A little bit of news as we wait out the last few days until pitchers and catchers report:

For the past few years, the International League champion and the Pacific Coast League champion have faced off for a one-game showdown in September.  The Bricktown Showdown has been played in Oklahoma City up until now.  But in 2011, the AAA Championship game will be played at Isotope Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of the Isotopes  (AAA of the Dodgers).   The game will be televised on "Versus", on Tuesday September 20, 2011.

Non-roster players who have been invited to the Pirates' big league camp:
Pitchers:  Rudy Owens, Justin Thomas, Donnie Veal, Justin Wilson, Tyler Yates, Brian Burres, Sean Gallagher, Fernando Nieve, Cesar Valdez, Jose Veras.
Catchers (always need lots of those):  Tony Sanchez, Dusty Brown, Wyatt Toregas
Infielders:  Chase D'Arnaud, Brian Friday, Jeff Clement, Garrett Atkins, Josh Fields, Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly
Outfielders:  Eric Fryer (he catches too), Andrew Lambo

The Australian League championship series begins early Friday morning, with the Adelaide Bite (and Quincy Latimore) facing off against the Perth Heat.

Eight weeks from today (Thursday) will be Opening Day for the Indianapolis Indians and the rest of the minor league affiliates.

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