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Settle down now

April 16, 2008 - John Mehno

Face reality: Nate McLouth is not going to hit .400. Matt Capps is not going to get everyone out. Xavier Nady will cool off, too.

It's a long baseball season and a lot of things will happen. Still it's nice that the Pirates have shown some signs of being more competitive, even while playing some awful baseball. It's encouraging that the new staff has players on the field early most days, working on some aspect of the game. There's clearly a new work ethic and we'll see if that translates to better results.

My first impression of John Russell is positive. You ask a question and you get an answer without the endless rhetoric that Jim Tracy favored. Russell seems inclined to kick away the training wheels with his young starters and that's good, too. These guys are reaching a point where the organization has to find out if they can be reliable major league starters.

On another note, Buzz Nutter died over the weekend. He played center for the Steelers in the early 1960s and had one of the great sports names ever. He was legally Madison Monroe Nutter, which explains how he got to be Buzz. He lived to be 77 and operated a beer distributorship in the Baltimore area after his playing career ended.

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