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Saturday, September 15, 2007

PIT Post-Gazette: 2 interview for Pirates’ GM spot

Oakmont resident Tony LaCava and Tony Bernazard, the New York Mets’ assistant general manager, have interviewed for the Pirates’ general manager position, according to a report yesterday on SI.com.

New Pirates president Frank Coonelly did not confirm nor deny those interviews occurred in a statement he released last night.

“This is an extremely critical hire,” Coonelly said. “It is important that we conduct a thorough and orderly search process to find the right person for the general manager position who can move our baseball operations forward. It is counterproductive to the process to respond every time someone speculates on who that may be.”

LaCava, the director of player personnel for the Toronto Blue Jays, did not return a phone call last night asking for comment.
...
Another name soon could be added to Coonelly’s potential candidate list. An industry source yesterday indicated Mike Rizzo has interest in the Pirates’ job.

Rizzo, who, as Arizona’s scouting director, drafted many of the young players who have helped the Diamondbacks climb to the top of the National League West, is the Washington Nationals’ assistant general manager and vice-president of baseball operations.

NTNgod Posted: September 15, 2007 at 05:19 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: September 15, 2007 at 05:32 AM (#2525703)
It is counterproductive to the process to respond every time someone speculates...


And trust me, the Pirates know all about being "counterproductive to the process".
   2. MSI Posted: September 15, 2007 at 06:47 AM (#2525723)
I heard somewhere that the Jays selected Travis Snider under the suggestions of Lacava. Snider is hot #### and pretty much the only good thing the drafts have yielded in several years. I think he would be a good GM and would probably have a new rooting interest in the NL if he was hired.
   3. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: September 15, 2007 at 01:15 PM (#2525771)
New Pirates president Frank Coonelly

A lawyer from the commissioner's office? I probably missed a great thread bashing this hire, but is someone from the financial side of the game really what the Pirates need to turn around their substandard baseball operation? Even Buck Martinez hates this hire, and he's senile. Isn't Coonelly a Selig lapdog?
   4. tonywagner Posted: September 15, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2525812)
Oakmont resident Tony LaCava


I like this initial description of one of the candidates. It makes it sound like he simply won a contest to be interviewed for the job.

Actually, I get the distinct impression that Pirates fans here would prefer such a contest to decide the GM than relying on the decision of Coonelly.
   5. Keith Law Posted: September 15, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2525821)
I heard somewhere that the Jays selected Travis Snider under the suggestions of Lacava.

I can confirm that this is true. Lacava also was behind the Adam Lind pick, and he gets partial credit on Shaun Marcum (with the area scout and one cross-checker) and Casey Janssen (with the first-year area scout, although I'd characterize Lacava as the main patron there).
   6. Raskolnikov Posted: September 15, 2007 at 02:51 PM (#2525827)
I hope the Mets don't lose Bernazard so soon.
   7. TerpNats Posted: September 15, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2525846)
I hope the Nats don't lose Rizzo so soon.
   8. philly Posted: September 15, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2525900)
I can confirm that this is true. Lacava also was behind the Adam Lind pick, and he gets partial credit on Shaun Marcum (with the area scout and one cross-checker) and Casey Janssen (with the first-year area scout, although I'd characterize Lacava as the main patron there).


Keith

In general terms could you expand on the interactions between area scouts, crosscheckers and those higher up the food chain when it comes to specific picks? How deep into the draft are crosscheckers even getting good looks at players, ie after rd x the pick is almost exclusively on the area scouts recommendation.

LaCava was the Director of Player Personnel for part of his time in Toronto. I always thought that was more an inward focused job on the players already within the organization rather than an outward looking job taking in amatuer talent evalaution as well. Was LaCava sent out on special assignment trips to look at specific players that were being considered for early round selections (I believe those players were selected in the first 4 rounds).

Thanks.
   9. Keith Law Posted: September 15, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2526094)
I wouldn't read too much into that title - it means whatever the GM wants it to mean. In Toronto, Lacava oversees scouting, not player development, and Lacava set up most of the scouting process that is in place in Toronto. He also goes out and sees the top players himself - he's a very good evaluator, IMO, especially of hitters' swings - and he and Jon Lalonde would always lead the discussions of players and the rankings of those players on the draft board.

As to your other question, it depends on the team, really. When we were only taking college guys per Ricciardi's edict, we typically were still taking guys who'd been cross-checked in the 8th-10th rounds, and occasionally beyond that. I think that's deeper than a team that considers the entire talent pool will get with its cross-checkers. Cross-checkers often try to get extra looks at potential picks for round 1 and 1A, and maybe round 2, rather than getting first looks at players who won't go before, say, round 8. Your draft study and Rany's both seem to support that approach - value within a draft drops extremely quickly, so concentrating senior scouting resources on top players would make sense.
   10. s.zielinski Posted: September 15, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2526325)
Re: #3:
A lawyer from the commissioner's office? I probably missed a great thread bashing this hire, but is someone from the financial side of the game really what the Pirates need to turn around their substandard baseball operation? Even Buck Martinez hates this hire, and he's senile. Isn't Coonelly a Selig lapdog?
It's true that Coonelly took a beating. But, he's said and done all the right things so far. His actions have been rational. And he communicates clearly and effectively with his audience. These are all massive improvements over the previous regime.

If he only hadn't been Selig's labor goon....
   11. philly Posted: September 15, 2007 at 09:06 PM (#2526399)
As to your other question, it depends on the team, really. When we were only taking college guys per Ricciardi's edict, we typically were still taking guys who'd been cross-checked in the 8th-10th rounds, and occasionally beyond that. I think that's deeper than a team that considers the entire talent pool will get with its cross-checkers.


That's interesting and I guess supports an old Rob Neyer notion in support of the A's then college only approach, that if you limit yourself to one segment of the talent pool you have a chance to scout that segment in much greater depth.

I still don't agree with it - and off the top of my head the Jays didn't get much out of those extra looks from rds 5-10 in those years - but that is interesting to know.

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