The Commish Online                                                                                
Lloyd McClendon Interview
March 13, 2003

I'm still in Florida enjoying the sun and 80 degree temperatures, but that hasn't stopped me from providing you with continuous in-depth coverage of America's Pastime.  While attending a Twins-Pirates spring matchup, I caught up with Pittsburgh's manager Lloyd McClendon and he had this to say about his pitching staff and the possibility of acquiring Kenny Lofton:

TCO:  How do you feel about the rotation now that you have four guys capable of pitching 200 innings each?

LM: Well I just want to stay healthy.  I'm certainly not in the business of projections.

TCO:  How does Benson look this year?  Is everything good with him?

LM:  Oh, he looks good, y'know.  He's definitely improving, but he's coming off an injury, so we have to be cautious.  We're just hoping at this point that he's not going to have any setbacks.

TCO:  How about the situation with Lofton?  Is anything going to come of that or is it in the past?

LM:  I've got no comment on that.  You're talking to the wrong man.  My job is to take the players that I have on the field and manage them.  I leave those [other] things to the general manager.

TCO:  Thank you for your time Lloyd.

Despite McClendon's sunny outlook of Kris Benson, Benson struggled mightily against the Twins later that afternoon, giving up five runs over the first four innings.  The Pirates ace looked a little rusty, but it is just spring and these games don't matter.

Some other observations in the Twins and Pirates camps:

- Bobby Kielty still needs to learn to adjust to the changing speeds of major league pitchers.

- Randall Simon can hit, but he swings at EVERYTHING.  Throw it in his eyes and his mouth waters.

- Benson wasn't just rusty with his pitches - he hit Jacque Jones in the thigh on a pickoff attempt at 2nd base, drilled Torii Hunter in the chest with a pitch, almost hit Hunter again at 2nd with another pickoff attempt, and failed to cover home in time after a wild pitch, allowing a run to score.