Comments on: First Pitch: The Day Huntington and Stark Lost Their Jobs? Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:36:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: TonyPenaforHOF Tue, 25 Sep 2012 20:00:00 +0000 Tim, I think your post actually supports my point!

The reason AJ Burnett was available had nothing to do with the player the Pirates sent to NY. It was due to his performance was not close enough to the value of his contract. If his fundamentals were better, his performance would have been better. That was why he was available for such a small price. This year he has been a good MLB pitcher. Pirate fans feel he is a GREAT pitcher because we have been exposed to such a low standard for 20 years. It goes without saying the Yankees higher standards than the Pirates, which is why he was available in the first place.

Typically fundamentally sound players with talent are impossible to trade for. The exceptions usually occur when there is an established player blocking someone from coming up. That’s when we see typically a trade for a fundamentally sound young player.

Look at the trades and FA signings in Pittsburgh over the last 5 years. Either fire sales or buying low on players with talent but flawed. This will DESTROY the culture of an organization unless a change agent comes along and leads the organization. The Pirates are still doing that today. I know everyone praised the deals for Travis Snyder and Gabby Sanchez but the real question is why were they available in the first place? I hope both players turn it around and we have seen some positive signs but something is less than stellar with both players despite their talents. Neither is sound fundamentally which is why they were available at such a cheap price.

Marte is a difficult question to answer. It depends on his development and the package offered. His game is built on speed and defense. He isn’t going to be a power hitter, so his skills will deteriorate faster as he ages. I love his arm and his speed but if he doesn’t figure out the fundamentals he is going to fail. He has the potential, but so did Ronny Cedeno, Jeff Clement, and many others who have darkened our door.

Let me ask – two years ago would anyone have traded Tabata? Today we can’t give him away. What is wrong with Tabata – his fundamentals. As this website pointed out he is just as fast as he always was. But he isn’t hitting, playing good defense or running the bases well at all. Again, this is why the Yankees (see a pattern here?) made him available.

By: TonyPenaforHOF Tue, 25 Sep 2012 19:15:00 +0000 Sorry Tim but I think you are actually supporting my point with your answer.

Typically players with talent and are sound fundamentally are virtually off limits in a trade. Unless it’s a win-win by trading excess at one position for another team’s excess at another position to fill mutual needs this almost never happens.

If AJ Burnett was fundamentally more sound he would have produced better results, which would have been easier to justify his contract. Since he didn’t produce near his contract value, he was dumped to the Pirates. He has had a good year for a MLB pitcher. He has had a GREAT year in the minds of Pirate fans, because we are use to seeing much poorer performances over the last 20 years. It goes without saying the Yankees have higher standards than the Pirates. The Pirates are not good, they just aren’t as bad as we are use to.

Look at the trades and the FA signings over the last 5 years – either fire sale or buying low on a player who had some promise but is tarnished. That mentality KILLS the culture of an organization, unless a change agent comes along and is really good at what they do. Huntington and Stark just are not good enough at what they do. They are just better than what we had before. Time for them to go.

By: gonfalon Tue, 25 Sep 2012 17:20:00 +0000 “For example, carrying a pole on a beach just sounds like potential
injuries waiting to happen. It also sounds like a team building
exercise. In this case, I’m not sure if the team building out-weighs the
potential for risk.”

absolutely agreed.

By: Tim Williams Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:44:00 +0000 I don’t think it’s that easy. For example, A.J. Burnett is one of the easiest pitchers to steal a base off of. If that was the only problem he had with the Yankees, he’d still be with the Yankees. The base stealing I put more on the philosophy. I think if they put a focus on trying to catch runners, the numbers would be significantly better.

As for the other side, they’ve got a ton of fast players, but a lot of bad base stealers. I don’t think any team would give up a player just for that, though. Just look at Marte. Would you give him up because he’s bad at stealing bases?

By: TonyPenaforHOF Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:19:00 +0000 Maybe that’s why other teams are letting them go…

By: TonyPenaforHOF Tue, 25 Sep 2012 14:50:00 +0000 My point is organizational excellence requires focus on the outcomes to be achieved. When that focus is switched so the key elements of SEALS training, or any non-baseball training, can be introduced it is a recipe for disaster. What we focus on is what grows.

IF the elements of SEALS training MAKE a baseball player better, it needs to be incorporated into the BASEBALL training these young men see every day. If it’s not seamless the essential elements will not transfer and the activity is a waste of time. People who understand management on a professional level know this to be true. This is where Kyle Stark, and to an extent Neil Huntington, are woefully inept. There is a big difference between knowing something and understanding how to transfer that knowledge into actionable results.

Our outcomes are lousy. Rankings are ok, but the real test is the overall production for the entire organization. After five years it’s just not there.

By: Tim Williams Mon, 24 Sep 2012 14:07:00 +0000 My guess is that this was based on’s point system, where they give points to teams based on how many players they have in the top 100. The Pirates were at the top, or near the top of that list, and I saw a lot of people saying that meant they had one of the best farm systems. But that’s not the entire system. It just means they had one of the best showings in the top 100.

I’m just guessing that’s what Kevin was referring to. I could be wrong.

By: RandyLinville Mon, 24 Sep 2012 10:46:00 +0000 Baseball America had the Bucs at #11 coming into 2012 (

Kevin Goldstein at BP had the club at #8 coming into 2012 ( )

Has anyone updated their rankings to put Pittsburgh at #1?

By: Kevin Anstrom Mon, 24 Sep 2012 04:12:00 +0000 Regarding point #1 – the Pirates have the best farm system in baseball. How good do you think it should be?

By: F Lang Sun, 23 Sep 2012 16:27:00 +0000 What is interesting ecbucs is I specifically remember a special about our system (specifiically focused on the dominican) on fox sports spit when littlefield was still here and it emphasized the point that the whole system was doing the same thing from “at every level – down to the Dominican we are doing the same as in the mlb.” …then i specifically also remember NH taking a jab when he took over aluding to the fact that there was not uniformity of practices down through the system. Listening to a fo speak is a lot like a political campaign…you don’t know what is spin or what is fact.