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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:25 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Jocketty took the Reds to the playoffs in his third season.
Friedman took the Rays to the World Series in his third season.
Mozeliak has been running the Cardinals like a Swiss clock since 2007.

I want a guy who can lead the PBC into the playoffs and keep them contending. I want a Jocketty/Friedman/Mozeliak. What do you want? To give NH more time?


This is bad argument to your point. What did the Rays and Reds already have in their systems before those GMs took over? I am not taking anything away from them, but it's a really bad comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:33 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Jocketty took the Reds to the playoffs in his third season.
Friedman took the Rays to the World Series in his third season.
Mozeliak has been running the Cardinals like a Swiss clock since 2007.

I want a guy who can lead the PBC into the playoffs and keep them contending. I want a Jocketty/Friedman/Mozeliak. What do you want? To give NH more time?


This is bad argument to your point. What did the Rays and Reds already have in their systems before those GMs took over? I am not taking anything away from them, but it's a really bad comparison.


Obviously it's not a perfect comparison. I'm not saying it is. But I don't see how it could be so bad that Huntington would need TWICE as long as those guys needed to put a team in the playoffs. Are you saying that the Pirates had SO LITTLE that it would take ANY general manager six full years before turning it around?

If so, that's an interesting suggestion. Especially since Huntington inherited an MVP-level player (Cutch) and a very good second baseman (Walker) -- together the two best, most consistent hitters on the ball club. He also inherited Starling Marte, who will be starting in left field. That's likely 1-2-3 in the batting order. Who's the best hitter on the team that NH acquired?


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Why do I get the impression that if were the Pirates were to make the playoffs and lose in the first round, J_C would just begin using the exact same rhetoric, only of the "all the guy's accomplished is one measly playoff choke in ____ years/hasn't came close to a World Series", etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:57 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
Why do I get the impression that if were the Pirates were to make the playoffs and lose in the first round, J_C would just begin using the exact same rhetoric, only of the "all the guy's accomplished is one measly playoff choke in ____ years/hasn't came close to a World Series", etc.


If the Pirates qualify for the playoffs in 2013, I'll be happy. I've said so.


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:59 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Obviously it's not a perfect comparison. I'm not saying it is. But I don't see how it could be so bad that Huntington would need TWICE as long as those guys needed to put a team in the playoffs. Are you saying that the Pirates had SO LITTLE that it would take ANY general manager six full years before turning it around?

If so, that's an interesting suggestion. Especially since Huntington inherited an MVP-level player (Cutch) and a very good second baseman (Walker) -- together the two best, most consistent hitters on the ball club. He also inherited Starling Marte, who will be starting in left field. That's likely 1-2-3 in the batting order. Who's the best hitter on the team that NH acquired?

Well, that would be our #4 hitter, Alvarez.

I get what you're saying JC. The point, though, is somewhat mooted by the fact that Huntington is getting his sixth year here. We all want better than what this franchise has delivered since the days of Bonds and Bonilla. You want playoffs and WS contention. At this point, I would be content just to be above .500 at the conclusion of the season, and I think we have to get that particular monkey off our backs before we look any further. Given our disastrous foray into the world of SEAL-lead training, I don't have a lot of confidence that the Huntington regime knows how to take us there. And given our disastrous collapses the past two Augusts, I also don't have a lot of hope for Hurdle's ability to keep us confident late next summer.

My favorite team, Arsenal, a soccer team in England, is one of the historically most successful teams in Europe, and we've been going through a sustained period of decline. Only we have one of the world's great coaches, who seems to be doing his best Tom Landry-at-the-end-of-career implosion, and it's hard to know who would be better to replace him. I bring this up only because sometimes it's a crap shoot knowing who can perform better with the contraints the PBC have to work with. I have no idea who would be better, right now at this minute, than NH. I suspect Nutting doesn't either, or else he'd have brought him in by now.


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:56 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
bucco boy wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Jocketty took the Reds to the playoffs in his third season.
Friedman took the Rays to the World Series in his third season.
Mozeliak has been running the Cardinals like a Swiss clock since 2007.

I want a guy who can lead the PBC into the playoffs and keep them contending. I want a Jocketty/Friedman/Mozeliak. What do you want? To give NH more time?


This is bad argument to your point. What did the Rays and Reds already have in their systems before those GMs took over? I am not taking anything away from them, but it's a really bad comparison.


Obviously it's not a perfect comparison. I'm not saying it is. But I don't see how it could be so bad that Huntington would need TWICE as long as those guys needed to put a team in the playoffs. Are you saying that the Pirates had SO LITTLE that it would take ANY general manager six full years before turning it around?

I think that's what a lot of people have been saying. I've said something along those lines.

You seem to forget how bereft of talent the Pirates' farm system was when Littlefield was fired. NH started as the Pirates GM from a position well behind that of Friedman's first day, Mozeliak's first day, and Jocketty's first day. I don't think there was a team that had a worse farm system than the Pirates had at the end of 2007.

Here's what young players (age 25 and under) the foregoing GMs had in their respective systems (minor league and major league) on their first day:

Friedman (2006):
Scott Kazmir (Age 21)
BJ Upton (Age 21)
Carl Crawford (Age 24)
James Shields (Age 24)
Rocco Baldelli (Age 24)
Delmon Young (Age 20)
Jeff Niemann (Age 22)
Jason Hammel (Age 23)

Mozeliak (2008):
Yadier Molina (Age 25)
Jaime Garcia (Age 21)
Colby Rasmus (Age 21)
Allen Craig (Age 23)
David Freese (Age 25)
Chris Perez (Age 22)

Oh, and Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, who were not under the age of 25 but stayed with the Cardinals through 2011 and are among the best players at their respective positions.

Jocketty (2008):
Joey Votto (Age 24)
Edwin Encarnacion (Age 25)
Jay Bruce (Age 21)
Johnny Cueto (Age 22)
Homer Bailey (Age 22)
Yonder Alonso (Age 21)
Todd Frazier (Age 22)
Zach Cozart (Age 22)
Chris Heisey (Age 23)
Devin Mesoraco (Age 20)
Drew Stubbs (Age 23)

Oh, and Josh Hamilton and Adam Dunn, who were not under the age of 25, but who were prolific hitters that Jocketty traded shortly after arriving in Cincinnati.

The Pirates' system at the end of 2007 does not compare well to any of these lists of players.

J_C_Steel wrote:
If so, that's an interesting suggestion. Especially since Huntington inherited an MVP-level player (Cutch) and a very good second baseman (Walker) -- together the two best, most consistent hitters on the ball club. He also inherited Starling Marte, who will be starting in left field. That's likely 1-2-3 in the batting order. Who's the best hitter on the team that NH acquired?

Congratulations: you pointed out 3 hitting prospects from the Pirates farm system at the end of 2007 that many teams would be very happy to have. And while that is only a mere 3 prospects, they would have been quite important to any GM's rebuild of the Pirates.

But as good as they are, there is one thing that not one of McCutchen, Walker, or Marte can do on the baseball field: pitch.

Question: where were the pitchers? Who were the young pitching prospects that the Pirates had in 2007? Brad Lincoln is the only one I can count, and he couldn't handle starting. Matter of fact, who among the Pirates current starters was with the team in 2007? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Congratulations: you pointed out 3 hitting prospects from the Pirates farm system at the end of 2007 that many teams would be very happy to have. And while that is only a mere 3 prospects, they would have been quite important to any GM's rebuild of the Pirates.


Furthermore, with as much as people like to criticize the organization for their inherent lack of being able to develop talent, you could make the argument that the current regime actually "developed" two of those given that at the time McCutchen was the only premiere prospect among the three, a 5-tool centerfielder that simply excelled all through the minors as anticipated when he was drafted. Basically up until the year he was promoted, Walker was viewed as a disappointment as a first round pick and he never really posted better than mediocre numbers anywhere in the minors and he was seen as a lost cause until he had a decent 2010 season and Iwamura flopped to give him the promotion. Huntington also wasn't shy about challenging Walker in citing that he needed to work out attitude/lack of hustle issues at one point when he thought he was deserving of a call-up. Marte spent all but the first few months of his signing with Huntington's staff.


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:06 am 
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Willton wrote:
The Pirates' system at the end of 2007 does not compare well to any of these lists of players.


I agree with you. I never said otherwise.

(By the way -- you only listed two young pitchers in your list of players with the Reds. Jocketty has had to bring in the rest.)

Regardless, all of these comparisons drive the conclusion that Neal Huntington should get more time to turn around the Pirates. OK. How much more time? Friedman and Jocketty had their teams qualifying for the playoffs in three years. If the Pirates don't qualify for the post-season in 2013, then Huntington will have had double that time (six full seasons) and failed to do so. Is that enough time? Or does Huntington need a decade to turn this franchise around?

More to the point, why did you write that YOU would fire him if this season isn't a success, Willton?


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:59 am 
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The Pirates do not have to make the playoffs to save Huntington's job. But if they break .500 AND see significant progress from their younger players and prospects, the entire regime will be safe.


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:37 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
The Pirates do not have to make the playoffs to save Huntington's job. But if they break .500 AND see significant progress from their younger players and prospects, the entire regime will be safe.


You're probably right. And if the arrow is pointing up, I might agree with holding the course. But the pressure would be on for 2014...


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:50 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Ralphie wrote:
The Pirates do not have to make the playoffs to save Huntington's job. But if they break .500 AND see significant progress from their younger players and prospects, the entire regime will be safe.


You're probably right. And if the arrow is pointing up, I might agree with holding the course. But the pressure would be on for 2014...

Agree with both. The current Pirates team has enough talent to win 85 games. Not that they would need a disaster to wind up winning 79 again, but without any change, this roster has enough to put up 85 wins.

If they win 75, absent some perfect storm of misfortune that no team could absorb, then Huntington is in trouble.

If they win 82-85 and Cole, Taillon, Heredia, Bell, Polanco, Hansen, Barnes, and the 2 top picks this year progress as expected, then Huntington is safe.


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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:16 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Willton wrote:
The Pirates' system at the end of 2007 does not compare well to any of these lists of players.


I agree with you. I never said otherwise.

(By the way -- you only listed two young pitchers in your list of players with the Reds. Jocketty has had to bring in the rest.)

Wrong: Jocketty only brought in Volquez, Leake and Latos, with Volquez being swapped for Latos last year after Dusty Baker damn near ruined him. You forgot about Bronson Arroyo. I omitted Arroyo because he was over the age of 25 and not a star player, but he's a solid starter that has been with the Reds since before Jocketty arrived.

Another thing to note: Jocketty traded for Volquez and Latos using assets he inherited from the previous regime (i.e., Josh Hamilton and Yonder Alonso). Huntington did not inherit a Josh Hamilton or a Yonder Alonso that he could responsibly trade for similar-type players. (And before you say "What about Jason Bay?", Adam Dunn was Jocketty's Jason Bay.)

J_C_Steel wrote:
Regardless, all of these comparisons drive the conclusion that Neal Huntington should get more time to turn around the Pirates. OK. How much more time? Friedman and Jocketty had their teams qualifying for the playoffs in three years. If the Pirates don't qualify for the post-season in 2013, then Huntington will have had double that time (six full seasons) and failed to do so. Is that enough time? Or does Huntington need a decade to turn this franchise around?

I thought 5 years was enough time, at least to get us to above .500. Playoffs are a different ball of wax. I don't like putting timelines on such goals because it doesn't allow for consideration of particularly difficult or unforeseeable circumstances. I prefer to look at the organization's stated philosophy and the actions executed in furtherance of said philosophy, as well as the level of progress an organization makes from year to year.

If you wanted a timeline from me, then I'm sorry to disappoint. I can't solve all of your problems.

J_C_Steel wrote:
More to the point, why did you write that YOU would fire him if this season isn't a success, Willton?

I wrote that because after seeing the disappointing returns from the drafts thus far (and my disappointment mainly stems from the 2009 draft and other draft picks from later rounds), along with the controversial policies implemented from a player development standpoint (e.g., fastball academy; military-style conditioning), I think that the big club may benefit from someone else calling the shots. I have thus far agreed with NH's trading strategy and think he's much better at trading current assets than you claim, and until last year's CBA nixed it as a strategy, I've loved NH's willingness to take risks in the draft (e.g., Tanner Scheppers, Mark Appel) and shell out cash to seemingly unsignable amateur draft picks who were deemed to have high levels of talent (e.g., Josh Bell, Pedro Alvarez, Robbie Grossman, Quinton Miller, Zach Von Rosenberg). But I think he needs to be better at scouting talent and developing players, or at least hiring those who do such things well, so that a greater percentage of the prospects that we do bring in, either via trade or via the amateur draft, end up becoming average to above-average ball players.

So why one more year? Because I think he deserves an opportunity to see whether guys like Jerry Sands, Jose Tabata, Clint Robinson, and Travis Snider can make it as productive players. Because if such players end up being productive, it validates NH's decision to acquire them and will likely drive the Pirates over the .500 mark, giving reason to keep NH running the show for a little bit longer.

Also, I'm tired of losing, much like everyone here is. But to me, merely losing is not reason enough to axe NH. I can't in good conscience call for the head of the GM when the GM is not (for a lack of a better term) the proximate cause of the problem. The losing must be fairly tied to the GM's actions in order to justify his release.

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 Post subject: Re: Grilli Blasts the PBC's Management Team
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:17 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Ralphie wrote:
The Pirates do not have to make the playoffs to save Huntington's job. But if they break .500 AND see significant progress from their younger players and prospects, the entire regime will be safe.


You're probably right. And if the arrow is pointing up, I might agree with holding the course. But the pressure would be on for 2014...

Agree with both. The current Pirates team has enough talent to win 85 games. Not that they would need a disaster to wind up winning 79 again, but without any change, this roster has enough to put up 85 wins.

If they win 75, absent some perfect storm of misfortune that no team could absorb, then Huntington is in trouble.

If they win 82-85 and Cole, Taillon, Heredia, Bell, Polanco, Hansen, Barnes, and the 2 top picks this year progress as expected, then Huntington is safe.


Bucfan, you make me feel better. I really, really, really, really hope you're right about the "85-win talent." If Russell Martin contributes on both the offensive and defensive end of things, and SOMEONE provides about league-average production in right field, the lineup will only have one true hole. And the pitching? Just hope for little regression from Burnett/Rodriguez, a decent year from JMac, a typical 90-120 innings from Karstens, and something good from the pu-pu platter of Liriano/Locke/McFear.

Let's Go Bucs!


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