PITTSBURGH - Mid-week news and commentary:
n The baseball draft wraps up today.
It's one of the most misunderstood events in sports.
This isn't like the NFL draft, where teams take eight players with the expectation they're candidates to be in the lineup for the season opener five months later.
Nor is it like the hockey draft, where an 18-year-old Mario Lemieux can step in and immediately become a dominant player.
With ultra-rare exception, the players being drafted now are at least two years away from major league competition.
It's a longer path for most of them, and the fact is most of them will never make it to the majors.
That's just the way the process works.
Teams don't draft for a particular position or need. It's too much of a crapshoot for that.
The idea is to get as much talent as possible, then work on signing and developing those players.
If a handful become successful major league players, it's been a great draft.
For all the attention focused on the first round, the fact is some of the best players in the National League have come from other rounds.
Look at the league leaders: Albert Pujols was a 13th round pick, Cliff Lee was chosen on the fourth round, Matt Kemp was the sixth-round choice, Joey Votto and Andre Ethier were both picked on the second round.
Ryan Howard was drafted on the fifth round, and Josh Johnson was a fourth-round pick.
You get the idea.
It isn't all about the first round, and it takes time to find out how things play out.
Anyone offering an instant analysis of the baseball draft is guessing.
n Jose Pagan dies.
Pagan died at 76 after a struggle with Alzheimer's.
He had a great run as a utility player for the Pirates, coming over from the San Francisco Giants during the 1965 season and staying until 1972.
After one season with Philadelphia, he came back to the Pirates as a coach.
Pagan was a consistently upbeat person who served as a mentor to many young Spanish-speaking players who passed through the Pirates over the years.
Pagan drove in the winning run in Game Seven of the 1971 World Series.
He was never a star, but was a valuable role player and a good man.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.