Sign of things to come
Manager Jim Tracy opted to start Randa at first instead of Craig Wilson because of Randa's success against Giants' starter Jamey Wright. Randa was 9 for 24 with three home runs against Wright prior to last night.
The sight of Randa manning first base might become common if, as expected, Casey and Wilson are dealt before Monday's non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m.
The Oakland Athletics have emerged as a favorite to land Casey, who can become a free agent after this season. The Los Angeles Angels are also interested.
As for Wilson, many teams have him on their radar. The same is true for relievers Roberto Hernandez, Damaso Marte, Salomon Torres and, increasingly, John Grabow -- though the Pirates are very unlikely to deal Grabow.
Those expecting many deals involving the Pirates in the coming days should keep in mind that the passing of the trade deadline does not mean general manager Dave Littlefield cannot move players in August.
For that to happen, however, a player would have to clear waivers -- a probable scenario in the case of players with copious salary remaining on their contracts.
The Pirates think Casey and Wilson would clear waivers, so pre-deadline moves might involve only relievers and, possibly, starter Kip Wells.
07-31-2006, 02:19 AM
There's a good article about Casey here
Hope he gets to go to a real contender (in the AL, of course). :beerme:
Years from now, Sean Casey's three children won't care that their favorite baseball team only employed their father for a brief bit of time.
They'll be too busy falling in love with the chunk of Western Pennsylvania they'll refer to as Pittsburgh -- just like dad did, again, this season.
"If anything, this brought me back home," said Casey, a native of Upper St. Clair, of his trade to the Pirates from the Cincinnati Reds this past offseason.
"I got back and literally rediscovered why I love it here. It just felt like home immediately. My wife fell in love with the place ... so we decided that it's going to be home, no matter what happens."
What might happen, possibly before the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m., could end Casey's eight-month stint with his hometown club.
A free agent at the end of the season, the Pirates have not begun discussions with Casey on a contract extension. That's somewhat disappointing, as Casey said he would like nothing more than to retire as a Pirate.
In all likelihood, however, Casey will be shipped out of Pittsburgh -- if not today, then probably over the final two months of the season, provided he clears waivers.
"If it happens, then I have no regrets," said Casey, who is being actively pursued by both the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels.
Since the Dec. 8, 2005 trade that brought him home, Casey's return has been a whirlwind of emotions.
He was re-introduced to Pittsburgh at a news conference days after the trade. At that event, Casey announced he would trade his familiar No. 21 -- worn in honor of Roberto Clemente -- for No. 25. As a result, T-shirts featuring Casey's surname and new digits became white-hot sellers at January's PirateFest.
Charged with providing leadership to a clubhouse consisting of many young players, Casey used spring training to build on his reputation as one of the friendliest and most accessible players in baseball. He went so far as to mentor Brad Eldred, his heir apparent at first base.
"It didn't take long to see why he was called 'The Mayor' in Cincinnati," Eldred said in March. "There's not a guy in this clubhouse he hasn't tried to connect with."
Though the Pirates struggled out of the gate, Casey did not. He was batting .313 before suffering two broken bones in his lower back during a collision at first base with John Mabry of the Chicago Cubs on April 14.
That injury forced Casey to miss six weeks. In that time, Eldred suffered an injury setback at Triple-A Indianapolis that would cost the power-hitting prospect a needed year of development.
Soon, even though he was not on the field, off-the-field talk concerning Casey began to center on a possible contract extension.
However, such talk never materialized into actual talks between Casey's camp and the Pirates.
Now, his homecoming appears down to one day.
"The whole thing played with my emotions more than anything," said Casey. "When I was traded, I didn't plan on being here more than this season. Then it looked like something might be worked out, and I began to think about what it would be like to retire here. I broke my back, which obviously wasn't part of any plan. And now, I'm feeling pretty good, but it looks like I'm going somewhere else to play out the season."
Casey paused to soak in his recap of the past eight months.
"I wouldn't call it bittersweet, though, because I might get a chance to play for a contending team and I did get a chance to play for my favorite team," he said. "In the long run, I'm going to play through my next contract, retire and then raise the kids in Pittsburgh.
"It's, like, I was talking to my wife the other day about everything. We just stopped talking, looked at each other and I said, 'This has been awesome.' There's really no other way to look at it."
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