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Pirates' Mazeroski, Virdon removed from dugout

| Thursday, June 21, 2012, 12:50 a.m.

The Pirates got away with having former players Bill Mazeroski and Bill Virdon on the bench with them for one night, but Wednesday the National League put the kibosh on the pair being in the dugout for the series, as manager Clint Hurdle had hoped.

“It's really not within the rules and regulations of the game, which I might have overlooked or it got by me in my excitement to get them involved,” Hurdle said. “So they'll be out there with us on the field for all the pregame work and then once the game starts, we'll find a place for them to enjoy the game and put their experienced eyes on us from a different venue.”

• Mazeroski's evening on the bench allowed catcher Michael McKenry, who didn't start Tuesday's game, ample time to chat with the Hall of Famer, and it wasn't entirely about offense, defense or game situations. “Maz is my height and he's a Hall of Famer, so it means a lot to me,” said McKenry, who is listed at 5-foot-10 (Mazeroski was listed at 5-11). “We talked about it (Tuesday), how when he played it wasn't even an issue. Baseball was the average man's game. Most players were 5-foot-9 to 6-foot. Now you go to the draft and it's, ‘He's not big enough, he can't go in the first round or second round.' It was encouraging to see a guy who had so much success be a smaller guy. It's something that's challenged me throughout my career.”

• Jeff Karstens said after Tuesday's rehab start t Double-A Altoona that he's where he needs to be. “Obviously not on the roster I need to be on, but I don't dictate that,” said Karstens, who went on the disabled list April 18 with shoulder inflammation. Asked if he feels ready to step back in the major league rotation, Karstens didn't hesitate. “Without a doubt,” he said. “I feel like I'm in a good place on the mound and it's just not in my hands.” Karstens is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today and will start Sunday or possibly Monday — if he needs an extra day — at Triple-A Indianapolis.

• After discussing the situation, Hurdle said Brad Lincoln will make his scheduled start Saturday. “He has put in the work and the effort and the preparation, and I think we've continued to show patience in a lot of different areas and this is just another one,” Hurdle said.

• Reliever Chris Resop found himself in unfamiliar territory Tuesday night after walking for the first time in the major leagues. Drafted as a position player, the basepaths weren't totally foreign, but it had been awhile. “I almost ran past second base,” he said. “I caught myself, but I was just watching the ball in the gap and was like, ‘Doh, second base!' and pulled up real quick.”

— Karen Price

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