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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kovacevic: The Pirates wish their fans were smarter

Bails! No homer here.

I’ve got nothing for you tonight.

Stopped being a fan long ago. It takes one hell of a win or loss to move me even in the slightest. But this goes back to childhood for so many Pittsburghers, including those born and bred like myself. You could brag to buddies that your team would never get no-hit, and you’d always be right. Even amid the 20 worst seasons any franchise in any sport had put together, this lived on.

This is sickening. Disgraceful. Lowest point for the franchise since 20-0.

It would be one thing if it’s one night. It isn’t. It’s two months. It’s 20 years.

Shame on everyone who led the franchise of Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Honus Wagner to this low.

...But first, I offer without comment this quote from Neal Huntington last Sunday on his radio show: “There are a lot of really good baseball people in the industry that feel very differently than our fans do about what we’re accomplishing and how we’re accomplishing it.”

Repoz Posted: September 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates

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   1. zachtoma Posted: September 29, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4248876)
While he may be right, that's obviously not a great soundbite to give the public. It's not quoted in the article but he goes on to say, "There are 47% of our fans who believe that they are entitled to a winning ballclub, to the playoffs, to a World Series championship; obviously, they're never going to be happy, my job is not to worry about those people."
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 29, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4248877)
I offer without comment this quote from Neal Huntington last Sunday on his radio show: “There are a lot of really good baseball people in the industry that feel very differently than our fans do about what we’re accomplishing and how we’re accomplishing it.”


There are more than a few "good baseball people in the industry" who question the Pirates' player development approach. Not the drafting and scouting, mind you - but the farm system and the instruction (or lack thereof). This was true under Littlefield and continues to be true under Huntington, so I don't think it's entirely Kyle Stark's fault - but he certainly has to carry a lot of the responsibility.

-- MWE
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 29, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4248878)
"There are 47% of our fans who believe that they are entitled to a winning ballclub, to the playoffs, to a World Series title; obviously, they're never going to be happy, my job is not to worry about those people."


I missed this the first time around, but if Huntington truly believes that the fans shouldn't feel as though they are entitled to at least the first of these, then he should be shown the door.

-- MWE
   4. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 29, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4248882)
Zach's post is a joke, Mike.
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4248890)
FTFA, Kovacevic included a 3 minute clip to provide context.

The Pirates need to do a public presentation very soon to talk about the last five years, and mostly about what has gone wrong for them. It's very strange -- veteran fans in Pittsburgh know about building through the farm system. Their good teams had players like Clemente and Elroy Face taken in the minor league draft, reclamation projects like Bill Robinson (who was a "next Mickey Mantle"), young players acquired for veterans like Doug Drabek, and guys plucked out of Latin America like Manny Sanguillen. This management team, though, is so protective of their internal metrics that I don't think they realize that most of what they're doing is standard procedure.

   6. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 29, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4248892)
Not the drafting and scouting, mind you -

Oh, that's being questioned, too. For all the talk about the big money the Pirates have spent in the draft, the ROI on their draft spending has been nothing special.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4248901)
Kovacevic: The Pirates wish their fans were smarter


And I, in turn, wish Dejan hadn't willfully devolved into a hack who writes nothing but hit pieces. But what can you do?
   8. MikeTorrez Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4248902)
I see Kovacevic is trolling again.
   9. JoeHova Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4248905)
You could brag to buddies that your team would never get no-hit, and you’d always be right. Even amid the 20 worst seasons any franchise in any sport had put together, this lived on.

What did Kovacevic mean by this? I mean, it seems obvious that he's saying the Pirates hadn't been no-hit in awhile but is that really something that was talked about a lot in town? And just how long had it been? Had they never been no-hit?
   10. John Northey Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4248907)
I suspect he was indicating how at least Pirate fans had something to brag about and now even that (the lack of being no-hit since 1971) is gone. Now the Pirates need to win the last 5 in a row to avoid being sub-500. Every time I get frustrated as a Jays fan I just have to look to Pittsburgh (or Kansas City who at least has had a 500 season since the big 1994 strike) to see how it could be worse.
   11. base ball chick Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4248914)
OBVIOUSLY there is some kind of problem with the pirates development approach because development is not happening at a good enough rate.

and pirates aug/sept looks like the astros july/aug
only we NEVAH had a chance to be above the 100 loss mark, let alone .500, let alone in the playoffs

and now andrew m won't sniff the MVP because his teammates uck-sayed
   12. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4248916)
Oh, that's being questioned, too. For all the talk about the big money the Pirates have spent in the draft, the ROI on their draft spending has been nothing special.


That's directly related to the player development issue. For the most part there has been little criticism of the draft picks under Huntington at the time they were made, with the exception of Sanchez - and even in context that particular pick was understood for what it was, as a low-risk pick in a draft where after Strasburg most of the top talent was either (a) very high-risk high school players and (b) low-ceiling college pitchers.

-- MWE
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4248920)
What did Kovacevic mean by this? I mean, it seems obvious that he's saying the Pirates hadn't been no-hit in awhile but is that really something that was talked about a lot in town? And just how long had it been? Had they never been no-hit?


I think a lack of no hitters became something of a topic in Pittsburgh because there was never one thrown in Forbes Field, by either side.
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 29, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4248924)
Last time the Pirates were no-hit before last night was 1971, by Bob Gibson. I just missed being at that game, attending Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

-- MWE
   15. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4248949)
That's directly related to the player development issue. For the most part there has been little criticism of the draft picks under Huntington at the time they were made,

Well, there's typically very little criticism of the average team's picks, as (1) there simply aren't many people in a position to question them, and (2) every team, on draft day, seems to believe they've outperformed the industry and acquired several future regulars (or better).

I agree that player development is important, and while the Pirates might have below-average player development and/or might have suffered more than their share of bad luck, their draft ROI simply has not been great, and I'm not sure the scouting department should get a total pass.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4248968)
Lowest point for the franchise since 20-0.


What is this referencing? The score of a game?
   17. morineko Posted: September 29, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4248971)
Assuming "20-0" refers to this 2010 game. Wow, did Joel Hanrahan give up a bunch of runs (and early runs) in that one.
   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4248974)
I suspect he was indicating how at least Pirate fans had something to brag about and now even that (the lack of being no-hit since 1971) is gone.


The Chicago Cubs have gone longer than any other team without having been no-hit (Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965). Obviously, this isn't a statistic that correlates terribly well with overall team success.
   19. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4248984)
The Chicago Cubs have gone longer than any other team without having been no-hit (Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965). Obviously, this isn't a statistic that correlates terribly well with overall team success.

Somehow, I was unaware that the Cubs have not posted a 100-loss season since 1966.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4249168)
You'd think they'd want fans dumb enough to shell out good money to see a (generally but not this year) lousy team. Be careful what you wish for.

On draft/develop -- I'm not sure you can ever tell which has gone wrong. At least not with much accuracy. For the most part, all you really know is this team did/did not produce talent. Whether that was lousy picks or perfectly good picks but lousy development would be difficult to impossible to tease out.

We might be able to determine teams that are doing a good job of development. For example, during their heyday, the Braves produced a number of pretty decent players out of things like 17th round draft picks. It seemed to happen often enough that you couldn't write it off to luck. The Rays look like they're about to reap some nice development benefits too -- Matt Moore was an 8th round pick, Cobb 4th, Jennings 10th, Hellickson 4th, McGee 5th.

Note, it's hard to build a case that the Rays' success was drafting higher talent. It's hard enough to imagine that 29 other teams could be so wrong about Jennings' talent level to let him fall to the 10th round but also if the Rays had thought that he had even a 10% chance of being a productive MLer, they'd have grabbed him a lot sooner than the 10th round themselves.

Then again, he has a ways to go to catch the all-time WAR leader for 289th picks -- Clemens (unsigned) out of JC. I can imagine Clemens was considered unsignable but, really, he lasted until the 12th round?

The 2nd greatest player out of San Jacinto JC is Mike Gonzalez with 7.7 WAR although Belt also spent some time there.

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