Giles in no mood to rebuild
As Pirates left fielder Brian Giles braced for the media mob before Tuesday's game, catcher Jason Kendall yelled to him, "Don't do it."
Presumably, Kendall meant for Giles not to speak his mind about the Pirates trading another established player, in this case reliever Scott Sauerbeck. Two days earlier, closer Mike Williams was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies, and after yesterday's game, Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez were bound for Chicago.
Everybody expects more deals before the July 31 trade deadline, perhaps even one that involves Giles, the team's best player.
"Do I think I'm going to be here• I'm thinking about reporting Friday to Latrobe," Giles said jokingly, referring to the start of Steelers training camp.
Somebody asked him which position he'd play.
"Waterboy," he said. "Bobby Boucher."
Giles was referring to Adam Sandler's character in the film, "Waterboy." Maybe Giles can relate. In the film, Boucher unleashes years of pent-up rage to help turn one of the worst college football teams in history into a winner.
It appears that all the rage in the world won't help the Pirates right now -- or stop them from trading other established players in the next nine days. Giles sounded a bit envious of Williams and Sauerbeck.
"We all want to win, and not all of us can get traded," Giles said. "We knew this was going to happen if we couldn't stay in the race, and it was conceded a couple of weeks ago."
The Pirates have been hemorrhaging money since they moved into PNC Park and apparently are in no position to keep all of their highest-priced players. Giles, 32, is slated to make $7.5 million next season. He is decidedly against the idea of enduring yet another massive rebuilding movement.
"I don't have much time left," he said, "so I don't know if that would be the situation."
Would he be shocked if he's still here Aug. 1?
"Not if they're losing a lot of money and they're tearing this thing down," he said.
"It's not a surprise to anybody in here. We (the players) have a little bit of fault ourselves. We haven't played up to our capabilities."
Giles has a limited no-trade clause in his contract, which runs through the 2005 season. It states he would accept a deal to one of six teams -- the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves.
If a deal to a team such as the Oakland A's were possible, would he approve it?
"The Raiders," Giles said, smiling.
Back in spring training, Giles was brimming with optimism. He liked the moves that brought in veteran players. It was the sort of situation he envisioned back in May, 2000, when he signed a contract extension even though he probably could have made more on the open market.
What kept him here•
"I think we can win here," Giles said at the time. "So, I got a new deal, and I'm gonna be here until 2005 unless they get rid of me."