(even the opposition can’t help celebrating Derek Jeter’s 2000th hit)

As you’d expect, K.C. putting an end to their 13 game losing streak last night against the Yankees wasn’t enough to save Allen Baird’s neck. From the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton.

The Royals have offered the job of general manager to Braves assistant Dayton Moore but are ready to move on to other candidates if the two sides can™t reach agreement by this weekend.

The only major hang-up to an agreement, multiple sources have told The Star, is Moore™s demand that he receive written assurance of complete control over personnel matters from club owner David Glass.

If that proves to be a deal-breaker, the Royals appear ready to move into negotiations with former Phillies general manager Ed Wade and/or former Tigers and Padres general manager Randy Smith.

Neither Glass nor Moore could be reached for comment.

The negotiations have been ongoing even as Allard Baird continues to serve as the club™s general manager.

A mere 6 days after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik declared of the 2006 Pirates, “Maybe It’s Time To Blame The Players”, manager Jim Tracy has decided that uh, maybe it’s time to blame the players. From the Post-Gazette’s Chuck Finder.

“When you’re getting photo-finished every day, there are ways and means of getting past that,” the first-year manager said before the Pirates played Houston in the opener of a 10-game homestand.

Nosing opponents at the wire hasn’t been part of his stable’s capabilities, what with three of his team’s past four losses and 14 of its past 18 coming by one run. Using a football metaphor as well as horse-racing parlance, Tracy added that it isn’t as if the Pirates are losing all these games by a touchdown. Coincidentally, through 47 games, the Pirates have scored 47 fewer runs than the competition — an average of a one-run loss per game.

Saying he doesn’t hit, field, throw or catch, Tracy laid the club’s National League worst record squarely at the players’ feet.

“Every … little … aspect of the game has to be important to you if you’re going to change the culture,” Tracy said slowly for emphasis.

There was no photo finish at PNC last night, as the Pirates jumped all over the Astros’ Taylor Buchholtz, winning 12-5 as Jason Bay (above) homered in his fourth consecutive game. Having dropped four in a row, Houston will send Wandy Rodriguez to the hill this evening.

Baylor and Texas Tech are tied at 1 after four innings in the Big 12 Tournament. To say the game  is sparsely attended would be a bit of an understatement — I think there are more people watching it on TV here at Chez CSTB.  I’m also fairly certain a couple of guys sitting in the grandstand along the first base line are conducting a drug deal of some sort.