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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Time for people to pipe up

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Brief and to the Point …

>> The Friday column takes the Navy SEALS issue to the next stage, thanks to much, much more information from many, many more people.

Some of that comes in the form of a Kyle Stark email from June that was obtained by the Trib from within the organization. Its full text is featured only on this blog, in the post just before this one.

>> I appreciate all the input from the people coming to me. Really do. As I note in the column, every shred of everything I’ve gotten for the two columns on this topic have come unsolicited, including from people I didn’t previously know.

But it’s about time for people to pipe up.

I don’t mind taking the bullets, as longtime readers know. But nothing I write is nearly as powerful as someone with direct knowledge of what the Pirates are doing with their developmental system — however you happen to feel about it — speaking on the record. That means current people in the system, former players, alumni, anyone. I don’t care how you do it. Call me. Email. Put a comment in the blog. Whatever. But stand up. And put your name on it.

>> When people can’t come up with a reasonable counter to something written, one common reaction is to get personal. And I don’t necessarily mean nasty, though there’s a lot of that. I mean they try to figure out if there are any personal motives, agendas, whatever.

I’ve been tough on the Pirates’ top baseball people in the past week. A big part of my job is asking questions, accumulating information and trying to bring you an accurate — though always debatable — viewpoint. I suppose I could climb up to some ivory tower and sprinkle down some things that I think. That’s not my style. I’m looking for real stuff to back a real viewpoint.

I have zero personal issue with any of Neal Huntington, Kyle Stark or Greg Smith. I just don’t feel they’ve done their jobs well.

>> Want more of this garbage?

Here’s the Pirates’ official player development site, which I’m not even sure if they know it’s public. Take a look before it’s gone.

>> Lawrence Timmons was fined $21,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Mark Sanchez, and that sounds about right.

Timmons told me after the game he didn’t feel he deserved even a flag, on the grounds that Sanchez lowered his helmet as Timmons approached. That’s true. But intentional or not, Timmons led with the crown of the helmet for the hit, and the NFL won’t — and shouldn’t — give the benefit of the doubt in that circumstance.

>> Here’s yesterday’s wide-ranging chat transcript.

>> I’ll be out of commission today on a family matter, then off to Oakland — the other Oakland — for the Steelers’ game this weekend.


  1. Ed Christy says:

    Dream Conversation?
    Neal H: Mr. N I think we have to let Clint go.
    Mr N.: Neal why don’t you go to.

  2. Drew71 says:

    Link to the column doesn’t seem to work.

    DK: Sorry, Drew. It’s a live link now.

  3. Thundercrack says:

    You can get to the column if you go to the Sports section of the Trib web site.

    The column is excellent and disturbing all at the same time.

  4. andrew says:

    Is the internal discord limited to players or does it extend to coaches? Is it mostly directed at Stark or is it more pervasive?

    DK: Too many to count, Andrew. And it’s not only coming from all over the system, but also — as recent columns have pointed out — from all over baseball.

  5. Hurdled says:

    Uggggh. That is really all I can say.

    The front office of this team is like an onion.

    The more layers you peel the more and more it stinks…….and makes you cry.

    Thanks as always for your reporting DK, even if it is on something less than savory.

  6. diehard says:

    After reading the column and email (and the fact the email was not sent to Nutting or Coonelly, which exhibits some gross insubordination), does Stark’s employment last through the weekend?

  7. Thundercrack says:

    Bob Nutting should fire Kyle Stark immediately.

    If he doesn’t want to fire Neal Huntington, he should bring him into his office and put it to him this way: “Either our organization is going to be run like a baseball organization should be run, or you are going to be fired. Which is going to be?”

  8. Zack says:

    Let me first say, Bob Nutting will get criticized around the trade deadline for being too much of a businessman and not opening up his wallet. I want the businessman in him now, you know, fixing the inadequate staff in his “company” (Pirates).

    Neal Huntington? OK, he has made a couple good deals, but overall a subpar showing. Littlefield got us Marte, for anyone who is still unaware. Yes, he drafted Gerrit Cole and Jameson Tallion, but those were super prospects that you couldn’t go wrong with no matter who was feeding you the information.

    Scouts for the drafts? We’ve missed on a ton of talent, not just with Huntington. Have to be blind not to see that. Nothing against Tony Sanchez or any of the others. Talent in their own right, and maybe would be fairing a lot better if we had better development staff the whole down the line. I don’t care where you start, whether it be AAA and work down or GCL and work up. Stocking the minors doesn’t matter if you can’t develop the talent.

    Major league level? Could use some strength and conditioning guys to do a better job, but that’s on the players too. I’d keep Hurdle, Searage and Bannister. Hurdle has questions to answer though.

    Bob Nutting could earn my respect dealing with this soon. As in October 4th. It may be tough, but the system is broken all the way through the minors.

  9. Drew71 says:

    Excellent and Disturbing.

    Well said, Thunder.

    Or whoever that is who stole his password.

  10. Thundercrack says:

    Pushing a truck tire through the outfield for 90 feet, then flipping it

    • Diving into a sand pile

    That sounds like Rod Barajas running the bases and sliding into third.

  11. Hurdled says:

    Kyle Stark, our resident Branch Davidian.

  12. Thunder says:

    Wow! Just WOW! Someone has been watching to much Sons of Anarchy.

  13. Dadicus says:

    The Hell’s Angels thing isn’t really news. You could read all about it on the Pirates Player Development site back in the summer.

    A little spooky.

  14. josh says:

    Just landed in Oakland for the Steelers game and this is what I read…absolutely absurd.

  15. diehard says:

    TC #10 – Yes! Exactly!

  16. Catfish293 says:

    You’re completely right. I sincerely believe you should pay top dollar for the best possible GM… Offer ridiculous money. MLB is a GM’s league.

  17. Andy Smith says:

    I have it on good authority that Rolling Stones management has contacted the Pirates about using their prospects as security on the band’s next tour.

  18. Dan1283 says:

    If the Pirates don’t respond tomorrow with either a firing or a full-on assault of an attack, they are weak-knee’d chickens. These aren’t speculations, or even accusations. This is a full-on embarrassing copy of an internal e-mail. It simply cannot be dismissed as the normal hearsay or back-room grumbling. If NOTHING else, it indicts the front office for implementing this ridiculous plan and wearing the team down.

  19. JRay3 says:

    Raise cain like a bicycle gang, do what you are not comfortable doing this will take us to the next level.

    As I said in previuos post this organization can’t get any more Mickey Mouse.

  20. DarkAudit says:

    I should just pack up all my Pirates gear and hand deliver it to the front office in care of Stark. I’ve had enough.

    No more TV. No more radio. No more going to games. Not until Frank, Neal and Kyle are all gone.

  21. Thundercrack says:

    When a new manager or GM is hired I always feel that they should have the authority to do what they want, set the rules and run the team they way they want to. That is what they were hired to do. (usually because the old way wasn’t working).

    So if your draft strategy is to to draft Tony Sanchez so that you can spend money on the later draft picks … go ahead.

    Even though I think it is a stupid idea, but if you want to bat the pitcher 8th and employ these crazy outfield shifts … go ahead.

    If you want to make sure all minor leaguers wear their socks the same way … go right ahead.

    Wins & losses will eventually tell you if your methods are working. And if you find they are not then you better be open to changing them. It may be time for a little less analytics and trying to reinvent the wheel, and more time on baseball fundamentals. No one needs to bother to even try to explain to me how this Navy SEALS training is going to be beneficial to minor league ballplayers.

    This is where Kyle Stark is in trouble and maybe even Neal Huntington. They don’t strike me as guys who will deviate from their thinking or admit that they were wrong about this. They came in here thinking that they knew best. They knew more than others. They had a new way that was the right way. Cutting edge. We see the numbers under the numbers.

    They may be too stubborn to realize that it has failed and that it needs to change.

    That is why Stark has to go. And maybe even Neal Huntington now.

  22. Reading says:

    Showing the incoming players a video of Lou Gehrig’s farewell address to the Yankee Stadium crowd would motivate and inspire the players a whole lot more than the email in question.

  23. Chico says:

    Some people think Leyland could be let go in Detroit. What about bringing him back?

  24. pattonbb says:

    Like so many of you, I’ve been a devout fan/fanatic of all things Pirates baseball related for 40 years. I love this franchise. I’ve seen champagne popped in the clubhouse (rightfully and wrongfully), I remember championships, Jim Bibby’s hands, pennant races, Ed Ott breaking a batting helmet with his hands, losing streaks, circle change-ups, dropped third strikes, losing decades, tomahawk chops, All-Star Games, broken ankles, Operation Shutdown, Dirty Doug staredowns, Mark Smith walkoffs in the 10th, highs and lows of all sorts, No matter how bad things were, or how comical certain decisions seemed to be, I’ve always worn my gear with pride, driven the 620 miles to the ballpark at least twice a year, and even fly a Jolly Roger on the back deck (year round).

    Today, I’m embarrassed to be a Pirates fan. Kyle Stark appears out of his damn mind. Like somebody mentioned, maybe he just got caught up in all of the excitement happening on Sons of Anarchy. I can see that. Or maybe he really is so far over his head, that he has no idea what he’s doing anymore. This is the best Nutting, Coonelly, & Huntington could do? We’re supposed to trust these people to build a “championship” caliber team?

    Do you think Huntington replied to this mess of an email with “Hell yea, brother…Ride or Die!!!”

    This is too much for me. I can handle losing. I can’t handle this unadulterated, ignorant behavior. I have to unplug for a while. This storied franchise should be ashamed of itself.

  25. Maddamma says:

    Wow. I can see where Stark might be trying to go with his broader message, but the execution of these ideas in communication and implementation lack wisdom and maturity. If Mr. Nutting is not aware of this already, I can not imagine he is going to be too thrilled to discover that the focus of his minor league system is to emulate an organization that is controversial, at best, and often outright criminal.

    This is not little stuff. This is disturbing. This is an untethered organization.

  26. Chuck H says:

    And I thought a 3 run lead in the 8th was safe–oops, I forgot, this was the Pirates who
    had the 3 run lead. Why didn’t Hurdle leave Grilli in the game for the 8th inning? He
    was getting people out in the 7th. He can’t do anything right. Why the H– do we have Qualls anyway? GO STEELERS!!!

  27. josh says:

    Here’s DK watching Kyle Stark:

  28. T.S. says:



  29. Dave says:

    This team is a joke all the way from the players to the minor league managers, the development team, the assistant GM’s, to the GM, to the President, and the owner. The deserve one another because each of them are bumbling fools.

    It’s funny people are calling for Stark to be reprimanded for this and some for Huntington hiring this stooge. Why aren’t we criticizing the stooge who hired Huntington and Frank ‘DUI’ Coonelly? That stooge that hired Huntington and Coonelly is the same stooge that has had a signifcant ownership in this team since the McClatchy days. He’s been chair of the board for the organization since 2003. This stooge is the 10th wealthiest owner in MLB. That stooge is Bob Nutting.

  30. BarryVanBonilla says:

    Everything that was published today is consistent with e-mails I’ve seen, anecdotes I’ve heard and complaints I’ve listened to. The irony is that some of the material on the development site, especially that which addresses external cues to assist in learning how to prepare to hit a baseball, is useful. But couched in the blizzard of hokum that surrrounds it, it is as good as lost. I know that a lot of people claim the Seal training us a sideshow, but I respectfully disagree. It is symptomatic of a juvenile, hyperaggressive mindset that is designed to create something other than successful baseball players. I’m certain Kyle Stark believes otherwise, but even if mental toughness and discipline are salutary qualities, I setiously doubt based on what I’ve read and heard that there is much time left over for reinforcing fundamental skills. This team needs to draft and develop better baseball players. Nothing I’ve seen the past two years demonstrates any shred of learning from the first three. On the contrary, it seems as though we’ve progressed from inexperienced to unhinged without an intermediate stop. What a mess.

  31. BarryVanBonilla says:

    The overall picture is Home Alone. Coonelly wasn’t copied on these e-mails. Blame Nutting if by some point in October nothing has been done. He has several issues with which to grapple. What to do with Frank Coonelly, and with whom he must replace Neal Huntington. If whether to replace Neal Huntington remains a question in his mind, sufficient retain him and allow him to retain Greg Smith and Kyle Stark, then you can justifiably blame Bob Nutting. Until then, I am inclined to trust that he’s sorting out what to do with this mess.

  32. Doc says:

    Kyle Stark had a fever, and sent out his mission statement.

    Oh, wait, that was Jerry Maguire…

  33. Reading says:

    With the myriad of brainwashing … correction motivational thoughts, techniques, and philosophies being ingrained into our players, no wonder our guys take so many called third strikes. Paralysis by analysis, information overload, and attention to minutia equals 20+ losing seasons in a row. “Hoka Hey!”

  34. Reading says:

    I played Legion ball back in the day, and was actually in the Navy, can I get a spot on the Pirates developmental team?

  35. ron says:

    DK, how can anyone blame anyone but Hurdle he has lost at least 7 games the last 2 months?

    1. Huntington has in part put together a top 5 farm team in all of baseball and a very good team from 2008 till now with nothing to work with .

    2. You said ask Littlefield and Tracy about Nutting you was wrong McClachey screwed the the team he saved it from moving but after 2006 and the ASG he took the money and run and left Bob Nutting with 90 million owed to MLB .

    3. Hurdle needs to go blame him and the players .

    No silly little games thats it .

  36. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    What can one say about fresh garbage like this?

    Everytime I think I’ve heard it all regarding the Nutting Regime, some other bizarre story floats to the surface.

    I didn’t know that much about Kyle Stark before this…..And now I know why.

    He fits the Nutting Regime like a glove.

    Weirdos…..Creeps……Pseudo baseball madmen.

    People that have no more business working in MLB than a bag of rattlesnakes.

    The question is always the same…..How much longer?

    How much more can people stand?

    It frightens me to even guess anymore.

  37. Brendan says:

    The other day I commented that I didn’t particularly care that the Pirates were employing three days of ‘Navy Seal Training’ prior to their instructionals. That rather what interested me was what was lacking in their development process and how it that process compared to other teams.

    Well after reading ‘itinerary’ you posted I feel somewhat differently. Most generously put, it sounds incredibly excessive.

    Regarding the e-mail. The figurative references to “hippies,” “boy scouts,” and “hells angels” don’t bother me in and of themselves, however it strikes me that the e-mail is full an enormous amount of hot air and bluster.

    Most disturbing to me are the off the record remarks you relate from other folks in baseball. Those coupled with information related by “barryvanbonilla’ in the comments of last nights blog (the link for those who didn’t read it suggest a far greater interest in rhetoric than the practical nuts and bolts of development.

    I’m not unhappy with the state of the farm system, in terms of prospects that is. I certainly think the only way the Pirates can achieve any sort of sustainable success is through investing heavily (monetarily and otherwise) in the acquisition of amateur talent, so I’m glad that’s what’s been prioritized. However regard to the draft I can’t say that I’m confident that the Pirates can continue adding as they need to without the benefit of unrestricted spending and Top 5 picks.

    As I’d contemplate these matters over the last few days I’ve had mixed feelings regarding Huntington. I don’t want to simply react in a knee-jerk fashion based on the disappointment of the past month. In short I certainly had questions/doubts about their scouting and now I certainly have plenty of questions about player development. Ultimately Huntington made those hires. So it’s increasingly difficult for me disagree with those who’d relieve him of my duties.

    I hope if that does come to pass Bob Nutting continues to prioritize building through the acquisition of amateur players and recognizes the issue is not with that philosophy but rather it’s execution (and based on what I’m reading these past few days the developmental culture).

  38. Rich says:

    The question is what have these guys done? After multiple years, other than Cutch and Hanrahan..what do we have? Alvarez has potential. Walker? a decent (not great) second baseman. Jones is having a career year so he is probably free from criticism. McKenry..the same. Marte is a rookie and is therefore also free from blame. The pitching is a disaster. Our best pitcher is 36 years old. Rodreguez and Karstens are at best fifth starters..other than that, bupkis. Barmes has actually been playing better, but every player they have brought in has not performed. Most of their players cannot even bunt, run bases, or execute basic fundamentals.

    After all this time, they have two great players, four decent ones, one decent rookie..and that’s it. They need two corner outfielders, at least three pitchers (McPherson looks promising at least) a catcher, a shortstop, a first baseman, and replace the entire is a disaster. They need to go.

  39. Drew71 says:

    Huntington, Stark, and maybe Smith.


  40. Skilliemischief says:

    Right now Mark Appel looks like the smartest man in baseball. I’m just speechless at how clueless this organization is. It’s maddening!!

  41. 21sthebest says:

    This is why I still believe Miguel Sano and Plummer had no intention of signing with the Pirates. When you look at how the Twins versus the Pirates develop players, where would you sign?

    DK: I recall Plummer saying at the time he had no problem whatsoever sending Sano into the Pirates’ system. It was all about money.

  42. DarkAudit says:

    Derrek Lee knew, man. He KNEW.

    He looks like a genius today.

  43. popsfan says:

    The bucs have had a development problem for a long time now going back to the 90’s, but I was, subconsciously I suppose, blaming it on labor agreements and the soccer-mom-“winning isn’t important” attitude. After reading this morning’s article, I am surprised these kids can put their uniforms on the right way. On the other hand , maybe all that military training sharpens the skeet shooting skills of the team.

  44. Thundercrack says:

    Good point 21. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the Twins told Plummer about all this craziness within the Pirate organization.

  45. Drew71 says:

    This is gonna just about KILL me. (Deep sigh.). But post #21? Credit to Thunder.

    He’s been referred to in here as knee-jerk supportive. By many. Dejan toasted Thunder, to my everlasting joy, with a News at 11:00 comment that I printed and had bronzed.

    And yet. Read post #21.

    But my point is not ABOUT Thunder but rather TO Nutting, who is reportedly and hopefully evaluating.

    Mr. Nutting. If the Pirates leadership team loses the support of someone such as Thunder, this is a seminole moment. Walter Cronkite turning on the Vietnam War effort. Same party Senator telling President Nixon he has lost support from his own.

    Time to go.


    Or in your case, Mr. Nutting, make it so.

    It’s time.

  46. John Lease says:

    Unbelievable. Hard to get more ashamed of my teams already incredible ineptitude, but this takes the cake. There BETTER be some explanation from the Pirates, and Kyle Stark better be gone.

    Enough with the stupidity.

  47. Drew71 says:

    There is a risk to read history backwards. Sano was, what, almost three years ago? Before most of this stuff was known. When even many of us doubters thought they were doing at least OK at the draft. More to the point, before draft picks and international free agents knew how badly they would manage development.

    I think Sano was about the money.

    Boras signed Pedro for the money. And not Appel because of the lack thereof.

    I think it is generally about the money with young guys.

    Don’t misread this post. I haven’t changed my mind in 30 minutes.

    It’s time for THEM to go.

    I’m only saying, I think we’re at risk of reading history backwards and attributing EVERYthing wrong to this unfortunate management team. When it just should be MOST things wrong.

  48. jandy says:

    Condolences DK, to you and your family. HUGZ!

    DK: Thanks, Jandy, Drew and anyone else I’ll miss. Burial is at 10. Won’t be around for a while today, obviously.

  49. JAL says:

    JAL’s Country Roads Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Heart-breaker Drops Bucs Below .500

    First Pitch: Pitching Has Been the Problem

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Chad Qualls, Chris Resop Cough Up Lead As Pirates Drop Below .500

    Under Pressure: Leveraging The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates (Part 2)

    6 Rumbunter

    So Who Is Pittsburgh Pirates Assistant GM Kyle Stark?

    Disappointment, Drug Suspension and Retirement….So What’s Left of 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft?

    7 McEffect

    Pirates Optimism (Guest Post)

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Snatch Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory 9-7

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Another Fitting Failure

    10 Seedlings to Stars

    2012 Fish Watch: Pittsburgh Pirates Final Update

  50. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Astros Game Preview

    12 Uniontown Herald Standard

    Pirates drop under .500 in 9-7 setback—setback/article_3c097d17-901c-5539-abdd-fa27dbc4e343.html

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report,0,5239370.story

    14 New Haven Register

    RANDALL BEACH: Red Sox fans don’t hold monopoly on deep love for team

    15 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie Bytes: More homers would help Cards’ cause

    16 The Southern

    NL MVP race is a good one

    17 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Brewers rally for sweep, fifth straight win


    18 PBC Site

    After falling to Crew, Pirates lose game off pace

    Attitude adjustment: Bucs’ standards have changed

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    What You Need to Know

    20 Fangraphs

    Why the Pirates Always Limp to the Finish

  51. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers Linebacker Lawrence Timmons Fined For Hit On Mark Sanchez

    Steelers Vs. Raiders: Re-Visiting Carson Palmer’s ‘I Hate The Steelers’ Comment From 2005

    22 Steelers Depot

    - LeBeau Looks at Worilds and Carter the Same

    23 Steelers Gab

    Schefter: LB Harrison Likely to Sit vs Raiders Sunday

    24 Nice Pick Cower

    Nice Pick Cowher’s NFL Week #3 Picks

    Pitt Blogs

    25 Pitt Blather

    Overthinking Newkirk

    26 Cardiac Hill

    Checking In With The Commitments: Zach Challingsworth

    WVU Blogs

    27 Metro News

    WVU Needs to Apply Pressure

    28 WV Illustrated

    Cody Clay Finds Role in WVU Offense


    29 Sky Sports

    Midfielder Jack Wilshere returns to full training with Arsenal after injury nightmare

    30 Daily Telegraph

    Nemanja Vidic appeals to Manchester United fans not to do ‘stupid things’ during Hillsborough tribute at Anfield

    31 World Soccer Daily

    Goals we would like to see again – September 2012

  52. JAL says:

    West Virginia , Country Roads , John Denver 1971. The unofficial state song

  53. Drew71 says:

    Dejan, what Jandy said.

  54. 21sthebest says:

    “There is a risk to read history backwards. Sano was, what, almost three years ago? Before most of this stuff was known.”

    Absolutely Drew however my point was then and still is now that when you compare how players progress through each minor league system and how they do in the majors, which organization has the better track record? To me it wasn’t close then. I’d pick the Twins over the Pirates if I was a minor leaguer to be and had the choice.

  55. Drew71 says:

    I know it’s a state song theme.

    But in honor of PBC’s management team, I was hoping for
    Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

  56. Drew71 says:

    I agree 21. I’d take a little less money to do so. Now.

    Just not sure if I would have two years ago before I knew this stuff.

  57. Cajun Thunder says:

    Now it becomes apparent why our players seem to arrive in the major leagues devoid of the basic fundamentals it takes to be a successful ballplayer. Their coaches and instructors are too busy dealing with motivational speeches to teach what needs to be learned.

    Our player development guru apparently feels that our minor league coaches and instructors are unable to get their point across without these motivational speeches. If it takes these speeches to produce the desired result, we’ve hired the wrong developmental staff. We need strong baseball people, preferably ones that know how to play the game correctly, without the Mickey Mouse stuff.

    Make them smarter base runners, smarter hitters, smarter pitchers, smarter fielders. Have leaders TALK to the players about leadership and teamwork, but don’t waste 3 days of the players time doing something that most of the players will look back at and laugh about how silly it was.

    Most basic military training is more about removing individuality and building teamwork. Teamwork is necessary, but if the basic skills (fundamentals) aren’t there, the team is going to fail.

    It should be obvious where pink slips are needed at this point.

  58. jandy says:

    I’m shell shocked. Re-reading all this in utter disbelief.
    Nutting had better be making HUGE plans, and quick.

    He looks like that Dead Skunk in the middle of the road right now.

    This entire situation reeks.

  59. Drew71 says:

    By the way, Jandy, I listed the title but didn’t link the song because it plays while flashing some disturbing visual images.

    I figured we’ve had enough disturbing visual images lately.

    From both the team and its management.

  60. Thundercrack says:



    My opinion of the guys in the front office began to change a few weeks ago. The play of the team coupled with DK’s reporting caused me to take a closer look. (Contrary to what other may think I never agreed with the FO all the time.) This stuff can’t be ignored.

    Either that or someone did steal my password.

    DK: If you had agreed with me on everything for years, then disagreed today, I’d have the exact same respect I have for you for this.

    I tell people all the time, when it looks like a column might contrast or conflict with something I wrote previously: Circumstances change, information changes. Our paper comes out dailly. We can’t wait until the end of the year to write one big report.

  61. jandy says:

    Drew, he** yeah. Enough is enough. But the stench will linger until it’s exorcised.

  62. Drew71 says:

    Q: Bluster and Pretention

    A) Stark’s email
    B) Election season
    C) I just looked in a mirror
    D) All of the above

  63. Steelfan says:

    Kyle Stark is on a serious power trip right now and has obviously lost his mind. He needs to be removed from his AGM position immediately before somebody gets hurt.

  64. bman says:

    Just shoot me now….HOKA HEY

    And I thought things couldn’t get any worse…

  65. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Best Management Team In Baseball.

    Just repeat that to yourself every once in awhile.

  66. bdubb says:

    Best and most powerful article yet. I have never been a fan of NH and the last year or so realized something must be wrong in the development stages of this organization. And now I can see why. Not sure you need to be a baseball man to run the minor leagues but if I was running a team I sure would want one. From the GM on down screams of cheap. NH was demoted the year before he was hired on as GM of this team. Our minor league director is a vollyball player. Cheap.Joke. But not a cheap joke.

    Hopefully Mr Nutting does his extreme due-dilligence this offseason and goes out and hires baseball men to run this team. If you are going to be cheap you better have a solid GM, scouts and player development guys running this team. You can’t miss on that because you can’t miss on the draft and free agents. Hopefully this will be the end of this management team. Hopefully this embarrassing article will help that along

  67. Drew71 says:

    I am NOT backing down from my opinion about the management team.

    And yet…

    I am ALSO not letting the MLB players off the hook for another historic collapse.

    The management team is to blame for what it’s to blame for. (huh?)

    But if I’m on this team, all this other stuff is somebody else’s problem.

    – I’m playing for myself. For my future.

    – I’m playing for my teammates.

    – I’m playing because I’ve LOVED this game since I was four years old.

    But in the Pirates players’ case, evidently they are not.

    Render unto

  68. jandy says:

    I’m still not holding my breath. I won’t believe anything will be done, until it truly IS done.

  69. Drew71 says:

    Render unto Caeser and all that

    It’s time for a lot of rendering. In many directions

  70. jandy says:

    Drew…Hail Caesar!

  71. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m getting a blank on that Player Development page. Embarrassed?

    DK: Came down around 8 a.m., someone told me. Not an accident.

  72. I’m 58 years old and have never seen a bigger Pittsburgh sports scoop than this. It’s of a magnitude commensurate with the team’s mind-boggling record of futility. The Trib invested wisely when they put their money on DK.

  73. BFD says:

    The regime & their fans will spin this debacle into dome sort of positive building block of a season.

    Neal should have been canned a couple years ago for his ineptitude, but i honestly can not see any GM being successful in this situation.

    Any Pirate GM is behind the corn dog from the get go working with 30 million less than other similar sized markets.

    Stark? I have always heard the name but never knew much about him. I always figured he was a Nutting-ite, towing the company line of cheapness. This information is unfortunately unbelieveble.

    Honestly. I am very surprised so many are shocked by the slide over the past month.
    The team is playing at a similar rate as last year during the slide which is again a similar rate as during the 1st 3 seasons under Neal.

    I truly hope some learned a lesson from this season & no longer buys into the propaganda these folks continue to sell. I am use to the losing at this point and am even begining to accept it. I WILL NOT accept the taking advantage of peaple, lies, and propaganda


  74. dcpinpgh says:

    Paging Dr Heimlich
    Dr. Heimlich
    Please report to PNC Park,

  75. JUCOFan says:

    Hahahaha….they took down the player development site

  76. Turner Ward says:

    Dk, when you first ran this story last week, my reaction was something along the lines of, “OK, sounds silly, but how much traction does a story like this get if the big-league team is still in a playoff spot and a couple of the minor league teams are in their respective playoffs? Strength/discipline training with minor leaguers really can’t be looked down upon when there are winning teams at multiple levels of the organization. Give me a break.”

    But with more details, holy cow, this guy looks like a loon.

    This also leaves many more questions than answers. How involved are the top levels of the front office? You said Bob and Frank weren’t copied on the e-mail, but how much of this is their directive? Where is NH in all of this? I would hope NH was busier working the phones on June 28 than he was in the Hells Angels mentality.

    I’m still not sure how big of a deal the actual training with the SEALS is – again, with a winning team, you can look at this as sort of the foundation for that – but this makes Stark and anyone supporting his leadership look really, really bad.

  77. Naje says:

    Stark raving mad….

    Dejan, if this doesn’t get that man out of baseball, I don’t know what will.

  78. JuniataKid says:


    “Have a laugh yourself at how goofy the Pirates’ development approach has become…”


    Thank you!

  79. Ryan (Motown) says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but I believe the Pirates Development site has already been disabled. The link above works, yet all navigation buttons within the site display the “Error 404, Link not Found” jargon.

  80. Naje says:

    OM… good to see you here old friend… a scoop of huge proportion, indeed. But I think the drug trial stuff was bigger…as a teenager then, I remember being really sick over that whole thing. Lots of heroes were blown up for me.

    But this is certainly huge for today’s media. To receive unsolicited emails and comments like Dejan has, well, that shows the extent of the absolute disdain for this Stark character.

    DK… maybe you can help me out with this… but wasn’t the farm system BEFORE Huntington decried as something pretty awful… like summer camp for kids or something? No direction, no teaching, no leadership, etc? If so, sounds like Huntington pulled an extreme 180. Extreme is being kind, too.

    DK: Both development teams had issues, each very different. The previous one was OK at instruction, poor on discipline. This one is the radical reverse.

  81. Drew71 says:

    What is the link or address that takes (took) you to the player development site? Or was it just a tab on that is now missing?

  82. jandy says:

    Drew, the link is up there ^^ close to the end of today’s blog column.

  83. jandy says:

    it won’t load now, tho.

  84. buckeyehba says:

    Memo to Thunder —–

    I love “Sons of Anarchy”

  85. JuniataKid says:

    Yeah, looks like they pulled all the info off the player development page. Looks like they’re really proud of the work they were doing.

    I’m hoping that this latest exposed goofiness is embarrassing enough to move Nutting to fire these clowns. If he’d known anything about baseball to begin with, he’d have never hired them. Hopefully he’s learned something the last couple of years. Or hopefully being a laughingstock will stick in his craw and he’ll move swiftly. As in, today.

  86. Naje says:

    you’re not the only one, buckeye… crazy story lines, but terrific performances… gripping.

  87. buckeyehba says:

    It all goes back to an organization that can’t hit, bunt, steal a base, make the correct moves as a base runner, etc. Poor fundamentals all around.

    BTW, why was Jordy Mercer brought to Pittsburgh?

    DK: Because he was a third-round draft pick.

  88. Naje says:

    DK… not your intent, I know, but I think you just changed the near-term future (and hopefully long term) of Pirates baseball.

    DK: My intent never changes from column to column, and that’s to bring you an informed opinion every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. This obviously was a topic I felt strongly about. Hence, the tone and language.

  89. jandy says:

    buckeyehba ~ maybe to shovel sand into the sand pits??

  90. buckeyehba says:

    I would venture there will be no firings now or over the winter. The managemnt does not want to win games right now and be forced to deviate from the low budget history. If they finished strong the pressure would be great to add expenseive pieces. Hurdle threw yesterday’s game, it just took him awhile to figure out how to do it. He didn’t plan on Grilli having a good outing in the seventh.

  91. buckeyehba says:

    Jandy— Carry Hurdles’s bags to the airport?

  92. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Hoka Hey. It is NOT a good day to die, friends. Not for a ball player. My Bible says He’ll satisfy us with long life (DK’s grandma) and show us his salvation and we’ll live and not die and declare the works of the Lord. Of course, everyone doesn’t believe the Bible and that’s our right, but this hocum is straight from the devil. Hell’s only angels are demons.

    Military people lay their lives on the line every minute and for that, they have our utmost respect and support, and should be honored and revered. But a young person, playing a game for entertainment and a business is not even in the same category. Has everyone on the Bucs lost their minds or just a select few?

  93. mayhay22 says:

    Organizational failure, epitomized through their own words and deeds.

    A minor league system with a couple top prospects thanks to high draft position, largely bereft of real development outside of a couple Rene Gayo signings.

    A major league system that can’t execute fundamentals and doesn’t know how to win. This is an intangible that’s built up over time through experience and leadership. Stark, et al, are approaching the experience portion of it in a childish and inexperienced way and the leadership has been virtually non-existent outside of AJ.

    And an administration mired in bad decisions, largely from an evaluation standpoint. It’s clear that Tabata, Presley, Barajas, etc. are not major league caliber players, and their only move while still in contention to address these inadequacies was Travis Snider who appears to be little better than Presley despite some attractive minor league statistics.

  94. jandy says:

    buckeyebha, I’d rather they be Stark’s bags

  95. JAL says:

    Dead Skunk was used a couple of months ago during animals theme week.

    I am traveling this weekend through start of next week so links will be be catch as catch can. Next week’s theme is ghosts.

  96. jandy says:

    Lucky, preach it, man! These guys surely have mush for brains, or they have lost it, or both.

  97. Jason says:

    “No bats, no balls, no gloves.”

    Yep, that sounds like Pirates baseball.

  98. jandy says:

    JAL, ghosts, I love it! Can we predict Stark’s and Huntingdon’s ghosts???

  99. JAL says:

    Since Kyle Stark seems to be the topic de jour , anyone read link 6?

  100. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Out of all this dung this morning, did anyone notice last night’s loss was worse than that San Diego one where we blew a 7-1 lead? I wanted to reach through the computer and pull Qualls out myself. Even Vandenyurk, Bryan Morris, anyone but Qualls or Hishikawa or whatever his name is. Then Resop. My gosh. What a downer after coming back from 4-0 to go up 7-4 and lose by not even putting a bat on the ball in the bottom of the 9th. New depths.

  101. Fat Jimmy says:

    I defended the SEALS training yesterday in the spirit of trying new things.

    I take it all back. This is really creepy.

  102. jandy says:

    Lucky, when the Brewers tied it, hubby changed the channel. I didn’t protest. I am so tired of it.

    JAL, rumbunters? Wow. I hope this goes to National Newspapers. Get the word out.

  103. jandy says:

    anyone call SI???

  104. JuniataKid says:

    Putting two and two together here (apologies if someone already did so)…

    Maybe Mark Appel’s failure to sign had nothing to do with money. Maybe he knew the bizarro world that’s the Pirates’ development system and decided that no amount of money was worth that nonsense.

  105. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    BMTIB starks, I mean strikes again! Here’s the actual “culture change” they’ve created: our development system’s fundamentals and ideology are based on the principles of an illegal organization. Fans and media, how dare you criticize Neal Huntington and relentlessly endanger his family’s well-being. You all know nothing more about baseball than what a fantasy stat report says. We may not win, but we don’t make mistakes.

  106. BFD says:

    Anyone still think this regime is on the right path?

  107. Cave Bonifield says:

    ……..And while we’re cleaning house

    For over 50 years I have watched and listened to baseball with many different broadcasters covering many different teams.

    Without a doubt, Tim Neverett (AKA Never Right) is the worst of the worst. Whether it’s his insipid play by play or `his unceasingly annoying between pitch chatter, or his consistent anticipation of outcomes which are too often wrong, it’s time for Tim to return to the minors to hone his craft further.

    Yesterday alone, we were treated to such gems as a home run call that turned out to be a foul ball, a line drive “right at Snyder”, that went 10 feet over his head and hit the wall, and we were treated to a broadcasting first, a fly ball ” near the gap”.

    Broadcasting 101 teaches you not to anticipate an outcome of a play, Tim must have skipped those classes for he is a constant offender in this regard, and it hasn’t improved during his tenure with the Pirates.

    Since he is often boring us with his knowledge about college sports, maybe that is the best place for him to display his abilities in the future.

  108. JuniataKid says:

    Does anyone know when/if this site will allow comments to comments? Or at least refresh automatically? Or does it do all of that already, just not for me because I don’t know what button to click on?

  109. Dan1283 says:

    Honestly, BFD? Cram it. You’ve been telling people how stupid they are for liking the Pirates for years in good times and bad. That just makes you a stone crazy as Kyle Stark. You think this collapse somehow makes you smarter than everyone else because you’ve been raving like a lunatic since the dawn of the internet, but really it just makes you an a#%hole.

    DK: Dan, there really isn’t a need to get personal. If he’s offended you in other forums, complain there, please.

  110. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re right about people wanting to come here. Maybe not Appel, as money seemed to be his issue, but what about free agents? Who would want to be involved with that kind of train wreck?

  111. jandy says:

    JK, those options aren’t on this site as yet…tho we’ve been promised them for some time now.

  112. Jeff says:

    I would love to know who all was in on this crazy exercise before it was approved.

  113. aglebagel says:

    Guys, this is the Pirates we’re talking about. They didn’t take down the player development site because they’re embarrassed, it’s gone because they don’t want other teams stealing their ideas.

  114. Naterosboro says:

    Just a few issues I have here…

    * I can see people being upset if this training was to make our guys better baseball players. It wasn’t. But, I also take issue with the Pirates using military style exercise as a team building exercise. As DK says in the column, these ARE baseball players, and that type of exercise probably would only serve to injure.

    * Again, I have an issue with reading a quote calling the Pirates a “laughing stock” when I don’t know where it’s coming from (and again, not taking issue with DK b/c I know he can’t name his sources). It just rings hollow. If it was coming from Minnesota (yea, they still have a track record even if they were bad the last year or 2) or Oakland, OK, I might put some stock in it. But a team like KC or Seattle? They’ve been just as bad at developing players as the Pirates have. Is it just that the Pirates have been considered the worst at doing things for so long?

    * I understand what DK is saying above in the blog, and nothing written in the column made me think that he was getting personal, but it also came off a bit to me of trying to paint Kyle Stark as a bit of a madman, running loose with power throughout the minor leagues with his zany ideas of how to make baseball players. And this was especially true when examining his writings in that email. I doubt Kyle Stark wants all his minor leaguers to add on about 75-100lbs, purchase Harley Davidsons, and start running drugs and prostitutes, but are some aspects of what the Hells Angels are about useful in instilling in our minor leaguers…perhaps.

    Here’s my take on all of this:

    First, if the players that we are developing need to be taught basic fundamentals in our minor league system, then we’re bringing in the wrong players. Being a professional is about honing your craft, not learning on the job, hence why the minors is about refining their games, not learning how to play it.

    For too long, however, the Pirates have been the doormat of the entire MLB. Maybe not every year do they end up with the worst record, but when you haven’t even been able to win more games then you lose for 19 (soon to be 20) years, it says something about the organization. It has developed a culture of losing, and that needs to change.

    Will Stark succeed in turning his “boys into men”? That remains to be seen, but here’s the problem in working for an org. that has been losers for 20 years…you don’t get the benefit of the doubt. Now, in the face of Collapse II (I like that DK) and especially when the minor leaguers (outside of a few performances) really haven’t performed well in Pittsburgh this year, whatever they have planned to get the org. to the next level better work, and it better work fast.

    B/c if I was owner, I’d see 2 late season collapses orchestrated by the same individuals. Anyone know what that tells me….

    Time for some new individuals

    *NOTE: Sorry for the long post, but hadn’t really gotten a chance to weigh in on the issue.

  115. Dan1283 says:

    Honestly, if I crossed a line there, then delete me, but I would like this place to not turn into the Smiz blog comments too, where vitriolic smarm reigns and facts are disposed of prior to entry like a 10 oz shampoo at the airport.

  116. Dan1283 says:


    “112. September 21st, 2012 – 9:57 am Guys, this is the Pirates we’re talking about. They didn’t take down the player development site because they’re embarrassed, it’s gone because they don’t want other teams stealing their ideas.”


  117. NMR says:


    Please, don’t even respond to BFD.

    If you kids want to call each other names, stay in Smizik’s playground.

    This isn’t the place for that.

    DK: Oh, I just wrote the same thing above. Sorry. Reading all these in chronological order and just got here.

  118. Fat Jimmy says:

    Nate, your points are why I defended the SEALS thing yesterday. And, you’re right, Stark is being painted a bit like a madman. I think Dejan’s point will be that when you couple this type of weird behavior with the underperformance of the minors (from talent development) and the inability of the guys once they get to the majors to execute fundamentals … well then you’ve got some pretty big questions.

    I don’t think it’s worth parsing that email and complaining about references to Hells Angels. Stark isn’t a professional writer and people who aren’t professional writers (and writing something they think is internal) are often going to use turns of phrase that don’t make sense. But there is a weirdness about it, and it turns into a piece of evidence that supports other pieces of evidence that the wrong guy(s) is running the critical portion of our franchise’s strategy.

  119. Boise Bucco says:

    Haha THIS is the DK column that breaks the internet…Asylum’s gotta comment on two different blogs now. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON ANYMORE

  120. BFD says:

    September 21st, 2012 – 9:48 am Honestly, BFD? Cram it. You’ve been telling people how stupid they are for liking the Pirates for years in good times and bad. That just makes you a stone crazy as Kyle Stark. You think this collapse somehow makes you smarter than everyone else because you’ve been raving like a lunatic since the dawn of the internet, but really it just makes you an a#%hole.

    I’d be curious when these “good times” have been Dan. I sure haven’t witnessed any in 20 years.
    I don’t think the collapse makes me smarter…. just correct again.
    As far as the name calling. Takes one to know one I guess

  121. NMR says:

    Very, very well done, Nate.

    It’s scary to read the reaction when the snowball gets rolling.

  122. The Gunner says:

    Hopefully, the housecleaning is beginning as I type this note. If MLB had a strong commissioner, he ought to step in and take the franchise from Nutting and get him out of the picture along with all the other FO idiots.

    They all belong in prison.

  123. NMR says:

    “They all belong in prison.”

    You’ve gotta be friggin’ kidding me…

  124. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    It’s put up or shut up time for BNut. No matter what your opinions are on NH, if his approval of this incredibly embarrassing, outlandish and ridiculous proviso aren’t enough to fire him, then what is? Not only does NH insult and vilify fans in his supposedly clever under-the-radar monotone way, he allowed this nonsense to go on. It’s beyond a matter of baseball success or failure for him.

    The guy is a smug, arrogant, condescending, irresponsible and misguided idiot. He’s done some good for the club, no doubt. But his leadership is putting an even bigger black eye on this organization that the one that’s already here. And if he does get canned, I’m willing to bet he doesn’t come out and thank the fans for the time or the opportunity, even those who supported him.

  125. The Gunner says:

    @ NMR – 122

    Maybe you’re right about that. But, you must admit root of all the problems lies with Bob Nutting.

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    I second that, NMR.

  127. The Gunner says:

    @ Brad – 123

    “The guy is a smug, arrogant, condescending, irresponsible and misguided idiot.”

    Excellent description of NH.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Whoops–I was seconding #116 about the playground, not #120.

  129. The Gunner says:

    @ AW – 125

    I guess I’m too POed about the way FO continually tries to insult the fans and their intelligence.

  130. LiferBucs Fan says:

    I’ve been a fan since the age of 5, now in my mid 30s. This season has been almost as painful to watch as Sid Bream crossing homeplate in Game 7.

    Its time as fans that our voices are heard in a productive manner. Write letters to Bob Nutting, the same way we citizens are encouraged to write our representatives, senators etc. Demand as a customer that Huntington, Stark, Smith be fired. Immediately. They’re not only embarrassing our team and us as fans, they’re embarrassing our city. They may not get this being from Cleveland, but when we identify a problem here in the Burgh’, particularly with our sports teams, we fix it. Bob Nutting needs to be reminded of this so I say we flood his mailbox. Here’s the address:

    The Pittsburgh Pirates
    Attn: Bob Nutting (Chairman)
    115 Federal St.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212
    Phone: 412-323-5000

    Be respectful and objective, but be clear what we as fans want, which is a winner. And Neal-Kyle-Greg ain’t gonna get us one.

  131. NMR says:


    There goes the neighborhood. It was fun while it lasted, folks.

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    The sun is shining everyday.

  133. BFD says:

    it will be interesting to see what the next management team Nutting brings in calls their 5 year plan (blue print, plan, or something else) and what kind of propaganda they will throw out there for folks to gobble up like pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner.
    The only question is when this new management team will be brought in. This offseason or next

  134. Bizrow says:

    As I’ve said before, you can’t make this stuff up.

    The Soap Opera, “As the Pirates Turn” is back in business.

    IMO, everyone from Coonelly on down (except CH) has to go.

    I will volunteer to help them pack….

  135. SJB says:

    Hippies, Bot Scouts and Hell’s Angel’s…Oh my!

    Sorry (and for you Canadians out there, Soory), but from here on out, until this team puts a legitimate winner on the field (1 stinking game over .500 doesn’t count IMO), then any criticism, no matter how harsh or seemingly misplaced and inappropriate, should be acceptable and IMO, encouraged.

    You mean to tell me they have a guy in charge of Player Development who never even played the game as a professional at any level? From volleyball to pitching coach to Assistant GM? How the F does that even happen and how the hell does Huntington justify hiring this under-qualified, mental patient to help an awful minor-league talent deprived team, to get better? There’s probably a number of bloggers here more qualified for the job and that’s not a joke.

    This just screams for Huntington to be fired and the guy who hired his incompetent butt, Coonelly, should be canned too. After that, if the team can’t turn things around in another few years with new management in place, Nutting should be stoned in public at Market Square if he doesn’t sell the team.

  136. SJB says:

    Hahahaha…”Boy Scouts” I meant

  137. The Gunner says:

    @ Bizrow – 132

    I will volunteer to help these persona non gratas pack, too.

    CH, although he has made some bad moves, is the only true baseball man they have – too bad he has been dealt such a bad hand.

  138. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Maybe there are some things instilled in volleyball players that could help our PBC. Like the back-and-forth, first place to Collapse II, etc. that has been this season and last.


    I would hire your dogs before some of these guys who run the Bucs. And I’m not even a dog lover. “As the Pirates Turn” I suppose refers to “turn” like spoiled meat, right?

  139. Steve says:

    Still don’t have a problem with the SEALS training. Three days – big deal. I think it’s funny that these “teenagers” might not be familiar with exercises like push ups and sit ups. Of course, looking at a lot of baseball players htere appear to be many who aren’t. I find it absolutely bizarre that someone would try to make comparisons to Hell’s Angels when it comes to team development, bonding, etc. A criminal organization is the best you can come up with as an example you want to compare yourselves too? And signing off an e-mail with “it’s a great day to die” in the context of a baseball organization leaves me speechless and perplexed.

    The Pirates collapse is embarassing enough – this whole thing adds to it exponentially.

  140. Naterosboro says:

    TC, you wrote in #7…

    “‘Either our organization is going to be run like a baseball organization should be run, or you are going to be fired. Which is going to be?'”

    When I read this it struck me b/c it raises a couple issues. First, how should a baseball org. be run? Is it what the Pirates had been doing for the previous 15 years before NH & Co. were hired? Is it what they’ve done since? Is it nothing that the Pirates do that resembles how a baseball org. is run?

    Secondly, some of this does fall on the owner, and the budget he sets. Without “proper” funding, I think we all can agree that makes NH’s job that much tougher. And we’re not even talking top spenders, we’re just talking to get to “league average”. While it would certainly be his prerogative to fire NH (and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that decision), I don’t think he can come off as totally blameless here. It certainly isn’t just Huntington & Stark running the Pirates as a “non-baseball” org. that has led to Collapse II.

    Finally, I’m down with new ideas (provided they work), so I’m willing to let this play out and not condemn people yet. New ideas and methods are scary at first b/c of the unknown. What seems like “crazy” today can be considered the norm tomorrow (think of all of the “geniuses” throughout history, many of them were considered “crazy” at first too). This is not to suggest that Kyle Stark is some budding genius, with new crazy ideas to be brought to the industry, but just to maybe quell the fire a bit.

    But, as I said earlier, you don’t get the benefit of the doubt in this org. What you do had better produce results or else.

    Altho with this owner, sometimes that “or else” is a contract extension……

  141. Karen22 says:

    I’m going right on back up to the column header of sheer perfection:

    “Wakeup Call: Time for people to pipe up”

    Well, now you’ve gone and done it, Dejan! The pipers are piping and the din is getting louder by the minute! If this doesn’t send shock waves through not just the Pirates organization and MLB, but the sports world in general, then “HOKA HEY — It’s a good day to die!!!”

    This is all truly mind-boggling to me. Creepy, cultish, and, and…I simply have no more words…

    Well, a few more words: Unless heads roll beginning NOW, I will invest not one iota of my time nor money on the Pittsburgh Pirates from this day forward. Waiting until the end of the season or the mantra-like “next year” is no longer an option. Good day to die?? The Pirates are dead to me TODAY, and will remain so unless many heads of the beast are lopped off…NOW!!

  142. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Good post, Karen.

  143. jandy says:

    nate, sometimes common sense must prevail. But it seems that commodity is in short supply in TBMTIB.

  144. jandy says:

    Wel, hubby is swooping in again to spirit me off to lunch. I’ll check back in later. Hoka Hey!

  145. Naterosboro says:

    ““The guy is a smug, arrogant, condescending, irresponsible and misguided idiot.”

    Excellent description of NH.”

    Yet, he’s put together teams that have played the best baseball in PNC Park. He’s doing some things right. Unfortunately, his teams havent been able to “finish” the past 2 years, and this should have him & Stark on the hot seat, not the recent news of military training in the minors.

    I didn’t hear any of this talk in July or beginning of August, actually with some touting him for baseball exec. of the year (had the Pirates made the playoffs).

    To fail to give credit where it’s due and to overreact to such small details, IMO, is petty and ignorant.

    If Huntington and Stark are fired, it’s b/c, after 5 years on the job, they have not achieved what they were brought here to do, plain and simple. Not b/c of military training or emails…no matter how much you would like it to be.

  146. NMR says:

    You do see the irony in a fan base who invested tens of thousands of dollars into stupid shirts based off a fictional character in a stoner movie mocking anything creepy, cultish, and common sense, right?

  147. SJB says:

    “First, how should a baseball org. be run?”


    Easy. How about not like it’s being run now.

    I’ve been reading your replies for years now and you strike me as a person who goes out of his way to NOT find fault or blame in things or people. It’s a noble way of thinking, but quite honestly, when the facts and evidence piles up against said person or thing for long enough, odds are pretty good they are wrong/bad and worthy of the blame and conviction.

    Always looking for the good in people is why we have women writing letters to convicted felons in prison hoping they can change them and be with them when they get out, only to have them harm them and use them for bad, it’s why senior’s get conned by people promising to do work for them and never do after getting paid, it’s also why we have a baseball team that fails in epic and historic ways year after year, yet fans are there to back them and believe they are actually good and things will turn around soon.

    Sometimes it is what it is and if it stinks and is rotten on the outside, there’s a good chance it’s rotten on the inside as well. In the Pirates case, I don’t think simply trimming the mold off is going to save it. It’s bad all the way through.

    This Stark evidence only reinforces everyone’s original beliefs that the FO/management of this team is flawed and needs replaced (yet again), at least at the GM levels and I feel Coonelly should go as well. No reason to do it half-a$$ed and take the chance on another failed “plan”…even though the odds are that’s exactly what may happen. Still no reason to not try to fix things…again.

  148. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I really think the Pirates took the “Hoka Hey” thing literally. They’ve died a slow death the last month and a half. Hard to pinpoint the day.

    But the FO hasn’t achieved its goals in 5 years, you’re right. Even though we’re better now, we’re still not playing “championship caliber” baseball, as was stated as one of the original goals.

  149. Milo Hamilton says:


    People sitting near the dugout yesterday report hearing Hurdle scream, “Hoka Hey” when he brought Qualls into the game. Wonder why ?

  150. SJB says:

    September 21st, 2012 – 11:34 am
    You do see the irony in a fan base who invested tens of thousands of dollars into stupid shirts based off a fictional character in a stoner movie mocking anything creepy, cultish, and common sense, right?”

    You’re right, it’s the fans fault darn it. Maybe they should be training with the SEALS instead? Lord knows there’s enough Pirates fans who resemble and probably are Hell’s Angels. lol

    My brother was a Pagan and a Pens fan. Maybe Stark just picked the wrong gang?

  151. NMR says:


    I have absolutely no idea how one can make that jump in logic. Unreal.

  152. tdb1977 says:

    Fan need to start flooding the Pirates facebook and twitter feeds with questions about these practices that Mr Stark has brought to the Pirates Developmental side. Use the same hashtag on the twitter questions. Go this route since the Pirates seem to be all about the social media side of things now a days.

  153. LuckyNKentucky says:


    #147 receives my vote for post of the day. If there ever was a day of death, it was that clunker yesterday. With 27 arms in the pen, and the air of a playoff game, Clint lets Qualls and Resop lose it. I would have brought in A.J., Karstens, Correia, Morris, even J-Mac before I’d let Qualls and Resop lose it for us.

    Clint played the first 7 innings like a playoff game and the last 2 like it was the 5th game of the season. Hoka Hey for sure.

  154. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    I’m ignorant and petty? Really? If you read all that I wrote I acknowledged he’s done some good things. Never argued that point. I never even mentioned the military training because I’m not entirely against it. What I’ve been referring to all along has nothing to do with either. I also never touted NH. And in regards to the whole “This never would have been said in July” stuff, it’s September! Things change.

  155. NMR says:


    That, in a nutshell, is why I don’t know how Clint gets a pass when the hammer drops.

    People bash Huntington for acquiring Qualls, and rightfully so, but nobody is holding a gun to Clints head.

    “Mind bottling” moves, again.

  156. Naterosboro says:

    @ SJB

    Exactly. Which is why I’m on record as saying I’d like CH and NH replaced after this season (and to an extent FC b/c he’d be hiring the new GM,a nd I’d like someone else to do that).

    But, what I don’t do is overreact.

    It’s a complete knee-jerk reaction to sit there and say, “These methods seem odd, the wording of the email is odd (and perhaps overboard to the point where you could question mental capacity), FIRE EVERYONE!”

    This is how I see the Pirates TODAY (to perhaps clear up what my view point is): they have a stingy owner, who wont necessarily spend [at the MLB level] until he’s assured that there’s a product there that fans will show up to. They have a GM who has a philosophy that he’s stuck to which I like (acquiring big, hard throwing RHPs) but who has overall been less-than-average at acquiring MLB talent in 5 years. They have a team Pres. who shouldn’t open his mouth, but when he does, usually nonsense comes out. They have a manager that handles a young team well, but is a poor “in-game” manager. Finally, they have a young nucleus of players that has potential, but they havent found the right mix to carry them through all 162 yet.

    So to sum it all up, I like what NH has done in his 5 years, but want someone else in here after this season to take over (and again, it has nothing to do with the email from Stark or training methods, etc.). Collapse II simply couldn’t happen b/c of Collapse I. You have to get it right the second time. And they didn’t.

    Hence why new people are needed, but, and I can’t stress this enough, my view that a new GM and Manager are needed has NOTHING to do with the info that has come out in the past few days. That stuff is just petty bickering IMO. Looking to heap more blame in places where there already is enough.

    Again, I don’t do that. At least, not with the Pirates. ;-)

  157. sanny manguillen says:


    Was there ever a time when some group of Bob Nutting, Coonelly, and Huntington went to the Pirate Board, presented a business plan, projected revenues and expenditures, and got approval operate under the plan for a period of time? If so, do we know how much time they were given? People assume that Bob Nutting is untouchable, but there are lots of places for rich people to put their money and I can’t imagine that Ogden Nutting wants to be associated with a joke operation for an infinite period of time.

    Condolences and thanks.

    DK: Not sure what you’re asking. Essentially, Bob Nutting IS the Pirates’ board. Controls 80 percent of ownership.

  158. LuckyNKentucky says:


    You’re exactly right (#153). I think the world of Hurdle as a person, but he acts like he has learning disabilities in certain situations, and I mean that with all due respect to any person who does.

    Neal’s streak of picking up good bullpen pieces ended with Qualls and Takahashi still being on the active roster and available for use in important games, too, IMHO.

    I thought it was OK to let Casey go, seeing as how we got Gaby, but what he got for Casey was not of any value.

  159. jackdeloplane says:

    There has to be a reason why we have 20 straight losing seasons. Lack of Institutional Control is what the NCAA calls it.

    Agree totally on Qualls NMR. Good Grief, its like the secondbaseman we aquired from Tampa Bay all over again, who’s name escapes me right now. EVERY ONE can see he shouldn’t be in there. Why can’t they?

  160. Leefoo says:

    Drew…in # 45 you mention:

    “this is a seminole moment”

    Does this mean you are advocating that the BMTIB and Kyle Stark get scalped?

    Seminal Foo


  161. Leefoo says:

    NMR…….I agree….folks need to ignore BFD and Daq Baz….otherwise this WILL become the Smizik blog.

    Pls note that is a comment on the commenters and not on Bob.



  162. Naterosboro says:

    @ Brad, Indiana PA

    I was more referencing “The Gunner”‘s post @ #126.

    But, I’ll address the whole of what you wrote too:

    “The guy is a smug, arrogant, condescending, irresponsible and misguided idiot. He’s done some good for the club, no doubt. But his leadership is putting an even bigger black eye on this organization that the one that’s already here. And if he does get canned, I’m willing to bet he doesn’t come out and thank the fans for the time or the opportunity, even those who supported him.”

    #1) I don’t understand why our GM is thought of as a “smug, arrogant (synonym for smug), condescending, irresponsible, and misguided idiot”? Again, some of the best baseball PNC has seen in its history and the team architect is all of those things? Its strict hyperbole that gets treated as fact by a large section of the fan base and I don’t like it, so I call people on it.

    #2) Way to give credit where it’s due: “He’s done some good for the club, no doubt. But his leadership is putting an even bigger black eye on this organization that the one that’s already here.” You didn’t though. You doing the whole “no offense” thing. Clearly, you mean to demean NH, so why even write that backhanded compliment? His leadership over the past 5 years has produced some of the best Pirate baseball in the past 20, so how is he creating the larger black eye? If anything, FC’s poor handling of PR matters has put more of a black eye on the org.

    #3) If NH doesn’t thank the fans when he leaves, then maybe I’ll believe some of what is written about him, but I highly doubt that happens. The guy has been extremely professional (for the most part, yea he’s had his slip-ups here and there) is his tenure as GM. He’ll finish it that way too.

    Way too many sports fans swing back and forth, and to the exact polar opposites. I know, b/c I read a lot of writers & commenters (not just Pittsburgh sports), I talk to a lot of people, and used to be that way myself (and still am to an extent when it comes to the Steelers). But to remain level headed, to not look to constantly “blame and maim” so to speak, IMO, is to rise above.

    B/c when you don’t, to me, you sound like just another villager with a pitchfork…

  163. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Yes I am. Yes. Yes.

  164. Milo Hamilton says:

    And all along I thought Crazy Horse was a strip club.

  165. Leefoo says:

    TC / Drew / Jandy / LNK / AW, et al

    As most of you know, I am a HUGE NH supporter, many times when it feels like I am the only one!

    However, if he or BN DON’T FIRE Stark Raving Madness then NH DOES need to go!!

    Hells Foo


  166. Leefoo says:

    Drew #161…is that a reply to 158?


    Foo 2


  167. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–c’mon, you know Drew likes everything Florida.

  168. Leefoo says:

    NMR # 153……I repeat: “Clint…great guy, lousy manager”

    Clint and Vile Kyle must go



  169. Drew71 says:

    Has Hoka Hey become the new “snide”? The new “lol”? The new “knee jerk”?

    Good. I like it better.

  170. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see your comments about Neal (you know, the guy who hired Clint AND Stark.)

  171. Leefoo says:

    AW….#165……I WAS gonna post something ‘Florida Statish’, but liked the ‘scalping’ line better.

    :) :) :)

    Btw, Drew, WHY AREN’T you over there putting a stop to this “H’Okay” nonsense?? They’ll listen TO YOU!!!

    Buc Foo Woo


  172. Drew71 says:

    Yes. Yes it is. Yes. Yes.

  173. Leefoo says:

    Like I said earlier, there is so much blame to pass around, it is almost becoming laughable. Pick something or someone…



  174. Fat Jimmy says:

    The comment about the criticism of Stark’s “cultish” language and our embrace of Dude Where’s My Car was very funny. +1

  175. Jandy says:

    where’s my flippin pitchfork????

    Foo, If there are any Angels in the Outfield, STARK WILL GO!!!!

  176. Leefoo says:

    Drew….isn’t “Hoka Hey” seminole for “Ya wanna get high”?


    AW……”Pins and Needles”….is that some weird Tibetan Seals training???

    Hoka Smokin Caterpillar Foo


  177. LuckyNKentucky says:

    This Hoka Hey crap just brings to head things that have been happening like the frittering away of games lately. The Sunday game in Chicago and yesterday, where we had to win against a team right above us in whatever semblance of standings are left.

    We have 18 pitchers and Eric Fryer, who has pitched in AAA, on the roster and we go with 3 of the worst in a crucial situation. Qualls, Leroux and Resop should have been used after the 15th inning and only befor Takahashi and Fryer.

    19 guys, pitch one every 2 hitters if you have to, but get the stinking win. Qualls gives up singles to the first 2 clown hitters for the Brewers and can’t find the plate after that. Plush swung at 2-0 to make an out. Madness.

    I know we can’t use our starters in relief with 13 games to go, but at least look like we’re trying to stay afloat.

    Sorry for kicking a dead Crazy Horse, but it’s righteous indignation.

  178. Leefoo says:

    It appears you now need an id and password to get into the Pirates Dev Site.


  179. Milo Hamilton says:


    Try Hoka Hey for the password.

  180. Jandy says:

    Lucky, I’m betting even Heaven is furious over this nonsense! So, you have every right to be indignant. I was actually hoping Clint would put in Correia, and out came Qualls. I was like “You gotta be kidding me!”. Poor hubby just shakes his head at me. So when the Brewers tied the score, I was holding my head, and hubby changed the channel. I didn’t even mind. I’d much rather watch Gasoline Monkey Garage than the garbage on display last night.

    nate, I repsect your opinion, and what you say makes a lot of sense. But when Collapse I is followed by Epic Collapse II, heads need to roll. That’s not knee jerk. If I don’t do my job and produce good results, I know I will get fired. Same rules apply here. These results stink. I don’t care if this e-mail came out or not, this is abject failure. The Stark realization is that change needs to be made. The e-mail only adds insult to injury. Just my humble opinion, of course.

  181. Jandy says:

    Drew….isn’t “Hoka Hey” seminole for “Ya wanna get high”?

    Haha Lee hokin Foo, priceless!

  182. Arriba Wilver says:

    #180–post of the day IMO.

    DK warned us last night to look soon, so I did, and he was right. It’s gone the way of that Pirate Fan site.

  183. Jandy says:

    Lee, you won’t get one either. After the password, you need administration authorization. A snowball in hell has a better chance.

  184. Leefoo says:

    Milo….# 180 funny!

    :) :)

  185. Leefoo says:

    Jandy #184… can’t be THAT complicated, NH and Vile Kyle need to get in, don’t they?

    :) :)



  186. Jandy says:

    Another thing (while I’m on my soap box). Collapse, followed by Epic Collapse II, is definitely reason for heads to roll.
    The Stark e-mail isn’t the be-all or end-all for an indictment. But it sure is bad taste to use “Today is a good day to die” as a motto. WTH? Why would anyone want to use that phrase to IMPROVE attitudes? If you’re talking about nonsense and the Zoltan thing, at least it’s POSITIVE energy. Again, just my very humble opinion, but (to borrow a phrase from Lucky) what do I know?

  187. Leefoo says:

    Jandy….you’ll love this:

    “Out for the rest of the day and tomorrow”. The wife wants to go to NYC (3 hrs away) and watch “Wicked” on Broadway. I argued for PSU-Temple, but it never had a chance!! Do you know now much Broadway Tickets COST??!! I could buy a free agent reliever!!!

    I’ll see you guys on Sunday. Hopefully, Kyle will be an ‘ex-Parrot, er ah, Pirate’ employee by then!

    Firing Foo

  188. Jandy says:

    Lee, you have a point there, but they prolly ARE ADMINISTRATION so they get a free pass in. Here’s hoping there aren’t more free passes for them. ;) ;) 8) :) :) 8)

  189. Jandy says:

    AW, I looked too, and was appalled. SO I left. Ridiculousness.

  190. Arriba Wilver says:

    Foo–I’d duck the Neal question if I were you, too.

  191. Jandy says:

    Foo-man, have a great time. And tell the wife I have some advice for her:
    We do what you want this trip, next trip is my choice.

    Heck, I came to love car shows in Carlisle…going down in October for Fall Carlisle.

  192. Karen22 says:

    Tune in NOW to TribLive radio! Steigerwald & Laird are saying this is going VIRAL now all over baseball & the internet. Hoka Hey!!

  193. Jandy says:

    Karen, good! I hope it gets to SI too!

  194. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:


    Wow, is all I have to say…Prior to this column I was OK with the Navy SEALS type of training. The idea is to build teamwork, leadership, and test these guys physically and mentally. To play at the MLB level for a 162 games, these guys need to be both physically and mentally tough. I get that. But there is plenty of military training out there than can teach these guys what it means to be a team and a leader without going through those drills. Funny, first thing I thought of was me, 15 years ago. But I didn’t get to run on a beach, I was stuck in freakin’ Texas. Nor was I attempting to be a SEAL or any other type of Special Forces unit.

    Stark is clueless. He has no military affiliation, but he does have the haircut!!!

    The Hells Angels thing, is going way to far. I get the methaphor, fine, but why not use his SEALS idea instead, at least they are legal?

    Its time for a change if this is the direction that these clowns want to go. I’ve been a backer of the plan and the direction, but this organization needs baseball people in it. Not wannabe military guys that probably wasn’t even a boy scout. I’m sorry, but as a active duty member of the military, this bothers me.

    This laughing stock needs to go. I like Hurdle as the manager and he seems to be one of the old school type of baseball people. But with the clowns holding the strings above him are doing this type of garbage….he has very limited resources.


  195. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Lawyer Stark must feel real good about now.

  196. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Sorry for the rant, I usually don’t say that much stuff.

    DK, I appreciate the insight that you have collected. I really do. Its awesome that people in the organization trust you enough to send you this type of info.

    My guess is, they’re just sick of what’s taking place and are true “Pirates people” and have a love for the organization.

  197. Milo Hamilton says:

    They are saying that Jameson Taillon once suffered a knee injury doing this SEAL training. Not serious, thankfully.

  198. Naterosboro says:

    @ Jandy

    Re: Post #181

    Exactly. Which is why I said after this season I’d like the Pirates to go the way of a new Pres., GM & Manager. Collapse II couldn’t happen, and it has, hence why I think new people are needed to avoid Collapse III (altho if it’s anything like Rambo III, I may want to see it).

    But again, people are acting like this email and SEAL training is the cause of the ills of this org. That we have crazy, incompetent people running the team.

    And that’s where the knee-jerk reaction comes in. As I said before, up until about middle of August, there were no problems b/c the Pirates were winning games. Now, after a poor month of baseball, everyone that runs the team is crazy, implementing things about Hells Angels, and SEAL Training, etc. and needs to be fired immediately (obvs. there’s hyperbole there, but I point it out b/c some deal with hyperbole as fact in their comments).

    I just see this as (again) piling on, when there’s no need.

  199. Fat Jimmy says:

    You know, if Huntington is replaced, it will be an interesting time to bring in a new GM. No matter who is in charge, there won’t be a ton of changes in the 2013 roster. The 40 man roster is fairly stable. I would expect Correia, Grilli, Morton, Qualls, Takahashi and Barajas to be let go. Guys like Tony Sanchez, Vic Black and Phil Irwin will need to be added. If you assume that one more 40 man spot will be a FA replacement to Barajas and maybe one more FA LHRP, your offseason work is done.

    As far as the 25 man, what do you really do? As for position players, basically everyone is back. You need a catcher, that’s plain and simple. I suppose another GM might want to sign a FA outfielder or 1B in order to either bump Snider or move him into a platoon with Marte. Everyone else won’t be touched.

    Pitching wise, would you do anything with the rotation? Clearly Burnett, Wandy and Karstens are locks. McDonald is going to get a very strong chance to make the rotation. You’ve then got choices between McPherson (my choice), Locke and Wilson. I’m not sure a new GM would actually look to acquire a free agent starter unless it was a replacement-level veteran who would be willing to go to AAA if he didn’t make the squad out of spring training.

    I guess that could be good or bad for a GM. Bright side is that you don’t need to worry about making a lot of moves before you’ve had a chance to evaluate your players and you can concentrate on hiring your staff. Bad news is that you’re pretty much forced to play a season with another GM’s guys.

  200. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    The biggest thing to me, is if BN and FC had no knowledge of this email and planning, heads should roll..

  201. Karen22 says:

    More inside sources are apparently flocking like bees to honey with damning stories of how our prospects are being treated in Pirate BOOT CAMP. Steigerwald says this spells absolute DOOM for NH…he also says this story is moving so fast that no doubt the Pirates will be a Jay Leno monologue punchline tonight! YEEEEOOOOWWW!!

  202. Jandy says:

    nate, perhaps the point of bringing all this out, is that there are indeed crazy people in charge. June and July are two months out of the season, not even half the season. I’m not very good at wording things, so bear with me. June and July were an abberration, not “normal”. The house of cards built upon faulty foundations finally Collapsed and the true short comings were exposed…again…
    If they’re not exactly, they surely are incompetent. And in my mind, anyone writing the hooey in that e-mail has pretty much lost it.

  203. Milo Hamilton says:


    You’re right about the roster. Neal did most his off season shopping at the trade deadline. No better time to do a complete house cleaning ?

  204. Jandy says:

    Karen, wow, DK lit the state of Pennsylvania on fire…it not more…

  205. Jandy says:

    nate, meant to say “if they’re not exactly CRAZY”, they sure are incompetent.

  206. LuckyNKentucky says:

    You’re so right, Jandy. #203

    I always thought it was extremely suspect that our Altoona manager was fired after winning the Eastern League championship a couple years ago. The Pirate’s explanation then was unacceptable to us fans, but is even more so today.

  207. Marc says:

    That fact that these emails are being leaked is all the evidence needed to support firing this imbecile. Obviously he can’t get his subordinates to buy into his plan.

  208. Fat Jimmy says:

    I guess that’s my initial reaction, too, Milo. If you hire a GM now, you can tell him “Look, I don’t expect big changes for next season. Build your staff, fix minor league development, concentrate on the draft.”

    That could be good news for Hurdle, too, as it could buy him an extra year with the new GM.

  209. chuck snow says:

    My thoughts…Never a big Neal Huntington fan. However with that being said..It’s time for him to go. He has been given ample time to do a job. It has not worked. Time for a new five year plan.

  210. Jandy says:

    Lucky, you got that right! I guess what I’m saying to nate is, I can see that he is trying to say this is pouring it on, over-doing it, and over-reaction. I really can understand that aspect of it. But after two straight years of collapse, is it REALLY over-reacting? I have to say no, it’s not. It’s about time.

  211. LuckyNKentucky says:


    At least the next five-year plan doesn’t have to start from scratch again. Thank God.

  212. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Wow, Nate, I’m not ignorant or petty, I’m a villager with a pitchfork. A simple “that wasn’t directed at you” would have sufficed. On your rant:

    1. Firstly, I realize arrogant is a synonym for smug. Excuse me for trying to make a point. And yes, IMO he is all of those things from everything I’ve personally seen him do and heard him say, many of which I have posted. You disagree and that’s fine, but that’s my perception. So, as noble as your calling out is, my opinion is my opinion and I have reasons for it just as you do. And to clarify, my reason for calling him an idiot is because he’s allowed this Stark fiasco to happen. You may not think it’s a big deal, but some of us do. Since you are so level-headed, you should understand that.

    2. If you know his achievements, why do I need to list them? I’ve enjoyed them as much as you have. That actually was a gesture of understanding and acknowledgement to show that I realize he’s had some success, but apparently not up to your standards. If you have read and actually thought about what I’ve posted recently, you would understand my points- not agree with them, but understand them. And not once have I disagreed that it’s been some of the best baseball in 20 years. If you want me to find some of my posts, I’d be more than happy to do so.

    3. Apparently your definition of professional and mine differ greatly. If you want to hold your breath for gratitude from Huntington, be my guest. I’m not. My issues aren’t “blame and maim”. In fact, they aren’t even really involved with either collapse. I’m now upset that my kids cheer for a team whose management team endorses the principles of an organization that does horrific things. Normally I wouldn’t throw the “my poor family” card out there, but since NH does, I don’t feel so bad.

  213. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I would like to see what MLB Network has to say about this. I’m sure it will be brought up and I like those guys that are on the show. Its a good mix of players, coachs, and former GM’s.

  214. JAL says:

    Keeps getting worse

    Pirates’ ‘Hells Angels,’ ‘Navy SEALs’ minor league training methods become MLB joke—hells-angels—–navy-seals–minor-league-training-methods-become-mlb-joke–.html

  215. Jandy says:

    I sure hope Foo doesn’t let anyone know he is a Pirate’s fan in NY, they’ll laugh him right out of Broadway! His wife will miss the show…wait…;X

  216. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lucky–I hadn’t made that connection, but you’re right about the Altoona manager.

  217. Jray3 says:

    Well I would like to thank Mr. Nutting and his useless cronies FC, NH, KS and the rest for ensuring we will remain the laughingstock and embarrassment of MLB.

    Is it any wonder why no player in their right mind that can actually still play the game wants to come to Pittsburgh? I mean players will turn down money to play here.

    What a joke!

  218. Jandy says:

    JAL, thanks for the link….you’re right, it’s getting worse. How embarrassing.

  219. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Great link, JAL, as always. Thanks.

  220. Milo Hamilton says:


    Thanks for the link.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything quite like this. I wish Nutting luck in trying to sort through this mess.

  221. 21sthebest says:

    Matt Walbeck, the Altoona manager that was fired at the end of the 2010 season, was hired by the Braves in 2011 to manage their Single A affiliate. He was fired in July 2011. He now has a Baseball Academy.

  222. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Eight people in this office, 6 men, 2 women. Two Yankee fans, one Brave fan and myself. I’m about to take down my Pirate pennant and smiling skull and cross bats. I get enough snickering without inducing it. Thank heaven for the Rooneys, Mario and the Steelers and Penguins.

  223. Fat Jimmy says:

    I’m just sketching out my 25 man for next year. Any thoughts?

    OF: Marte

    INF: Pedro


    SP: Burnett

    RP: Hanrahan

  224. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Thanks, 21. I’d forgotten his name. Maybe he was part of the problem, as he didn’t last long for the Braves, either. Just seemed fishy at the time.

  225. Jandy says:

    Lucky #211 ~ Amen, brother!

  226. Arriba Wilver says:

    21–if you can say this explains Sano, we can say it explains Walbeck. :-)

  227. Jandy says:

    Lucky, and I just saw your post at #222. Some things you just can’t make up. Your co-workers should sympathize with you, not heckle you. Tell them Mother Theresa said so!

  228. Milo Hamilton says:

    I heard, and I don’t know how reliable this info is, that Walbeck was let go for repeatedly ignoring pitch counts set forth by the organization for each individual pitcher. I was told that last summer by someone that might know. Anyone else hear that ?

  229. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    And NateB,

    If you still doubt my “hyperbolic” black eye, read story posted in 214. Metaphor, maybe. Hyperbole, not really.

  230. 21sthebest says:


    I has heard stories about Matt Walbeck not doing things the way he was told to do them. For example, his team bus has been seen at the hotel for road games an hour before game time, not being present for scheduled conference calls, things like that.

  231. Jandy says:

    Fat Jimmy, I’d like to see Kevin Correia stay, but I doubt that will happen.

  232. JRay3 says:

    And who pays the price for this comedy of errors, this utter silliness, this constant tripping over themselves in the Pirates management circle. THE FANS.

    Can’t believe how much time I have invested emotionally, monetarily, to support this team all on the basis of hope.

    Mr. Nutting if you have any sense of pride whatsoever begin immediately whole sale changes or do the right thing and sell this team and walk away.

    The damage you continue to do and the toil you continue to place among those that still somehow follow this WOEBEGONE FRANCHISE is enough, what more can you take and strip away from Bucs fans?

  233. Arriba Wilver says:

    Milo–I saw that rumored at the time, on more than one occasion.

  234. 21sthebest says:

    Oh I don’t think it fully explains Sano, I think it’s just more evidence on why maybe someone would pick another org.

  235. Arriba Wilver says:

    FJ–seems Locke would be there unless he’s traded.

  236. JRay3 says:

    @ Jandy – # 231 as would I, but not sure he would want to after the way he was toyed with. His demotion to the pen to allow Eric Bedard to continue to lose game after game was absurd.

    At the time of his demotion Kevin had won five consecutive starts, the team had won 9 of his past 11 starts but he wasn’t good enough to keep in the rotation, how did that work out?

    He probably can’t wait to jump this ship.

  237. diehard says:

    In the hiring of the next staff, questions for the GM should be obvious (How do you fix this mess?).
    For the future makeup of the roster, I ask any prospective hitting coach – I’m giving you 5 minutes to talk to Pedro Alvarez, tell me if he’s fixable. If he is, do it.
    If he’s not, how do we move him without regret if someone else does? (Like if he turns in Bautista with a decent batting average)

  238. Milo Hamilton says:


    We deserve better. You know, those of us that are left behind after the last failed regime has been dispatched. Every time a failed regime has been dispatched.

  239. Naterosboro says:

    I actually just read the FULL text of Stark’s email b/c I thought, hey, maybe with all these people taking up opposing view points, maybe I missed something.

    Yet, I actually have no problem with anything Stark wrote. It’s 100% metaphor. And I agree with this 100%: “Training guys to unleash what they’ve got is an art and needs to be our WHAT in the second half.” THAT seems to be the “hypothesis” (so to speak) of this email.

    Baseball is a game of failure, and how you deal with it. You must play it with “reckless abandon” (to an extent; obvs. playing it to the point of being stupid doesn’t serve anyone) otherwise it’ll eat you up. You’ll always be wondering “what if” in this game if you don’t have a short memory.

    I see Stark as trying to change the mentality of the org. No longer will this org. just “be there”. Getting our players to have a swagger, to play with that “reckless abandon”, which is just another way of saying “without fear”, and to trust in one another I think are qualities they should have. Don’t be afraid to make that mistake, b/c if you are, you may end up missing opportunities.

    It seems like to me people are getting caught up in the fact that he’s using the Hells Angels as an org. that he wants to adopt characteristics from.

    Just remember this….

    At 1 time, the Devil was an angel. Nobody thought he was such a bad guy then.

    I don’t mind a guy coming in here and changing the mentality of this org. to give it a tough edge. In fact, I kinda like that idea.

    And, the “HOKA HEY – It’s a good day to die” thing is again a way of saying this org. is now fearless. I really don’t think it needs to be turned derisively against the org.


    Talking (which is what that email is) about changing the culture and mentality of the org. is one thing, doing it is another. We have yet to see them do it.

  240. NMR says:

    ” I’m giving you 5 minutes to talk to Pedro Alvarez, tell me if he’s fixable. If he is, do it.
    If he’s not, how do we move him without regret if someone else does?”

    That statement makes Kyle Stark look sane.

  241. Milo Hamilton says:


    What exactly is there to fix ? He’s the least of our worries.

  242. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I didn’t hear all that about Walbeck. Sounds like reason for dismissal, even for the PBC.

  243. JRay3 says:

    The Pirates New Theme Song:

    Clint puts a C in and Clint takes a C out

    Clint puts a SS in and Clint shakes the lineup out

    you do the HOKA HEY and you turn yourself around



  244. diehard says:

    Nate- Also read JAL’s link from above. Stark’s SEAL training caused a knee injury to Taillon at one point, which should have put a stop to it.
    I’m all for attitude change, but this is a little overboard. I read the full email as well, and I’ve worked with guys who would talk like that, and very few people end up willing to follow them because they see no tangible results coming from it. As inexperienced as Stark is in baseball, he doesn’t have the credibility or earned respect to pull something like this off.
    And the email going out to all these staff members but NOT Coonelly and Nutting would tell me Stark knew to some extent this wasn’t going to go over well with the real authorities in the organization.

  245. Jandy says:

    It’s made deadspin:

  246. Naterosboro says:

    @ Brad, Indiana PA

    I guess we’ll just agree to disagree.

    I’ll add this tho…

    If 19 previous years (or 15 before NH & Co. took over) of losing didn’t completely maul the face of the Pirates, well then I’m sure 1 more “Pirates are stupid” article won’t blacken that eye too much.

    I mean, what was the perception of the org. before NH took over? B/c what I’m hearing (reading) from you is that the org. now has more problems than it did before.

    And I simply do not see it that way.

  247. Jandy says:

    JRay, yeah, that’s what p*sses me off, Correia was made out to be a goat.
    He’ll probably move on.
    The guy is a decent pitcher and manages to put up W’s, which is more than I can say for a lot of our pitchers.

  248. 21sthebest says:

    “It’s made Deadspin.”

    Doesn’t matter. iPhone 5 came out today. Dejan should’ve waited a week to publish this. :-)

  249. Naterosboro says:

    “And the email going out to all these staff members but NOT Coonelly and Nutting would tell me Stark knew to some extent this wasn’t going to go over well with the real authorities in the organization.”

    Or BN and FC have given people they put in charge authority to do what they think is necessary. I mean we get on Jerry Jones and Al Davis for being owner/GMs, yet when the owner is hands off of baseball operations, somehow he’s let the inmates runt he asylum…

    And has it been thought about, perhaps, that KS had to clear this with FC and/or BN first before sending the email, hence why they weren’t copied?

    I’m defending today b/c I think there is way too much being made about this.

  250. Jandy says:

    nate, maybe the organization’s eye isn’t any blacker, but the bruises are blacker on the fans.

  251. Jandy says:

    21, WTH? Oh, never mind.

  252. diehard says:

    NMR – You think the idea of hiring a hitting coach who could evaluate Alvarez is nuts? Any coach interviewing should come in having done his homework, like already having broken down Pedro’s swing and identifying holes. But he hasn’t talked to him, or any player.
    Concerning Alvarez and “fixing” him – I just want to see if a hitting coach can evaluate him and tell me if he is going to become a consistent hitter, or a guy who is going to be as streaky as we’ve seen this year. Is he a guy who is going to continue to strikeout at a higher rate than he gets on base? (Right now his OBP is .320. His K rate is .340) Is it technical or mental?
    And I’m only talking about the hitting coach here. Not GM, not any of the other glaring problems. If Pedro hits more consistently, maybe that’s a few of the one run losses that are wins. Who knows?

  253. Jandy says:

    diehard, the fact is, there are plenty of “fixes” needed. These guys don’t play fundamental baseball. The mistakes they make are elementary (little league), and if fixed, would turn a lot of L’s into W’s. But for some reason, the staff isn’t working on fielding, running, bunting, batting, etc. We’re working on Navy Seal training, and Hoka hey!

  254. Milo Hamilton says:

    Even if nothing else changes, Gregg Ritchie’s leaving. GW beckons.

  255. NMR says:

    I honestly wonder if Dejan went to bed last night thinking he’d be responsible for the removing of the entire Pirates Front Office?

  256. Jandy says:

    NMR, I highly doubt he is worried about that.

  257. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate–some people may, may, be overreacting. But, you are way, wayyy under reacting. You lose a bit of credibility admitting you didn’t even read it while you were judging others. But now that you have, you were right? I always hold my wallet when some one feels the need to tell other people how level headed they are.

    And,”At 1 time, the Devil was an angel. Nobody thought he was such a bad guy then.”
    Did you talk to anyone then, or is that just “hyperbole?”

    In my view no level headed person reads that e-mail and says, “what’s the big deal,” without at least acknowledging that it’s a bit bizarre. But you said “Yet, I actually have no problem with anything Stark wrote.” c’est la vie

    Hoka Hey

  258. diehard says:

    Jandy- I realize that there are many fixes needed, and fundamentals are sorely lacking. I’m just talking about that one. For the immediate future I think we need to find coaches who look at our major league roster and can evaluate and improve what’s there. And yes, that’s hitting, fielding, baserunning, holding runners, etc. etc. There is not going to be a 20 player turnover from this year to next. The bulk of the roster will still be from the current guys. So do we make them better? What we do with the minor league players is supposed to improve our future. What we do with the major league staff should impact what we do today.

  259. JoeBucco says:

    I’ve been too beat down after recent baseball to even address this yet. But seeing Passan reference it, and realizing that once again, in the midst of our best season in 20 years, we are a national laughingstock in the sports world – no, wait – we are THE national laughingstock in the sports world.

    I know that as the owner of a business, when someone humiliates you like this, they are gone – regardless of performance and competence. And when this is matched with incompetence, then action is swift and strong. If Stark survives the day, it will be a major reflection of Nutting. I don’t think the question is if any more. Huntington and Stark are gone. Smith probably along with them.

    But geez, how could such an exciting and enjoyable season be taken away by such moronic behavior by the front office of this team.

    For a month now, I’ve been wondering where rock bottom is for this franchise. Well, here we are.

    I think it’s going to be an early happy hour of drinking today. Thanks, Pirates.

  260. JoeBucco says:

    @Jandy & 249 – I agree on Correia. That guy is a gamer and was treated horribly this year. Dude put up two good years for this team now. Not sure I know of anyone else that’s done that in recent memory.

  261. Jandy says:

    diehard, we agree!

    Joe Bucco, I’m not even thinking this is rock bottom…yet…I’m scared something else will surface. YIKES!
    I’m hitting hubby up for TGIFriday’s for dinner! Some Yeunglings’ will surely taste good anad maybe rinse the terrible taste from my mouth.

  262. Jandy says:

    Anyone know Correia’s e-mail? Maybe we could petition him to stay :)

  263. cmat0829 says:

    DK: I am embarrassed by the Pirates weird instructional league diversion, but the bigger issue is that the Pirates, when they aren’t doing exercises like this that I’m sure you will report are not what the players do for more than 2% of the total training time in a season, are doing to develop their players.

    So why this is fun to blog about and emboldens those voices that have been silent to speak up, it sadly takes away from focus on the rest of the Pirates development program. Do they teach baserunning differently then 29 other MLB organizations? Bunting? Pitching approach? Hitting approach? Basic defensive fundamentals?

    Yes, Huntington, Stark, Smith need to go. Stark is obviously in over his head and has used the wrong style to try to organize the system. Huntington either lacks a spine to jettison Stark or intervene or actually believes in that drivel.

    I just lament that “HellsAngelGate” is eating the icing and ignoring the cake. Pirates players can’t and shouldn’t use the excuse “well, we suck at fundamentals because for 3 days in the fall we had to do boot camp stuff”…

  264. Jandy says:

    AW #259…good perspective, man :)

  265. Embarrassed Pirates Fan says:

    Just when you think things couldn’t get worse….then this. This is a BIG WTF! I don’t know about you but I am tired of Pittsburgh being the laughing stock of baseball, Oh how I miss the Galbreath family.

    I can no longer support a team that hires baseball clowns for the front office. I seem to say this every year but I MEAN it this year. Get some hardcore baseball folks into this org or I am DONE with you. DONE. As in spending my time and dollars elsewhere. DONE. Take your clay pidgeon shooting, Hell’s Angels loving, trade dealine botching, mismanaging azzes and hit the road. Take Kyle Stark, NH, and Frank “Do nothing/ know nothing/ no accountability/ drunk driving” Coonley with you.

  266. Jandy says:

    cmat, good point…but WHY do they suck at fundamentals??? Therein lies the problem.

  267. Vette60 says:

    Yeah, this whole thing is like a snowball rolling downhill, bigger and bigger until it runs something over…

    So, to take you’re mind off the whole mess, go and watch the Pittsburgh Dad watches the Pirates episode – he must have been reading the blog for due to his timely and very entertaining comments…

    Take care,
    Randy from Richmond, VA (Currently mountainside in Vail, CO)

  268. 19 Years and Counting says:

    At #240:

    I think you’d agree that other organizations have the traits that Stark is trying to instill in us. How then did they develop those traits? Did Stark work his Hell’s Angels bit on them too, or is there another, less insane way to bring about those changes?

    I think we’d all agree that there’s some heart lacking in the big club. However, as I always tell my kids, your actions always speak louder than your words. Drilling the next Red after Cutch got hit and settling things the next day would have done a heck of a lot more good than the ramblings of an eminently unqualified, unrespected man such as Stark.

  269. cmat0829 says:

    OH, and one more thing that is on my mind… NH has made a lot of mistakes but seems to me one thing he HAS RIGHT is his slow-boating the young players through the system and being reluctant to BRING PLAYERS UP BEFORE THEY ARE READY. I don’t think a single prospect that the Blog Brigade has pined for all summer “#FREE_FILL-IN-THE-BLANK” has really performed the way they need to when they come up. Marte is the closest and he has been OK at best.

    NOW, what really aggravates me is that while NH correctly recognized the Pirates prospects aren’t ready he DIDN’T SEEM TO QUESTION STARK and the STAFF as to “what’s taking so long”!!!!

  270. Milo Hamilton says:

    A prediction. A 5:30 Friday afternoon news release announcing Kyle Stark’s “resignation”.

  271. NMR says:


    Nobody said he lost sleep.

    That doesn’t change the fact that he’s very likely the catalyst for a full scale change in management of an entire professional sports organization.

    You HAVE to keep enough perspective to understand the enormity of that.

  272. cmat0829 says:

    Jandy…. thanks… Stark, Smith, Huntington should be FIRED but NOT FOR THIS BOOT CAMP STUFF…. they will be fired for lack of performance…. if the boot camp stuff WORKED, then no one would be laughing… if the Pirates system developed players well and when they came up to Burgh they didn’t lack fundamentals, everyone would be copying the playbook and praising the mgt team.

    It’s crazy if you ask me and I’m embarrassed but please, please, please don’t lose focus on what really ails this team…getting rid of Hells Angel crap will not move the needle one bit for this team if the broader issue of player development isn’t fixed. And yes, that means the PLAYERS THEMSELVES need to dig deep and get it done. Instruction can take you so far, but instincts need to do the rest.

  273. NMR says:


    EXCELLENT post in #265.

    This all feels like its coming to a head and when the evil witch is dead the masses will rejoice.

    Over what?

    Do you REALLY think this is going to fix the collapse?

    DK: Just got back from burial. Will try to answer as many direct questions as possible up above. Bear with me.

  274. Jandy says:

    NMR, don’t get me wrong. I understand fully the repercussions. I agree there SHOULD be repercussions.
    I have said before, if I did my job with these results, I’d be fired.

  275. Jandy says:

    NMR, NOTHING will “fix” the Collapse.
    But in order for there not to be a “Collapse III” something needs to be done.
    Obviously the Boot Camp and Hell’s Gate arent’t the reason, but they are a symptom. And you must cure the symptoms to get rid of the disease.

  276. Jandy says:

    T.S., JAL has that link up in #6 :)

  277. Jandy says:

    DK, give yourself a break, Man. You’re only human.

  278. NMR says:

    Seriously, DK. Take it easy. Had to be a rough morning.

    DK: Don’t want to look like I wrote something like that, then found the nearest rock to hide under. Not everyone would know I’d have a legit excuse.

    No, I’m mostly shutting down in a bit. Just wanted to address any concerns anyone might have had.

  279. Jandy says:

    I’m seriously interested to see what JHadar says about all this.

  280. NMR says:


    If you can find a direct cause and effect relationship between the collapse of the big league club and this dumb Stark stuff, I’m all ears.

  281. Jandy says:

    And where the heck is OshKosh???

  282. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR@#276 “Do you REALLY think this is going to fix the collapse?”

    –that’s a BS question and you know it. A BS question in response–do you think ignoring it will fix the collapse?

  283. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    That’s fine if you disagree. I can respect that. Just don’t try to insinuate, directly or indirectly, that my opinions are petty or ignorant or that my thoughts operate like those of a villager with a pitchfork. I do my best not to just throw out emotional slander at sports figures, even NH (Paul Martin is a different story- I’ll admit I’m jaded on that one). Not how I operate. If I’m upset, there’s probably a reason for it. And if it’s a misunderstanding, I can admit when I’m wrong.

    You may not think all this is a big deal and that’s fine. But I do. And after all the Phillips nonsense, this is the last thing PBC needed. Yeah our reputation IS even worse now that AGM and GM allowed concepts of a group that traffics drugs and kills people to be part of a mental regimen for baseball players while exposing one of its prized, can’t miss prospects to unnecessary injury..

    “The methods by which they rear their minor leaguers are perhaps even worse, a combination of hubris and recklessness that has led to injuries and widespread resentment, according to four sources who outlined the problems to Yahoo! Sports.”

    Last I checked, hubris is a synonym for arrogance.

  284. Jandy says:

    NMR ~ you’re saying that the over all institutional plan doesn’t affect the Major League club? Uhhh..ok. I guess I’m wrong then. It has nothing to do with it.

  285. Jandy says:

    And for the record, I’m a proud pitchfork carrying fan.

  286. Karen22 says:

    Dejan, please accept my condolences on the passing of your grandmother. Mea culpa for getting distracted by all of the pipers piping, including me.

  287. NMR says:


    Dude, relax. Who said to ignore it? IMO, it’s a foregone conclusion that this guy needs to be gone.

    But it’s crazy to think thats going to FIX anything.


    That same major league club that is apparently so devastated is the same one you were gushing over for three months this summer.

    Enough of the hyperbole.

    This craziness certainly didn’t do anything to fix whatever is going on with this team, but it also certainly isn’t the cause.

    Can you even list how many players on the big league club went through this training?

    If you choose to believe poor training turned a team 16 games over .500 into one losing, literally, at a historic pace in the span of a month, then thats your perogative.

    But it’s just not the case.

  288. Karen22 says:

    FIX the collapse?? Collapse II is just another symptom of a systemic disease! Obviously, there’s no cure for what’s already dead. But we must research and implement procedures to keep the malignancy from metastasizing elsewhere. Excising some of the tumors is a great start!

    DK: Symptom, indeed.

  289. Jandy says:


    That same major league club that is apparently so devastated is the same one you were gushing over for three months this summer.

    Yup, I admit it. And like DK says, things do change. My opinion and attitude are permitted to change with them. :)

    Karen, you and I think a lot alike!

  290. LuckyNKentucky says:


    I was wondering myself where Wisconsin John is. Maybe he got sick and tired for all this. For the life of me, I don’t know why he would.

  291. Arriba Wilver says:

    #290–NMR–me relax? Who said it would fix the collapse? Which was your question.

    Look, you are looking for a direct connection while missing the real important point that it shows, if I’m being nice, the under qualifications of the FO, and if I’m not, incompetence, in developing players for the major league level. This e-mail and the Seals training didn’t start that discussion. Its been going on for years.

  292. Jandy says:

    NMR ~ you and your “lists”. Drop the lists, friend :)

    I never said it is the cause…look at my post #181, 187, 278. Don’t put words in my mouth, please, friend :)

  293. Karen22 says:

    Jandy—is that a female thing (“great minds” and all that)? LOL!

  294. Jandy says:

    Karen…maybe lol. I just noticed we both used the same disease/symptom remarks.

  295. Karen22 says:

    300 posts and it’s not even 3:00 yet…this one’s a dooooooozy!

  296. LuckyNKentucky says:


    My problem is not so much with SEALS training or anything else. Just the lack of a sense of urgency on the big club and that Hell’s Angel junk. Clint seems strained to make the right moves.

    Maybe we could all read Al Capone and John Gotti’s memoirs to see how to run a cohesive, in-your-face, don’t care what anyone thinks type of organization. Like someone said above, the Pirates truly don’t care what anyone thinks, especially us fans.

  297. Karen22 says:

    Oops—did we? Thirty lashes with a wet noodle if I plagiarized! Hoka Hey!

  298. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was just thinking, tonight I have to go to Mars. Kinda fitting.

  299. NMR says:

    I think it’s funny when fans go on rants about being done and not investing another second and then spend the rest of the day blogging about said team.

  300. Jandy says:

    Karen, not at all! Just proves great minds do think alike lol

  301. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Kyle Stark and Neal Huntington will be DK’s guests on Tuesday’s DK Show. Maybe not.

  302. Jandy says:

    Milo, lol. Not Venus?

  303. Jandy says:

    Lucky, you are evil! LOL

  304. NMR says:


    Lack of sense of urgency?

    Clint Hurdle’s managing has screamed “panic” ever since this collapse started.

    Thats NEVER the way to handle adversity.

    I’ve seen enough Jason Kendall contracts, Derreck Bell signings, and Matt Morris trades to know EXACTLY what happens when a General Manager lets the pressure get to him.

  305. cosmo says:

    Dude where’s my Buccos?

  306. 21sthebest says:

    “DK: I recall Plummer saying at the time he had no problem whatsoever sending Sano into the Pirates’ system. It was all about money.”

    I understand DK. I’ve been involved in many negotiations. People say a lot of things. I wouldn’t expect Plummer to say otherwise.

  307. Jandy says:

    Which brings us back to….Clint Hurdle deserves better.

  308. BFD says:

    Bob Nutting plans to announce his new GM Monday morning – Kyle Stark

  309. NMR says:


    And you honestly believe that is what has caused the collapse?

  310. Milo Hamilton says:

    Melky Cabrera has asked MLB to remove him from consideration for the batting title. MLB has obliged. CSN Bay Area report.

    That’s great news for Buster Posey. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  311. Mike Shigley says:


    True, the e-mail in and of itself should not be the cause of anyone’s firing — nor should the SEALS training.

    True. the collapse has drastically increased the frustration level of fans to the point of making snap decisions that might not be good long term.

    True, the front office has had good ideas and made improvements during its tenure.

    However, in light of the collapse and of the failure to evaluate, select, sign, and develop sufficient major league talent with good fundamentals and a will to win, the e-mail symbolized the weaknesses of the front office. It has bluster and talk but no fruitful action. Kyle Stark’s intent may have been good, but you don’t use hippies or Hell’s Angels as cogent symbols for quality baseball players. Nor do you talk in jargon, which it seemed the e-mail reeked of (as did the player development site). It was the crowning insult to a gut-blow of a season.

    Good talent selectors and trainers, who actually walk the talk (so to speak), trump words, words, words — and even (pace to some posters) money.

  312. Jandy says:

    Milo and JAL, I have to give some kudos to Melky Cabrera for having the cajones to do that. Just makes Braun look worse in my eyes.

  313. Karen22 says:

    Wow, what a big baseball-news day so far. Heads rolling before midnight would cap it off nicely.

  314. Bizrow says:

    Shoot, I blew it today, should a posted the Dejan’s Lunatics list of inmates, I’ll betcha with this volume of posts, we’d have gotten a few more signups ;-)

  315. Naterosboro says:

    @ Jandy re:252

    That may be so for you and others, but I don’t see it that way. I’m a fan of a sports team, but that’s my entertainment. I refuse to let how others perceive my teams to effect (affect?; I always for get that rule!) my perception of myself.

    @ Arriba re:259

    At first I was responding to DK’s blog, his column, and initial comments I had read. If it came across as I was judging from a different perspective, I apologize.

    Again, though, this is just grabbing at things to pile on for the current collapse of the major league team. In early August when it still looked a good shot the Pirates would grab a wild card spot, where were these calls then? Did this “mindset” stuff just suddenly pop into Stark’s head? I would bet no.

    Nowhere in his Friday column does DK address the actual message of the email, which is to change the culture of the org. to one of no fear & no-nonsense. It instead focuses on the Hells Angels, and how they’re a criminal organization, and how it is basically insane a Pirate Exec. who’s responsible for the development of the minor leagues to be wanting to instill traits of a criminal organization. That’s why when I actually read the email, I went even more in the direction of my initial feelings. Again, don’t think he was getting personal (it’s just his reactions to what he read in the email, and I guess a lot of people share those views), but he used his pen here to paint Stark as a bit of a mad man, and I didn’t read that from his words. If I’m missing something, please point that out.

    @ Brad, Indiana PA re:286

    Sorry if I offended. I never intend to do that (altho that road to hell…). And again, in your post you paint the Hells Angels as a terrible org. (which they are, and is where Dk went with this, and has everyone focusing on), but nowhere in the email, does that matter. In this context, he’s talking of some of the traits he sees in the organization. They use these traits to do bad things. That doesn’t mean the Pirates couldn’t use these things to do good things (like building a championship org. that plays the game without fear and a no-nonsense attitude, which again is the crux of the email).

    If he had used “US Marines” instead of Hells Angels, would your reaction to what was wrote be as strong?

    @ 19 Years and Counting re:270

    Yes, but these are the methods that Kyle Stark is trying to instill. He’s in our org. right now. I didn’t hear anything about Kyle Stark’s methods & minor league development (other than there being no SS or C at AAA ready so we could cut Barmes & Barajas, but I don’t think that has to do with Stark’s methods), Neal Huntington needing to be fired, etc. Did he just think this stuff up before he sent the email out?

    As far as drilling the next Red, thats a beef with Clint Hurdle or the Pirates pitching staff. Not sure how that plays at all into our discussion today.

    @ DK

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Thoughts and condolences with you and your loved ones. Thanks for all that you do, and the forum you give to us fans (even if we disagree).

    Sometimes it’s good to remember there are more important things in life than sports.

    DK: Thanks, Nate. I ALWAYS think there are things more important in life than sports.

  316. harry211 says:

    Been an incredibly frustrating and embarrassing day to be a Pirates fan. I didn’t see DK’s column or blog post until after I got to work so I’ve had about 8 hours to let my feelings fester before being able to post.

    What I read this morning can only be described as the most epic of epic fails for this organization on so many levels. The minor league system is not developing players, the scouting is not drafting well beyond having a #1 or #2 overall pick, and the director of player development, Kyle Stark, comes off as being batcrap crazy while being wholly unproductive in his role. It’s unbelievably frustrating to watch this team and the prospects currently with the MLB club continually fail to perform the most basic baseball fundamentals: baserunning, bunting, holding runners on base, etc. Don’t even get me started about the failures in free agency at the MLB level either. And that doesn’t even mention the minor detail of leaving the Pirates player development page open to the public. It’s little things like that that really makes you wonder if anyone in the organization has a clue.

    After so much hope in the first four months of the season, one can only wonder if these Pirates are who we thought the were before the season began, another Pirates team heading for another losing season, a place at the bottom of the division and the top of the draft.

    The more layers your peel off behind the onion of the Pirates organization from the MLB level on down, the more it stinks. I can only imagine what the Pirates front office comments would be if asked about the article, but I believe it would go something like, “meh.”

  317. Arriba Wilver says:


    And you honestly believe that is what has caused the collapse?”

    I didn’t say that or even imply it. Where do you get this stuff? Here’s what I said:

    “#290–NMR–me relax? Who said it would fix the collapse? Which was your question.

    Look, you are looking for a direct connection while missing the real important point that it shows, if I’m being nice, the under qualifications of the FO, and if I’m not, incompetence, in developing players for the major league level. This e-mail and the Seals training didn’t start that discussion. Its been going on for years.”

    Certainly the collapse hasn’t been going on for years ( only 2), but the discussion about the FO and it’s development of players has been.

  318. Leefoo says:

    On my iPad waiting for wife, Wendy
    …pls don’t give Clint a free pass in all this!

    He has blown at least 3 games in the last 2 wks!

    If just Stark goes, fine. But, if BN cleans house, pls take Clint with them! Pls hire a manager who, you know, knows how to win. Clint can be our new PR guy…he’s good at that.



  319. cmat0829 says:

    Folks sure get fired up back and forth on this topic… again, seems to me that (1) the Bucs organizational development isn’t getting the necessary results (2) #1 has only a infinitessimal linkage to Navy Seals distraction (3) Nutting needs to fire NH, KS and GS.

    Why anyone needs to waste any more energy going back and forth on this is beyond me.

    My lament, again, is that an article like this focuses everyone on the “icing” and not the “cake”.. Stark is “stark raving mad” but the bigger point is that he sucks as a player development director.

  320. 21sthebest says:

    “He has blown at least 3 games in the last 2 wks!”

    I just don’t know how people quantify this. He has made moves we’ve all pretty much not liked for a while now. Bunting, stealing, whatever. I think pulling Wandy decreases our chances of winning, but who’s to say he doesn’t also give up the hit that Hughes did? If Hurdle had made different moves than the one’s he did make, how do we know the result actually would have been different?

  321. cmat0829 says:

    Foo, fie, fo fum:

    Would be overreacting to fire Hurdle… can anyone of us push the right buttons on this roster when all of the stars aren’t ready for prime time (yes Cutch that includes you) and the backups are varying degrees of “yuck”. So Clint picked the wrong crayons out of the box a few times… doesn’t resolve the fact that he didn’t have much to choose from.

    Last night is case in point… he used Grilli in the 7th to face Weeks/Braun and Aram.. Right move. he then went to qualls because he tried the AAAA crew and that didn’t work so well.. .Hughes/Watson pitched earlier (and neither of those is scintillating lately).

    So he went with the veteran. And Qualls sucked.

    But so has Hughes/Grilli/Hanrahan/Watson/Wilson/Van der Beek/the Japanese guy/ fill in the blank.

  322. Matt says:

    @bizrow #318

    How do i get signed up? I am 2 wks new to the blog.

  323. Thundercrack says:


    That surprises me. I didn’t think that Steigerwald knew how to use the internet.

  324. Milo Hamilton says:


    When they finally got Al Capone, it was for tax evasion. But he was in jail. If Stark is incompetent, who cares why he gets fired.

  325. NMR says:


    Full context of my post you’re referencing:
    “This all feels like its coming to a head and when the evil witch is dead the masses will rejoice.

    Over what?

    Do you REALLY think this is going to fix the collapse?”

    You yourself repeatedly said this summer that you see no reason this team cannot AT LEAST play .500 ball the rest of the season. And that is after their run in June and July.

    That team is the same one that has collapsed, and is being viewed as a symptom of poor developement.

    How do you reconcile both views?

  326. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nate@319—“Again, though, this is just grabbing at things to pile on for the current collapse of the major league team. In early August when it still looked a good shot the Pirates would grab a wild card spot, where were these calls then? Did this “mindset” stuff just suddenly pop into Stark’s head? I would bet no.”

    But we didn’t know it till yesterday, and the SEALS stuff was recent, too, so I don’t get your point. Would it have had the same reception in Late July if people had known? Certainly not, but to think it wouldn’t have had any negative reaction, is wrong in my view. A good number of people would still have been saying this guy sounds nuts. And to dismiss sincere questions about It on the basis “you’re just unhappy fans” is a bit condescending, again in my view.

    Maybe kind of illustrative of this, I knew for years Stark had a military demeanor, all you had to do was look at him, but I didn’t know till DK’s report he was never in the military.

  327. 21sthebest says:

    “So he went with the veteran. And Qualls sucked.”

    I wonder if anyone else had the same thought as I did. I wanted him to get Hanny up and fast when Qualls gave up the first baserunner. You lose a 9-7 game, largely because of lousy relief pitching, and your best reliever doesn’t even get a chance. Again.

    And I have been getting more confidence in Resop lately. But I wanted Hanny in there. We desperately needed a win as we all know. And another thing…..

    I think Barajas’ game calling skills are overrated. I’ve noticed things like this a couple of times. He starts Weeks out with a good curveball that Weeks fouls off weakly but he was on the pitch. The 2-1 pitch was a perfect fastball at the knees that Weeks looks at. Great pitch. Then I’m thinking Weeks is definitely looking curveball and that’s exactly what Resop gives him, but right in the zone. At least put that out of the zone and make him chase it. If you get to 3-2, fine. You can even live with walking him althought that’s not ideal. But on 2-2, give him that fastball again at the knees when I feel sure he was looking curveball.

    To me it’s all about hitters counts vs. pitchers counts.

  328. Brad, Indiana PA says:


    Apology accepted, and I’m fine with agreeing to disagree. I just don’t believe you can take those traits in conjunction with that group and separate the two. I just read an interesting article about Hitler and his success at reviving the German economy before WWII. I doubt many people would approve if his principles were cited as the basis for their country’s economic ideology.

    So to answer your question, yes I would feel differently if it were the Marines or another military branch. I think most would agree that would have been the wiser allusion. It’s not the traits I have a problem with, it’s the example he uses so vehemently with blatant disregard to victims of Hell’s Angels activity.

    I was ticked when they didn’t plunk Phillips, though I think I understand the restraint because who knows what he would have said afterward. And A.J. charging out with an army of wind behind him absolutely upset me.

  329. 19 Years and Counting says:


    That’s my point. The big league club isn’t going to “get tougher” by some rah rah crap that the assistant GM is blabbering, or from Navy Seal training. It’s going to come on the field at the direction of the players or the manager. Stark’s job is to make sure that Pirate prospects are as prepared as they can be when they make it to the show, and he gets a huge FAIL for that. It’s clear from that email that he’s spending a lot of time on stuff that is at best unproductive, but is most likely counterproductive, to what line #1 on his job description is.

  330. Leefoo says:

    I’m conitnually amazed how/why people defend Hurdle and throw NH under the bus!

    Hurdle is a lousy game manager!

    21s….I’ll take my chances with a ‘dealing’ Wandy than a Hughes being brought in for the 3rd day in a row! (Which Hurdle says he would never do…)

    And don’t get me started on that 9-5 loss.

    Or his continually playing Rod? Or his….oh why bother?


  331. NMR says:

    “Stark’s job is to make sure that Pirate prospects are as prepared as they can be when they make it to the show, and he gets a huge FAIL”

    Does not explain the collapse.

    Pedro is the only contributor to the big club that has been reared in the system.

    Again, if Nutting thinks the work is done in getting rid of the Front Office, I believe he’s sorely mistaken.

    The goal was to diagnose and fix what made this team collapse. You cannot say in one breathe that the major league collapse is a symptom of a poor developement system and say in another that the same system has not produced enough major league talent.

    The players on the field collapsed, not the prospects.

    DK: Why, oh, why do people keep trying to attach the things I’m writing about this draft/development issue to the collapse?

    Really, I’m not doing it, and I wrote it.

    Why is everyone else?

    Almost completely separate issues.

  332. Leefoo says:

    Cmat….I am not buying what you’re selling regarding Hurdle.

    It’s always ‘well, he doesn,t have the pieces’.

    Well, NH went and got him Wandy, Gaby and Travis.

    Then there’s the ‘well, whaddaya expect from a AAA roster?’. Well, gee, look at the Oakland A’s. How many rookie starters are THEY using.

    Then, there’s the Orioles. Compare THEIR roster to ours. Yet, Buck has them tied for first!

    Hurdle has one frikkin winning season in his career!

    When I say NH has built up our farm system, I get the ‘well compared to Littleyield ANYBODY is a genius’. Well, compared to JR, Clint is a genius. Well, let’s compare him to a real manager!



  333. JoeBucco says:

    @NMR – I think it is pretty telling that Neal Huntington and Kyle Stark haven’t provided Pittsburgh with any “contributors”, aside from Pedro.

    Seems like perhaps you are stating the problem with your defense.

  334. 21sthebest says:

    “21s….I’ll take my chances with a ‘dealing’ Wandy than a Hughes being brought in for the 3rd day in a row! (Which Hurdle says he would never do…)”

    Yes. That’s exactly what I said. And Hurdle has changed the approach before. I believe there are 5 or 6 instances this year when a reliever has gone 4 days in a row. But I never would have thrown it out there to begin with anyways because you’re criticized the second you do things differently.

  335. Naterosboro says:

    @ Arriba re: 331

    I apologize if my view is condescending, but again, to me it comes off as “sour grapes”. I get that new information can change a point of view, and new information is appearing all the time. But, again, I feel this is attempting to paint Stark as crazy, thus running the player development program in a way that is counter productive (which is really just a disagreement in management styles at its heart).

    A lot of what is being written has to due with the Pirates “lack of fundamentals” and how rather than fundamentals at the development stage, the Pirates are running boot camps (hyperbole!). In April they were 10-12, May 15-13, June 17-10, July 17-9, August 11-17, and in Sept. they’re 4-14. Fundamentals didn’t seem to be a problem until recently, right? April, May, June, July and to an extent August, things were fine. Now all of a sudden, crazy people are running the org. into the ground. See what I’m getting at here? There’s a connection clearly trying to be made about Stark, Huntington, this email and SEAL Training, and Collapse I & II. And again, I see that as “sour grapes”.

    You want to get rid of Huntington for putting together a roster that collapsed 2 years in a row, fine with me. You want to get rid of Stark for his minor leagues not producing better ball players so far, again, there’s basis for that. But, to me, this I see as no grounds for firing, as all the email talks about is things they need to instill in their players for the 2nd half and going forward, which is to play the game fearless and with a no-nonsense approach. I agree with that.

    I’m sorry, I don’t think this has anything to do with our players losing baseball games. Did they forget their fundamentals as soon as they got this email?


  336. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Sadly have to agree with Foo on CH, can’t put all of Hurdle’s gaffes on the roster. Some, but not a majority. Putting Qualls in EVER is a pretty big one.

  337. RobertoForever says:

    Lineup is out

    Marte LF, Walker 2B, Cutch CF, Jones RF, Sanchez 1B, Alvarez 3B, McKenry C, Barmes SS, Locke P

  338. NMR says:


    What am I defending?

    Lord. Reading is fundamental…

  339. RobertoForever says:


    To “sign up” you just need to give your hometown.

    I know I have enjoyed your contributions.

  340. Mike Shigley says:


    You can win games despite poor fundamentals. Losing just accentuates these failures.

    The problem with the e-mail wasn’t the supposed intent. It was the language. You can have all the good ideas in the world, but if the means of your message get in the way, you probably won’t convey your ideas well. In addition, off-putting metaphors will at best obscure your message and at worst you will lose the respect of your audience, if not make them question your leadership and your decisions.

  341. Matt says:

    @RobertoForever-thanks! Have read the posts for about 3 months now and I enjoy yours as well.

    Bicknell, IN

  342. NMR says:


    Not sure if you were reiterating my point or if your comment was directed at it. Either way, your comment was precisely what I was trying to get across.

    All of us fans, and Bob Nutting, have been asking the questions of what has caused this collapse.

    Firing the Front Office will not answer them.

    Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done, and huge credit to Dejan for his work exposing what we couldn’t see behind the scenes, but I’m not going into next Spring Training any more confident this won’t happen again.

  343. JoeBucco says:

    NMR – you seemed to be defending Neal Huntington from the collapse. Maybe I was mis-reading your post?

  344. NMR says:


    You’ve just inadvertently adorned the scarlett letter by aligning with Roberto. May Kyle Stark have mercy on you :)

    Seriously, though, welcome. And go Hoosiers.

  345. Mike Shigley says:

    This — from — one of the 10 reasons the Nationals are in the playoffs:

    “The Draft
    Rizzo is a scout at heart, and nobody is complaining about the players he selected in the First-Year player and signed outside of the United States. Entering Friday’s action, the Nationals have nine players on the Major League roster who were drafted by Rizzo and his staff since 2007. Overall, the team has 14 players who came from the farm system.”

    Can we imagine this here — with the current regime?

    DK: You have to be able to evaluate talent. That’s not just No. 1 for a GM. It’s Nos. 1-100.

  346. NMR says:

    @Joe –

    Clearly. Where’d you even come up with Neal Huntington?

  347. Matt says:

    I have an idea. Have Clint Hurdle coach the first half next season and Jim Tracy the second half. They would each be coaching to their strengths! Does anyone remember how we would do great the last 30 or 40 games and still finish 50 games under .500?

  348. 19 Years and Counting says:

    @ #337: DK is spot-on. This is about the man who’s responsible for preparing Pirate farmhands for the show wasting his time with Hell’s Angels analogies and Navy Seal Training while his prospects show up at PNC Park time and time again woefully lacking in the simplest baseball fundamentals. If we were seeing polished prospects show up in Pittsburgh maybe we’d consider Stark to be eccentric and leave it at that. But when you are failing in your job as miserably as Stark is then it’s looked at in another light entirely.

    However, it does relate to the collapse in that we’d have a much better team if said minor league system had delivered at least 1 MLB-ready player to Pittsburgh given the crazy money the Pirates have pumped into the draft during the last 5 years.

    Also, did the Stark email have something to do with Appel not signing? I’m guessing if it’s been making the rounds of MLB this summer (as I’ve read today) that Scott Boras probably saw it and shared it with his client.

  349. Matt says:



    BTW. Go Boilers!:)

  350. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–I wrote a lonnnggg response to you, but I’ll just go with DK’s response at #337. You keep assuming people are making a connection they aren’t. Maybe to help, just remember this came out yesterday. (and I never repeatedly said what you claimed, but I did think they had a great chance to at least have a winning season–to use an analogy Starks might appreciate, the reality on the ground changes outlooks).

  351. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I think most would agree collapse 2.0 has happened for quite a few reasons, one of which is players’ performances over the past two months, i.e. allowing 600 stolen bases per 4.2 innings certainly doesn’t help. I don’t follow stats much, but that might be pretty accurate from the last couple games.

  352. Mac says:

    WHERE was Dejan in July? It’s time to pile on with fair weather journalism.

    Where were you, Dejan?

    DK: YEAH! So you’re characterizing a column you clearly DIDN’T READ. Because the answer to your question is in there.

    Welcome to the forum.

    Funny, all the newcomers today all seem to be of a like mind …

  353. NMR says:


    I’m not assuming anything. Jandy, Karen, and others have said exactly that.

    My point is EXACTLY what Dejan said in #337.

  354. Arriba Wilver says:

    NMR–you specifically said I was. I did NOT! And you kept coming back despite me pointing that out. Reading is fundamental!

  355. JoeBucco says:

    @NMR – “Again, if Nutting thinks the work is done in getting rid of the Front Office, I believe he’s sorely mistaken”

    Sorry, not sure why I implied Neal Huntington there. He has nothing to do with the front office. Geez, you are a condescending a%$.

  356. JoeBucco says:

    @DK – Any of those newcomers happen to have an I.P. address coming from 115 Federal St.?

    DK: Only one!

    These guys can be pretty funny. Honestly, why not just step up and say who you are and defend what you do?

    If it’s not so bad, why all the secrecy and subterfuge?

  357. JoeBucco says:

    BTW Dejan… I am working on a site re-construction for you, of the site. Since you know, they think they can just take down a site and it’s gone. ;)

    Here is what I am starting with. Really interesting to read.

  358. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    DK – Well….I commend you for mentioning IP addresses coming from 155 Federal St.
    We’re not allowed to talk about that on other blogs.

    Otherwise…..I did not see one person condoning this story earlier in the morning.
    As the day has gone on, the machine has started to spin throughout the Nutting Regime propaganda sheets.
    It’s always amazing how far some of these people will go…..Just to cover for a Regime that invites them to a few mixers throughout the year.

  359. Eric Bowser says:

    Employees of the Pirates being told to get on the internet and discredit, criticize, and antagonize the source of their frustration is nothing new.

    When I created the ‘Cam Must Go!’ website advocating the firing of Cam Bonifay, the Pirates sent their minions to go to some losers like John Mehno and try to refute the information that I had on that the site.

    The site caught on like wild fire and got play in USA Today, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, and numerous other media outlets (tv, radio and newspapers).

    I hit a nerve when I created the “Ownership Must Go!” website because according to a former team employee, who called me, Kevin McClatchy went off his rocker in the office one morning when he was told of the site. McClatchy told said employee, “get his phone number and tell him I want to talk with him”. When I learned of this, I told the employee, “I have no interest discussing this over the phone, if he wants to talk, then let’s discuss this in person.”

    McClatchy refused to the one-on-one meeting in his office at PNC Park.

    The Pirates then tried to send out their minions… it didn’t work.

    Fast forward to today, it sure sounds like McClatchy left his “how to screw up” handbook for Bob Nutting.

    They all need to go!

    DK: Yeah, Eric, it’s funny how every viewpoint I get passionately supporting the Pirates on Twitter is from a brand new account that’s only following one person, me. You’d think they’d at least try a little harder.

  360. SeanAY says:

    September 21st, 2012 – 6:31 pm

    DK – Well….I commend you for mentioning IP addresses coming from 155 Federal St.
    We’re not allowed to talk about that on other blogs.


    That’s because you do it without a scant bit of proof, and solely to discredit those you disagree with.

  361. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    SeanAY – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.
    Some news for you…..I have proof….But I’m not going to release it on someone elses blog.

  362. out-n-ltfield says:

    If Huntington and Stark are fired, it’s b/c, after 5 years on the job, they have not achieved what they were brought here to do, plain and simple. Not b/c of military training or emails…no matter how much you would like it to be.

    I agree Nate. Their track record over the last 5 years is enough, alone, after two epic collapses to get them canned.

    If it’s this crap that brings it to fruition, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM WITH IT.

  363. I want to clear something up that JB said about me in another thread.

    JB claims that Dejan “jumped all over a fellow journalism student just because he called you out (and rightfully so), for being so one-sided and not reporting a complete story.”

    Looks like that was referring to me. This is the tweet I sent about Dejan’s column:

    “A much better column from @Dejan_Kovacevic on the #Pirates’ odd development plan. Little narrative, good reporting:

    Does that sound like someone who thinks Dejan is one-sided and not reporting a complete story? No, I was complimenting Dejan and linking to the story so that more people would check it out.

    JB, I appreciate you following me on Twitter. But I do not appreciate you putting words in my mouth.

  364. @Naterosboro re post 146 –
    Your argument presumes that what this has revealed about player development practices on a team whose contract investments have been extremely tilted toward prospects rather than vets can not explain the two successive post All Star collapses of promising teams. I think that presumption is wrong.

  365. Hoovc says:

    DK, you nailed it again. That’s why you are the best in the biz. It’s time to call out this entire regime. All these newbies posting on here and calling you out have not been reading you since the PG days. If they have read your work for many years they would realize that you are not a guy that sensationalizes things for the sake of selling a paper. You are as objective as they come. Keep it up.

    DK: That’s not a newbie, Hoov. That’s a team employee. Check my comments elsewhere on the thread.

  366. Theplanisworking says:

    Amazing how some posters still defend this.
    Now it (finally) comes to light Federal Street is trying to pressure folks who disagree with them.

    Here is a little advice for the offices on federal Street:

    if you spent even half the time developing the Pirates the correct way as you do on discrediting people who disagree with you, the Pirates would win the WS every year!

    Great job, DK.
    And, so sorry for your loss.

  367. Doc says:


    I wish you the best. I know how difficult this can be…. Basically crack this wide open, then have to deal with personal issues. I am sorry


    Nice to see you again.

    DK: Hi, Doc!

  368. BarryVanBonilla says:

    What is happening is a ham-handed effort to defend Stark by attacking anybody who has questions, concerns or misgivings about the manner in which he,and for that matter, the entire tem conduct business and comport themselves. These guys are appearing like hedgehogs everywhere, all of a sudden, because they know the story is toxic, and they figure if they can discredit the source between now and October 4th, they have a chance of surviving. The whole thing smacks of amateur hour, and I feel for the many terrific people in the organization who have had to live with one incompetent regime after another since Syd Thrift was fired. Bob Nutting needs to get a hold of this, and resolve to bring in adults. This is unsustainable as presently constituted. Anybody who believes otherwise is in denial, or works for Neal Huntington.

  369. JasDombro says:

    Great work exposing this, Dejan. Last straw. That Huntington was copied into this email and did nothing calls for his dismissal- nothing less. I personally hope Hurdle survives the carnage, even with his puzzling moves, there is only so much that can be done with the hand that’s dealt. But its Huntington dealing the cards.


  370. da hoss says:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ”

    Teddy Roosevelt 1910

    Enough said!

    DK: Beautiful quote. Live by it myself. Ever since childhood, all I wanted — from fourth grade on — was to be in journalism. It took a lot of time, a lot of work and yeah, a lot of criticism from the inside and outside, but I’m still doing it 26 years later and enjoying it more than ever.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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