2012?

*The MLB Draft is 3 weeks away and it appears as though the Pirates are struggling with who to take with the #1 pick.

Colin Dunlap, Pirates beat reporter for the Pgh Post-Gazette, tweeted last night that they’re now considering Texas H.S. pitcher Dylan Bundy.

If I’m the Pirates, I’d go with Rice 3B Anthony Rendon. That’s too much money to invest in a pitcher that you hope can develop. I’d take the chance that Rendon will stay healthy. Forget Gerrit Cole, Dylan Bundy or Danny Hultzen. Draft Anthony Rendon.

Follow me on Twitter: @mikevukkdka
E-Mail: mvukovcan@kdka.com