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 Post subject: Open letter to Dejan
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:43 pm 
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There is a very thought-provoking, well-stated open letter to Dejan over on the Buc's Dugout site....worth the read. I don't recognize the author's name, but he seems to be articulate enough to be one of our posters!

I didn't link it or copy/paste, you know the drill.


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 Post subject: Re: Open letter to Dejan
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:14 am 
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Location: Morgantown, WV, via Charleston, WV
I have no idea who Bobby Leffard is, but his letter and the comments that followed seemed to capture some of what I feel. DK is an excellent writer, but as one commenter pointed out, his decision to "cherry pick" certain questionable decisions by the PBC administration is unfair.

Certainly, mistakes have been made. If that were not the case, then we wouldn't have 20 seasons of losing baseball. But to ONLY focus on the negative is absolutely not helping the problem.

I feel positive for the 2013 season, but even more so for the 2014 season. I miss reading Dejan's articles in the Post Gazette, but I'm also tired of reading his consistently negative diatribe in the Trib (even if it is well thought-out and well researched). Simply focusing on the negative isn't helping things for ME, and certainly isn't helping ME to enjoy my Pittsburgh Pirates.

If (and that is a BIG "if") we have a great season this year, I hope that Dejan can start writing again the in-depth stories that mean something to a baseball-hungry fanbase, rather than continuing to try to point out the negative.


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 Post subject: Re: Open letter to Dejan
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:06 pm 
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A few points:

1 -- it is not Dejan Kovacevic's job to, as Charlie puts it, "help[] the problem." He is no longer an award-winning beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He's not obligated to focus on "positives." His columns need not be "balanced" or present counter-arguments from the Pirates' current management. Mr. Kovacevic is a sports columnist who researches sports stories and writes columns presenting his opinion. He's very good at this, as evidenced by his wide readership, his huge following on social media, and the fact that many Pirates-focused sites like Bucs Dugout, Pirates Prospects, and this message board spend a deal of time writing and reacting to his material.

2 -- it is patently untrue that DK focuses solely on the negative. He absolutely credits moves he believes are good for the team, including the A.J. Burnett acquisition, the Wandy Rodriguez trade, and the recent re-signing of Jason Grilli. He also has defended Bob Nutting's actions as owner, noting his candor and commitment to the team. He places all moves by the current Pirates' management in context with their other moves, a practice with which I agree and according to which I believe the Pirates should seek a better management team. I find it rather amusing that the author of the "Open Letter" to DK notes that he agrees with DK's opinion that Neal Huntington, Frank Coonelly, and their crew should be fired and a new management team hired.

3 -- while many here argue about the relative importance (or lack of importance) of the issues at the heart of DK's three "Hoka Hey!" columns, the simple truth is that the Pirates have not demonstrated a consistent ability to develop young baseball players who exhibit a solid grasp of baseball fundamentals once they reach the major leagues. This, to me, is the main issue, and the three columns DK wrote about the current player development approach imposed on the team's young players by current management punches up the problem. These guys are grasping at straws. Some of you defended the practice and lauded Kyle Stark and Larry Broadway for engaging in "innovative" development tactics. Some of you noted that teams in other sports use such tactics. But none of you could point to its success for the PIRATES. I don't think making 19-year-olds jump into ice puddles at 6:00 a.m. is part of a good player development strategy. I don't think instituting a "Hell Week" and dragging prospects out of bed before sunrise on game days to do military-style drills is part of a good player development strategy. I cannot tie those activities to success on a baseball field. I have no problem with military-run seminars on mental toughness; I have a big problem with senseless physical activity that risks injury to prospects and bears no resemblance to baseball. Add to that Kyle Stark's and Larry Broadway's collective lack of experience and I'm glad that DK researched and wrote those stories. It prompted the Pirates' owner to ban military-style drills and, over time, may result in new management and better player development results. I, for one, am glad that DK is researching these issues in the Pirates' organization and bringing these practices to light. He's doing a service to Pirates' fans everywhere, in my view.

4 -- finally, the "Open Letter" basically asks DK to engage in deeper, more statistical, and sub-level analysis of the baseball moves made by the Pittsburgh Pirates. While DK is certainly capable of such analysis, and he engages in it on occasion with respect to particular moves, we must understand that is not his primary job. He's writing to a wider audience. He'll use simpler statistics and he will not always cite to sabermetric level analyses. But given his knowledge and ability to use such analyses, we know that he will come to his opinions informed. And that's what a columnist is supposed to do.

In short, the very existence of that "Open Letter" and this thread demonstrates that Dejan Kovacevic is doing a helluva job covering the Pirates for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.


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 Post subject: Re: Open letter to Dejan
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Some of you defended the practice and lauded Kyle Stark and Larry Broadway for engaging in "innovative" development tactics. Some of you noted that teams in other sports use such tactics. But none of you could point to its success for the PIRATES. I don't think making 19-year-olds jump into ice puddles at 6:00 a.m. is part of a good player development strategy. I don't think instituting a "Hell Week" and dragging prospects out of bed before sunrise on game days to do military-style drills is part of a good player development strategy. I cannot tie those activities to success on a baseball field.


Most of us don't care. More importantly, military style drills were and never will be intended to develop baseball tools, but to develop stamina and mental toughness. Me, I don't really care if the Pirates do them or not, I think that Dejan has taken something that is 1/1000 of importance to player development and blown it up as though it is a key component to developing a baseball player. I think its good for a few 19 year olds to get a look at what our men and women in the Armed Forces have to do on a fraction of the pay baseball players receive. Doesn't hurt to learn mental toughness and it doesn't hurt to know you can do things others can't , builds confidence. Thats why the military does it.

The author of the letter is by no means giving the Pirates organization a pass, he is merely stating that Dejan has drifted down to negative sensationalism and sounds no better or different than one of Smiziks posters. Not interested in reading that garbage.


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