I know that a lot of people disagree with me when I say this, but I still like John Russell a lot. Today, his sentiments on payroll echo my own:

"Payroll has never and will never be an issue with me," manager John Russell said Thursday. "Our talent level has increased tremendously over the past couple years. We are very much looking forward to moving forward with a very talented group of major league players, with very talented players on their way from our system. The players are looking forward to this season, too, and they know the talent we have."

I understand that payroll is always going to be an issue for a team like the Pirates, but can we stop talking about it? Just, like, two days off would be super.

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