Pirates Notebook: Snell calls Rockies to apologize

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Ian Snell, with no apparent push from the Pirates, phoned Colorado manager Clint Hurdle to apologize for publicly threatening retaliation against the Rockies for stealing signs Wednesday at PNC Park.

But that might not be enough.

Bob Watson, Major League Baseball's vice president responsible for discipline, has recommended a punishment -- a suspension or fine -- for Snell. That could be announced this weekend.

"The whole thing got out of hand," Snell said yesterday. "And that's what I told Hurdle. Someone told me something after the game, and I reacted. I wanted him to tell his whole team that I'm sorry. ... It's good. It's over with."

After that 5-3 loss, Snell accused one of the Rockies -- he never gave a name -- of stealing signs before one of their two home runs. He mentioned Brad Hawpe's home run that day, but it turns out the one in question was hit later by Todd Helton with Kazuo Matsui on second base.

Among Snell's comments after that game: "Hopefully, I won't pitch in Colorado because I know who it is, and I will get them."

That was a reference to the Pirates' Aug. 20-23 series in Denver.

Snell also said, referring to the player he was accusing, that he would "kill that dude."

Snell heard from his father the next day about the matter, and it was then that he arranged a call to Hurdle at the Rockies' hotel in Washington.

Of Snell's apology, Hurdle told reporters in Washington, "I thought it was very appropriate."

Van Benschoten skipped

Manager Jim Tracy announced that John Van Benschoten will skip his next scheduled start, Sunday, and get pushed back to Friday in Philadelphia. Shane Youman will be bumped forward a day to pitch Sunday.

That move, Tracy said, will afford Van Benschoten three side sessions under pitching coach Jim Colborn to address a mechanical flaw in the movement of his hips that has contributed to his erratic command, as well as an 0-4 record and 8.17 ERA.

"I've been leaning too far forward," Van Benschoten said.

Buried treasure

Pitcher John Wasdin, designated for assignment Sunday, cleared waivers and started for Class AAA Indianapolis last night.

The ceremony to retire Paul Waner's No. 11 will begin at 7 p.m., and participants will include two others to have their numbers retired by the Pirates: Ralph Kiner and Bill Mazeroski. It will be the first number retired since 1987, the 10th overall.

Matt Kata's start at third base was his first at any position since the Pirates purchased his contract from Class AAA Indianapolis June 30.

Friday's results

INDIANAPOLIS (50-48) beat Durham, 5-4. RHP John Wasdin (1-1, 5.71) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. RHP Jonah Bayliss (6.57) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. LF Michael Ryan (.271) went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI. DH Yurendell DeCaster (.287) hit his seventh home run and went 2 for 3. SS Brian Bixler (.297) went 2 for 3.

ALTOONA (49-47) lost at Harrisburg, 12-6. LHP Josh Shortslef (2-10, 4.82) allowed eight runs, seven hits and five walks in three innings. LF Jason Delaney (.356) went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. CF Andrew McCutchen (.245) went 1 for 3 with a double, walk and RBI. 1B Steve Pearce (.327) went 2 for 5 with an RBI. 3B Neil Walker (.296) went 2 for 4 with a walk.

LYNCHBURG (42-51) lost to Wilmington, 3-2. RHP Todd Redmond (7-7, 4.71) allowed three runs in 7 2/3 innings. 2B Shelby Ford (.276) went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.

HICKORY (44-52) won at Delmarva, 7-4. RHP Mike Crotta (6-5, 4.98) allowed four runs in five innings. 2B Jim Negrych (.297) went 3 for 5.

STATE COLLEGE (15-15) lost at Staten Island, 6-3. RHP Nicolas Suero (1-2, 3.56) allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings. C Andrew Walker (.325) went 2 for 4 with a double.

BRADENTON (11-15) lost to the Twins, 6-4. RHP Matt McCullen (0-1, 3.63) allowed four runs in two innings. 1B John Fitzpatrick (.289) went 2 for 2 with three walks and an RBI.



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