(there might even be a part Lloyd McClendon can play…though the ventilation sucks)

And there I was, thinking “The Time, The Team” was uninspired. Or is it “The Team, The Time”? Or just Morris Day & The Time?

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Chris Snowbeck (link thieved from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ marketing theme for 2006 covers all the bases.

Here’s the pitch: “WE WILL.”

More than a motto or slogan, the new “brand positioning” announced yesterday will help the baseball team communicate what officials say are the four core values of the Pirates: perseverance, resilience, youthfulness and improvement.

The phrase also is part of a new mission statement for the organization, which aspires to become “the benchmark in the sports and entertainment industry.”

Officials likened “WE WILL.” to Nike’s “Just do it” and the “Is it in you?” campaign from Gatorade.

“These are more than two words to us. They’re a mind-set, a philosophy … an attitude,” said Pirates Chief Executive Officer Kevin McClatchy in a news release.

The phrase will be featured prominently throughout PNC Park and in the team’s advertising. It applies to everyone from players and those in the front office to the grounds crew, Mr. McClatchy said in an interview.

Whereas the Pirates worked last year with the Blattner Brunner ad agency, the team took more of the effort in-house this year, Mr. Schuldt said. With less money going to professional fees, the team could create more spots, which include music from several recording artists including U2, KISS, John Lee Hooker and REO Speedwagon. The new ads will begin running as soon as Monday.

I suppose if the White Sox could make major hay by borrowing the music of a band with no discernable Windy City roots (ie. Journey), the Pirates might as well do the same with REO Speedwagon. Bummer for Joe Grushecky, but life’s full of disappointments.

2B Pokey Reese has gone missing from Marlins camp and no one seems to know what’s up. I was going to ring WFAN and expouse the theory that Pokey knew it would look unseemly to be hanging around a baseball field all day with a bunch of children (Gary Glitter was sentenced for less, I believe), but then I remembered the station employs some very sharp screeners. I’d have to drink three or four bottles of cough syrup before I could sound close enough to a legit WFAN caller, and the whole thing just didn’t seem worth it.

Swollen tendons in Jose Guillen’s left wrist are expected to render the Nationals’ outfielder indisposed until June at the earliest. It has occured to some of whose who can only think of such matters in terms of how they affect a baseball team based in Flushing, that perhaps Alfonso Soriano could be had for Victor Diaz or Xavier Nady plus another body or 3.

The unusually rational Marc Perlman pointed out that the Mets might be better off with a second baseman a little more conscientious about fielding his position. Or failing that, one who isn’t owed $10 million in 2006. So, uh, never mind (said in best Emily Litella voice).

Veteran reliever Gabe White, a non-roster invitee to Minnesota’s camp, has announced his retirement a day after getting hammered in a one inning appearance against the Reds.