Williams: Addiction, Baseball, Confidence, Drugs, and Equilibrium

At the end of the day, I think we all want to return to the feeling of being children.

After a long day of work — a task that we have normalized as the only aspect of this life worth living for — we all return to our homes and search for the thing that can make us release control, let our guards down, and learn from the greater universe.

Addiction is a necessary aspect of adult life. We villainize some addictions. If there’s a drug that isn’t administered and regulated by the medical community, it gets villainized. Alcohol gets villainized. Eating unhealthy food gets villainized. Excessive amounts of sex gets villainized. Excessive consumerism gets villainized. Caffeine… never really gets villainized, actually.

Although I have partaken in every one of the above addictions, caffeine is the most brutal. We don’t recognize it as an addiction, because it’s necessary for this fast-paced, Capitalist lifestyle. If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve intentionally consumed caffeine today. Maybe you know someone who brags about how much of a monster they would become if they didn’t get their daily fix, first thing in the morning. Maybe you’ve seen what happens when someone withdraws from caffeine. Of course, I’m saying all of this as someone who wakes up with more natural energy than 99% of the people who drink coffee.

And that’s after they’ve had their morning coffee, allowing them to still remain below my energy level.

Am I just energetic because I’ve rebelled against Capitalism and the American work model for years, he asks after disappearing from work for a week? Perhaps. I do have my own addictions, as we all do. Marijuana has been one of my publicized addictions over the last few years. You’ll hear that marijuana isn’t an addictive substance, but the truth is that anything that makes you feel the way you want to feel is an addictive substance. I’ve intentionally addicted myself to marijuana, which has allowed me to cut out the need for any other “addictive” substance. If I wake up and smoke an indica strain, I get the relaxed and confident feeling that I imagine most people have after their morning coffee. I still have more energy, even after consuming a couch-locked drug.

At the end of the day, there is no addictive substance that can truly overwhelm my body or brain. Except, maybe, the sport of baseball.

And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.


Baseball can consume your life, even if you’ve never played. It’s like a drug. There are games every night, and sometimes every day. The game is pretty much year-round, with the heightened interest in the off-season over the last decade-plus, along with winter league action.

Back in 2009, I started this site to feed that addiction from both ends. This site allowed me to write about baseball and consume baseball all day, almost every day. I’ve been doing that for 15 seasons on this site, after getting my first taste of sportswriting the previous two years, and after getting hooked on this particular drug as a child. It also provided a space for people around the world to gather and discuss with other people their shared choice of a life addiction.

Back in the 90s, before the internet and MLB.tv, I feel like everyone had WGN and TBS. If you were like me, you’d return home from school as a child, turn on the TV, and watch the Cubs. Maybe the Braves had a day game. Growing up in central PA, I also had access to Pirates games. After moving to Virginia, I had access to watch my favorite team, the Orioles.

Baltimore is where most of my baseball memories came as a child. My memories of Pittsburgh were that it was easy to get good seats, it was easy for my brother and I to get autographs after the game, and you got to watch baseball — even if it wasn’t good baseball.

Back in 2004-05, I started getting tired of the “synthetic” feeling of the Baltimore Orioles. By this time in my life, I was drawn to the underdog. I was consumed by a book called Moneyball, and I was watching the Pirates to see if they could ever build a winner. The Orioles were spending to try to win, like a Yankees-lite team. They added Miguel Tejada as a free agent, and I remember cheering on top of my dorm room sofa. A year later, all I wanted to do was journey six hours each way to Pittsburgh every time Oliver Perez pitched.

Building a winner is complex. It’s not just about adding the best 26 players to the active roster. You need twice that amount of players during a normal season, and you need the right attitude, drive, and focus from the top of the organization to the bottom. I know this from years of studying the Pirates closely — starting with those trips to watch Perez, and resuming through the ups and downs of the franchise during the 15 years of this site’s existence.

Baseball isn’t just about winning. It’s a game of chess. Sometimes, in a chess game, you can lose but still make a move that has never been seen before and might never be seen again. There’s a back-and-forth flow. This is the source of baseball’s addictive powers. If you get lost in that flow, you might be able to forget that you had to do Capitalism that day, or that you have unresolved problems to deal with in your life. Those few hours of baseball per day can make you feel like a child again — coming home from the end of a long day to turn on the TV and watch other people display how to find the balance needed for success.

Because that’s all we’re doing in this life: Trying to find our own balance to be the best we can be toward the challenges we choose to conquer. Perhaps as a guide on how to conquer life for the first time. Perhaps as a guide on how to do it all over again.

Baseball is the best guide, although that’s just my opinion, as someone who grew up addicted to the game as a guide for life.

But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.


Children look to adults as guides. As children, we’re all taught that the people who are legally adults are the ones with knowledge. They should be respected. They should be listened to. And, they shouldn’t be doubted. Eventually, we all become adult age, yet we are still left seeking out how to become an adult.

Confidence is a hard thing to gain. We all start off in this world in a naturally unconfident state as children. We’re all born with no knowledge at all, and everyone around us telling us what life is. Many of us are guided into our adult lives by the projections and paths paved out by the limited people around us in our childhood. We show an early proclivity toward a subject, and every adult around pushes us toward that career path.

Choosing an adult life is something that I believe happens for most people in their 30s. Not everyone grows to be an adult. When I qualify an adult life in this way, I’m talking about making an unguided choice for yourself. Most people go through life being guided by society. That society starts with their parents, extends to their school and community, and eventually to their career and co-workers. After being guided for so long, we all reach that point where we know how to do things our way — even if some choose to still remain on a guided path.

Changing paths is difficult as an adult. The difficulty begins when you have to admit to yourself that the current path is not for you. This is difficult because you were likely put on this path by external powers. Eventually, you reach a point where you’re more powerful than the adults in your society who guided you, at least in terms of knowing what you need. For some, this point happens when they are still children. I can tell you that from the age of 12, not a single adult could tell me what was right for my life. That hasn’t changed today at the age of 40. That doesn’t mean I was confident at age 12. The confidence I have in myself at age 40 is both something I wish I had at age 35, and yet something that I know will be improved upon by age 45.

Confidence comes when you start acting in a way that is right for you, and in a way that works within the world. It’s about knowing who you are in life, knowing what you need in life going forward, knowing what you can accomplish in life, and knowing that no one can stop you. Still, it’s difficult to maintain confidence in a world where so many adults are essentially children, constantly asking “What are your qualifications for acting in this adult way?”

Confidence can be a dangerous thing when it comes from an ignorant place. We live in a world where everyone knows the tricks to sound and appear confident. My belief is that we’re drawn to sports because it displays confidence as an act, which is the only true confidence. You can’t truly be confident if you’re not acting confident. If you’re not confident in the game of baseball, you will fail, and more than the acceptable ~70% failure rate normally seen in the game.

Consuming a game of baseball allows us all to watch human beings in their 20s try to accomplish what most humans in their 30s struggle to achieve — real confidence in their abilities, along with the confidence that those abilities can take them where they need to go. We all enjoy the escape from Capitalism for a few hours when watching a game, but I think we all secretly like the guide on how to go from raw talent to a confident performer.

Come on, Rook. Show us that million-dollar arm, ’cause I got a good idea about that five-cent head of yours.


Drugs provide a shortcut to confidence.

During the last few years, I’ve smoked literal pounds of marijuana. I always knew what I wanted to do in life, and always could find ways to make that work. I’m a sports writer today, and have been for 17 years now, as proof of that statement. Yet, I’ve never really had true confidence. I’ve always found ways to doubt myself, and I’ve always only heard the voices in society that would echo those doubts.

Doubt is a killer in this life. It’s almost impossible to ignore when people are doubting you. There’s an invisible ratio which exists in society. We all crave acceptance, because we know that society can make or break us. No matter how good you are and no matter what it is that you’re good at, doubt has crept into your life, infecting your ability. What I’ve learned while running this site and getting a unique look inside the game is that no person is free of doubt, no matter the stage they stand upon.

Despite our society’s obsession with money, power, and fame, none of those things can vanquish doubt. Every rich, famous, powerful person doubts themselves daily. How we deal with that doubt is the difference between what makes us great and what allows us to fail. There’s an invisible ratio in society. It exists as a different number for each of us. It’s all dependent on how much society has doubted you in the past. Some people have a negative ratio — simply based on how much the people in their own existence have doubted their abilities — and this negative ratio locks them into a mindset of doubt.

Drugs destroy doubt.

During the last few years, I’ve smoked weed excessively because it’s worked to eliminate my own doubt. Prior to this, I used other drugs or substances. We call alcohol “liquid courage” for a reason, because it’s known widely to remove doubt and allow people to express themselves in a bar surrounded by strangers — aka, “Little Society.” If you’re drinking all the time, we call that an addiction, and we fail to recognize that the real problem is a lack of sober confidence.

Drugs are prescribed by doctors for this reason. Prior to smoking weed, I was prescribed an unhealthy mixture of drugs from a doctor. Every morning, I woke up with one drug reducing depression, one drug increasing serotonin, and the hangover from the nightly pain killers that were prescribed for me to sleep. I was told this combo might be for the rest of my life. Eventually, I started trying marijuana, and switched to that exclusively because that led to me feeling more like myself than the combo prescribed by and paid for by my insurance. Marijuana also provided a shortcut to confidence by removing all doubt from my mind.

Do a little dab of weed, and you’ll find that every thought that goes through your head is the greatest idea ever. You don’t mind sharing those ideas with anyone, even if those people are people who have previously doubted you. After living in this experience enough, I had replicated the feeling of what it’s like to truly be confident in your abilities. It wasn’t always a healthy confidence, and my journey toward healthy confidence didn’t lead to all happy times. The only way out is through.

Don’t get me wrong: Marijuana is just my answer, and I never would have gotten to this point without the help of doctors — including the one who prescribed me my weed card — along with trained therapists. My current medical marijuana doctor was also the first medically trained professional in any field to tell me that the only thing that matters in life is how you want to feel, and I think that’s important. I personally strive to feel the way I do with marijuana, only without the need to consume marijuana. I’ve had several blind tests this year where I went sober into a situation where I previously lacked confidence. I found each time that I had a healthier level of confidence than in the past, and ultimately I was able to express myself how I wanted the majority of the time with zero assistance from any substance. At this point, I no longer need any substances for confidence. That’s personal development.

Development is a tricky word. In the game of baseball, it’s long been confused with developing skills and abilities. If you’ve increased your fastball velocity or changed your stance at the plate, you’re developing. One of those things will magically lead to success. My belief at this point is that the only thing to be developed is the mind. It’s confidence. It’s removing doubt. It’s raw expression. We love baseball at any level because it’s pure, split-second reaction. Within that reaction we see which players are fueled by confidence to express their abilities, and which are held back by doubt. We all can see it, even if we can’t always qualify it with words, and even if we could never quantify a thing such as confidence. My unique position around the game — paired with a pitch-perfect ear that can quickly distinguish between tones by any person from Bob Nutting to players at the amateur level — has allowed me to further see the relationships between Confidence/Doubt and future success. There’s a reason I’ve been on an island over the years believing in certain prospects who eventually made the majors. This is perhaps my greatest skill in life.

Discerning between healthy and unhealthy confidence is difficult. Believing in yourself and having a healthy amount doubt is ideal. You can reach the Majors by taking a “no doubt” approach, but I believe you only remain by having a healthy amount of doubt to filter your confidence and find how you can express yourself in the best way.

Don’t be the person swinging at every pitch, to put it simply.

Dynamite drop-in, Monte. That broadcast school has really paid off.


Equilibrium is the goal.

Everyone in this world possesses the capacity for a healthy equilibrium. We all have some level of confidence, we all have doubt, and we all have an idea of what we’re capable of achieving.

Eventually, we reach a point where the confidence and doubt balances out to a ratio we’re comfortable with, and we’re able to effortlessly apply our skills without thinking. That’s the Major League ability: Knowing what to do when you’ve got 0.2 seconds to react.

Even if your job doesn’t involve hitting a 100 MPH fastball, you’re going to be faced in life with split-second decisions. The outcome of those decisions could either provide cherished memories of performance, or reactions that will haunt you forever. How many times have you instinctively said “You too!” to a cashier at a restaurant telling you to enjoy your meal? There’s a reason we look to reactionary, society-simulating sports like baseball as a guide on how to have proper confidence in yourself. Watching someone strike out and then return to hit a home run in their next at-bat gives us the confidence example to return to that restaurant again.

Every level of the minor leagues is about building to that Major League confidence. Each level is about finding what works in your job, what works in your life, what works for your body, and so on. The challenge is that what works for your job might not be the thing that works for your life, and what works for your work/life balance might not always factor in your ideal physical health. The benefit that Major League players have is that most of them are in their 20s, before life really takes hold, and when your body is more resilient. The disadvantage is that they’re required to gain the healthy confident balance that most people don’t achieve until their 30s — and which some people die without discovering.

Essentially, this is a long, crafted explanation of not only how I see the game of baseball and the game of life these days, but also my reservations toward running a prospect site going forward. What I know is that the majority of developing players — and some in the majors — are ruled by doubt. The best in the game are ruled by confidence. Yet, confidence can wane, especially when there’s an entire industry dedicated toward projecting which of the 180 revolving players in the system will eventually claim one of the presently claimed 26 spots in the Major Leagues.

Earlier this year, the contributors of this site and I parted ways. They wanted player pages with static scouting reports on display, along with a page that numerically ranks every player in the system. This is the standard prospect approach. This would be profitable for me, as the man who owns the longest running and most visited site that covers the Pirates minor league system. My focus has been trying to create a new approach. One which feeds the daily addiction we all have for baseball, yet respects that the players in the minors — and the ones in the Major Leagues — are just human beings who may or may not have a healthy Confidence/Doubt ratio.

Equipped with over a dozen upcoming player stories from my reporting over the last month, you can expect more player stories from me to round out the year. They’ll all be written with this new approach, attempting to give my unique view of the game. The first articles will be released in an article drop tomorrow, and the entire series will be released in article drops this month. From there, I’m most likely going to pursue a job inside the game of baseball this offseason. That’s never been a dream of mine, nor something that I’ve seen as a real possibility.

Emboldened by my mad scientist testing over the last two years, I know this site can work with any approach I take. I could even grow it to having other writers again. My belief is that my knowledge would be better suited inside the game of baseball. I feel better about the idea of silently identifying for an MLB team which amateurs have a healthy Confidence/Doubt ratio, or quietly finding ways to improve that ratio for young professional players in an MLB development system. That’s compared to telling thousands of strangers a day on my self-built public stage which players I think have “what it takes” to eventually reach and remain in the Major Leagues.

Each option is viable for me. Don’t expect this site to go anywhere until I eventually go somewhere else. Just know that, at this stage in my life, with my current knowledge and information, and my current Confidence/Doubt ratio, I’d prefer being inside the game. Not because working for a Major League Baseball team is a dream (it is) or a childhood goal (it hasn’t been), but simply because I truly feel like that is where I belong in greater society at this stage in my life’s unique development toward being a real, live adult.

Everyone who has ever read this site, or contributed in any way, has helped to lead me to this point, and I appreciate all of you. I hope the remaining loyal readers will enjoy my remaining player features. From there, you might next see me with a stack of resumes at the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville.

Excuse me, but what the hell’s going on out here?

Well, Nuke’s scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man’s here. We need a live… is it a live rooster?

[Jose nods]

We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose’s glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present.

[to the players]

Is that about right?

[the players nod]

We’re dealing with a lot of shit.

Okay, well, uh… candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she’s registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let’s get two! Go get ’em.

+ posts

Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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Bowen and Siani both played in Australia last winter and it seemed to improve their play. Next year they will probably go to Altoona where the suspects can become prospects. I do not see either of them making a successful jump. Siani has tools but can not hit. Bowen has power and speed but lacks a true hit tool. They booth flame out there.


Last nights game was a bit surreal. Down 9 runs in the first three innings and then coming back to win it, was amazing. I don’t think the young bucs know they are supposed to lose these and all games. Great way to end the year by screwing with other teams playoff chances.


I’m not a man of many words, but I’d like you to know I’ve always enjoyed the articles over the years. I’m very sad to see the site winding down. Thank you so much for taking the courage to even start the Pirates Prospects endeavor and to put together very informative, interesting and entertaining articles. I’ll miss that!
I wish you well with whatever you do. God Bless you!


Although this is now a zombie site it is still here and we tend to come back to it, so lets use it to express our opinions. Here are mine: Hayes now looks like he will be worth his contract. He seems to have learned to hit. Reynolds had an okay year but needs to be better. Jack scares me. When he is hot we see some long home runs but when he slumps he is awful. I thought Davis would have no trouble hitting but so far he has shown very little. Piggy has shown power and good defense but where does he play when Cruz is back. Triolo can hit with little power but he should be the teams first baseman next year. Keller is a solid number two and Oviedo is a very good three. If Skens can be an ace and the team can fill the other two spots with good starters then this team can win the central division next year. So what do you think. Rip me apart if you disagree.


R we becoming pen pals?


Hayes has earned about 8.7 bWAR since signing the extension. With that kind of production, his arb years would have been valued at something like ~$40MM total. To get three more years beyond that for ~$30MM is looking like a bargain. He also seems to be really meshing with the young players. We’re fortunate to get to watch him.

I agree on Triolo, though signing someone like Santana as insurance would be nice.

Peggy should be our 2B moving forward unless Gonzales forces his way there. And I still want to believe in Suwinski. At worst, he should be a valuable strong-half of a platoon.


Tim, I have been reading your work since it was Buccofans.com. I met you at numerous pirates fest in the past. Bought the physical books. I grew up in Pittsburgh and always rooted for other teams because they sucked so bad as a kid. You got me into the pirates again after Neal and Frank took over. Thanks Man, I wish you nothing but the best I learned so much about the game of baseball from you. I’d love to smoke some weed with you one day. Best of luck, I hope I see your name as a minor league director for a MLB club one day. You deserve it. Take care.


My gosh… good luck to this poster in his life and Tim W for there upcomng weed fest, beautiful stuff🤦‍♂️🤣


Tim, I have been trying to email you but my mail has not been getting through. I wish to cancel my subscription for Pirates prospects and cancel any renewals in the future. Please give me an email to reach you or just accept this post as a cancellation and save me an email. thanks.


tim@piratesprospects.com is an old one I have for him but I’m not sure he responds to it anymore.


Tim, You have my post I hope you will accept that as an cancellation.


That is the email I tried to use but is being rejected, so I think that this blog is over.


I just sent to that email and it seemed to work. Maybe try again.


I’d need to cancel mine as well. The site does have an Account page with a Subscriptions section on it but does not provide a way to actually cancel the subscription. The Change Plan link only offers two payment options, annual and monthly. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything here, but if I get charged in the future I’ll report it as fraudulent.


You gotta do what you want to do. You gotta do what you need to do. “Need” is not necessarily money driven. Tim, I wish you all the best moving forward. Fun fact for you:
I moved from PA to Staunton, VA around age 10 or 11. It was mid school year and the school had a music program, so I took up playing the trumpet. Problem was; I was way behind the other students, so my music teacher placed me with a tutor who played trumpet at our high school. His name? Larry Sheetz. You would never know that he was a great athlete. He was humble, patient and just an overall great person. I grew up a Pirates fan, but always rooted for Larry and the O’s. 🙂


I’ve enjoyed your site from just about the beginning. Could you please email me in private as so that our conversation private.



I think confidence can be an overrated factor. I think ranking every person on a confidence is an incomplete picture and lacking a some nuance. I’d define confidence as a feeling or belief that you can accomplish something. I think having the belief is always very important, but the feeling can come and go and searching for the feeling can be overrated.

There are a lot of times where I don’t feel confident but I’ve been able to perform well, yet you can still have the belief even when you don’t feel confident. If, at time of a performance, you don’t have the feeling you want then you might start getting worried which then becomes a distraction that negatively affects your performance.

You can also have confidence without cause, which looks like a bad quarterback trying to be a gunslinger and throwing 5 interceptions. Preparation and talent can outweigh confidence.

Also, I’ve found that even if the feeling is initially missing, confidence can build slowly during a performance.


This was once a powerhouse of a site for minor league baseball and Pirates baseball. This was the place to be.

Now, it’s dying a very bizarre death…It’s become a support group.


I could not agree more!! I didn’t sign up for what is essentially a therapeutic devise for the owner.


I support you moving on to something else, but I would love for the site to continue in some fashion. Have you considered handing it (the domain) over to someone else?


Nevermind Tim I just saw the post below touching on this.


Please seek help sir!


Not being critical in the least here, just genuine question. The part I don’t understand is that you have people in John and Wilbur who were glad to generate daily content. Why not let them do so and you continue publishing the long form articles that you like? It seemed like a good marriage. You could still write interesting features and we’d still have daily content. When you tried to go on your own it seemed like too big of a task to do it all. Unless its just time to do something else anyway, which I totally get. But in that case, why not sell the site to John and Wilbur? Feel free to answer however, just asking as a long time reader. You should feel very accomplished, you worked really hard and built a unique and a great site and its been a wonderful distraction for me for many years.


My apologies for the insensitive comment. I wish you nothing but the best.


Other than the first sentence, great article Tim. I have enjoyed reading this site for years and appreciate your sharing your journey with us. Best luck with whichever direction you decide to go. If you join a team, I hope it is the Pirates or Orioles. If you join the Cubs or Yankees, I may have to damn you forever!!!!!


This may be the best article you’ve ever written, Tim. Very insightful for a man only just reaching 40. You’ve left me with a good feeling, even if that means your site closes down. I wish you good luck with your future. I am hoping your searh lands you ‘inside’ the Pirates organization in some way because I think you can do whatever team you land with some real good.


Tim, I wish you the best no matter where you land. I enjoy your writing and enjoyed using this site for years. I liked what all of you brought as a team but also your uniqueness in reporting. I am glad they picked up elsewhere and I go there and will continue to come here. If you get a front office job then you will just have to put up with all of us claiming life long friendships and asking for tickets!


“At the end of the day, I think we all want to return to the feeling of being children.”

Maybe some people do, but I definitely do not!


Some childen feel awash in a world of chaos that they cannot control. They feel lost and frightened most of the time – those are not the one’s he is talking about here. Others life in a framework of love & stability which breeds confidence and happiness. I think it’s the ones that really trust the world around them that he is talking about. While they can still be little tornados at times, a truly happy kid is a wonder to see.


Likewise. If I’m going to be at the mercy of damaged adults, I’d rather it be on more fair footing as a fellow adult than a helpless child.
Medical marijuana has helped me considerably as I’m trying to work through the issues that resulted, allowing me to put together thoughts and make connections. And on the best days, a nice big brownie quiets the mind so I have a measure of peace instead of being bombarded by intrusive memories.
Each of us does what we need to do in order to make it through the day. Wiping away everything from my childhood except the baseball connections made is what I’ve been working on.
If anyone wants to Google complex PTSD please do. Capirate, hoping your experience wasn’t as severe, but I feel your sentiment.


I genuinely appreciate your response. Though I’d never wish anyone else have gone through anything similar, crossing paths with those having the unfortunate commonality is in itself edifying.
An evening with a delicious and potent cannabis brownie quiets my mind considerably, making me wonder if this is what it’s like to be other people. Somehow it also creates tiny epiphanies that I can note for later and work on.
Wishing you all the best personally and professionally, whether our paths cross again or not. 🤙🏻


I sometimes feel like my life started at age 10 when I figured out something important. Yes, I do prefer being an adult when I have some idea of what the hell is going on.


At the risk of turning this into a music thread, that’s a very interesting question. For me, it’s after. I may be an oddball though because my favorite musics are heavy metal and chants (Gregorian, Tibetan, Sikh, Native American). I like them for different reasons of course. I love the energy of metal and I find the chants reach really deep into me with some kind of soothing and calming touch. My mood will determine which I listen to – but of course I also listen to some of the music from my childhood on occasion.


You may have meant this as a rhetorical question, but I will respond anyway.

I started following the Cincinnati Reds in 1972 when I was 15.

To answer your question, I grew up with rock & roll and that is my preferred form of music. I am not really big into music though. My favorite songs come from different points in my life. And through the years I have become more eclectic in the types of music I like. But I have never liked country with that twanging sound.


If you have to chose between a chaos you have no chance of exerting any control over to one that you can at least extert some limited measure of control over, you will chose the latter.


Yes, great article. Ironically, one way to express an ongoing concern that I have with Shelton* is whether his handling of players helps develop the confidence/doubt ratio that they need to succeed. I didn’t think that was the case with Castro, and doing things like moving Davis to RF or Bae to CF with little time there in the minors doesn’t seem optimal for developing that ratio. Tim–I wonder what you think about this?

*I’m not as down on Shelton as I have been. Surely, watching mostly competent baseball has helped, but it’s also helped that he has been regularly praising players for their successes. And, despite me feeling angry with Bae after Friday’s game, I was glad to see he was right back out there on Saturday–I was thinking at the time that’s how you help build/maintain confidence in a young player (again, something that I didn’t feel like they did well with Castro–maybe they’re learning or maybe they just believe in Bae more).


I agree. Shelton seems to be more about making the right moves than getting the most out of each individual player, especially from a confidence side.


When Davis was drafted, I know it dealt with the slot money to get players like Bubba Chandler. However, I thought one of the selling points at the time was that he was a good catcher.
Am I wrong about that? If not, when did the Pirates come to the conclusion that he is not the catcher they thought when they drafted him?


If they didn’t have Endy Rodriguez, Davis would be the starting catcher. Davis could probably be an average catcher with an above average arm. But Endy is better than that.


Thanks Tim. That makes sense. I also think Jason Delay has had a much more solid season with the team than we might have expected.


Agree on how hard catchers work. Endy is working his tail off with the pitching staff. I thought he was going to be catching less and playing more first base. My thought he would be hitting a little better if he was catching less. Thanks for responding.


I think as a new manager Shelton may not have had the confidence to step toward new or different strategies without support from the FO. I am not sure he felt empowered to take a risk that wasn’t agreed upon with the team struggling. Success creates confidence to do those things. I’ve liked Shelton in that it seems that the players play hard. Not sure that before this season that he could have been evaluated on anything else. He certainly seems to communicate well with the players, inspire them and sell the vision of the organization. Regardless of the outcome of the final 12 I think 2023 was a huge step forward, especially considering the losses of Cruz, Velasquez, Burbaker and Burrows.


Amazing article Tim. As someone who lines up with you on so many of your own thoughts & experiences, I’d say you hit the nail on the head on so many points. No matter where your journey leads, I’ll always be a fan of yours & appreciate all of your efforts.

Bucco’s would be dumbasses to let you test the free agent waters.

Pirates Prospects Daily


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