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Originally published July 7, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 16, 2007 at 9:10 PM

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NL Wire Notes | Pirates exec McClatchy calls it quits

Kevin McClatchy not only saved baseball in Pittsburgh as the Pirates' owner, he accomplished what was once seen as the impossible by getting...

Kevin McClatchy not only saved baseball in Pittsburgh as the Pirates' owner, he accomplished what was once seen as the impossible by getting a new ballpark built.

Only one thing went wrong: His Pirates never won.

McClatchy, a newspaper heir widely credited with preventing the Pirates from leaving Pittsburgh by assembling an ownership group in 1996 when no one else would, announced Friday he is stepping down as the team's chief executive officer at the end of the season.

The Pirates are on pace for a 15th consecutive losing season, their 12th in a row under McClatchy and one short of the major-league record.

McClatchy, 44, was not privately wealthy, and the club's payroll was annually among the lowest in the majors except for a brief period in 2001, when the Pirates moved into PNC Park. Building the ballpark will likely be viewed as his chief accomplishment.

"If it weren't for Kevin McClatchy, there would be no PNC Park — and no Pittsburgh Pirates," former mayor Tom Murphy said upon leaving office last year.

McClatchy lost majority ownership stake in the club to West Virginia newspaper owner G. Ogden Nutting several years ago, and in January was supplanted by Nutting's son, Bob, as principal owner.

Arizona: With runners in scoring position, the Diamondbacks are hitting .177 since June 5 and .136 in their past 12 games.

Atlanta: RHP John Smoltz (9-5, 3.07 ERA) was placed on the 15-day disabled list after an MRI found inflammation — but apparently no structural damage — in his right shoulder. He will miss Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Chicago: 1B Derrek Lee was 0 for 2 with two walks at Pittsburgh and is 0 for 12 on the Cubs' trip.

Cincinnati: RHPs Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang will start the first two games of the Reds' series at New York after the All-Star break, manager Pete Mackanin said.

Houston: Reliever Brad Lidge will not come off the disabled list before the All-Star break, manager Phil Garner said. Lidge has been out since June 16.

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Los Angeles: The Dodgers signed 42-year-old RHP Roberto Hernandez to a minor-league deal and assigned him to AAA Las Vegas. He was waived by Cleveland last month.

Milwaukee: OF Bill Hall went on the 15-day DL with a sprained ankle. OF Tony Gwynn Jr. was recalled from AAA Nashville.

New York: RHP Mike Pelfrey remained winless in eight starts this season when he was outpitched by the Astros' Wandy Rodriguez.

St. Louis: 1B Albert Pujols struck out twice and hit into a double play against the Giants. Pujols has gone 20 games and 66 at-bats since his last home run.

San Diego: 1B Adrian Gonzalez, in a 4-for-47 slump since June 23, got the night off.

San Francisco: In his first three plate appearances against LHP Mike Maroth of St. Louis, OF Barry Bonds never saw a pitch clocked above 81 mph. He walked three times.

Washington: An Illinois man accused of trying to extort $150,000 from 2B Ronnie Belliard was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. George Edwards, 49, claimed Belliard impregnated his daughter.

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