….after all, that’s Jim Tracy’s job! “Have you ever seen a pitching coach ream out a position player?” asks the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Joe Starkey. Well, no, but I’d like to.

Jack Wilson (above), the Pirates’ longest-tenured player and the one who exchanged angry words with Commander Colborn, laughed when I asked if such a thing had ever happened to him before.

“Oh, plenty of times,” he said, before emphatically answering with a single word: “No.”

Wilson declined to reveal what was said minutes after he dropped a ball as he attempted a running, over-the-shoulder catch in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to Colorado.

Colborn was waiting for him in the dugout. The two had to be separated.

It looked as if Jason Bay or center fielder Nate McLouth should have called off Wilson on the play. McLouth wasn’t buying that.

“To say someone did something wrong on that play is tough,” he said.

Certainly, Wilson did nothing to warrant a public tongue lashing from anyone, let alone the pitching coach.

Yesterday, Tracy seemed suspiciously defensive about an event he deemed meaningless.

“First of all, you weren’t there to know exactly what was being said,” he said. “And I’m not going to elaborate on it because I don’t know what goes on in your house, either.”

Well, let me tell you. We have our share of dustups in the Starkey household, but they don’t usually occur on live television with 16,423 people in the living room.

Life didn’t get any easier for the Pirates on Wednesday, as they dropped a 5-3 matinee to the Rockies, a loss that left Pittsburgh 14 games under .500. Jeff Francis (7 IP, 6 K’s, no walks, 2 runs, 7 hits) ran his record to 10-5, and Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe each hit 2-run HR’s off Bucs starter Ian Snell.

Lenny DiNardo, thy name is “Stopper”. OK, it’s still Lenny, too, but during a month in which the A’s have looked absolutely terrible, DiNardo’s 7 innings of 3 hit ball today against the Rangers were a rare sign of life in Oakland. Though sporting a modest 4-6 mark, DiNardo lowered his ERA to 2.51 (71.2 IP), which compares pretty favorably to Surfin’ Barry (who coincidently, had one of his best games of the year last night against the Cubs)

Congrats to Julio Franco on finding a big league club that has room for a .200 hitting 49-year-old.

I’m hesitant to pick sides in a battle between two of the great thinkers of our time, Jerry Remy and Bill Simmons. But there’s something just a little perfect about the RemDawg taking umbrage at the Sports Putz dissing “Yes, Dear”. This is clearly a culture war in which there are no winners.

(UPDATE : Though I’m usually loathe to give Simmons any credit whatsoever, his reply, “I haven’t heard Jerry this upset since Store24 stopped carrying Marlboro Reds” suggests that he might have a genuine microphone fiend future of his own).