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 Post subject: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:40 am 
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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08121/877725-194.stm

Smizik makes some great points today. I'd love to hear Nutting's excuse for okaying the Morris trade.

Cue the Nutting apologists. I know, I know, he has "not a baseball guy" despite owning a baseball team and it was 100% Littlefield's fault. No accountability for Nutting.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:46 am 
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I rather think the more interesting aspect is his reference to those 'advisors' to DL who remain on the back-room staff.

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:04 am 
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Bertie wrote:
I rather think the more interesting aspect is his reference to those 'advisors' to DL who remain on the back-room staff.


I agree, Bertie. That's one thing that has long bothered me about this "changing the culture of losing" with the Pirates is that they retained a ton of the same talent evaluators who created this "culture of losing." As Dejan Kovacevic says, they changed the chiefs but kept the same Indians. I think it's a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Here's a Post-Gazette article that mentions that Littlefield's 5 special assistants were retained.
- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07329/836567-63.stm

Here Dejan mentions the Pirates kept some of the same talent evaluators
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07337/838653-126.stm


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:21 am 
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Who makes Nutting accountable? What can you as a fan do to make Nutting accountable?

Nutting and his Daddy have been the the one common link through most of the longest losing streak in Pirate history, and soon to be in all of pro sports of all time. Blame the past GM's and managers?
Nutting's idea of accountability is to let go of the GM, manager and saying the players underperformed? Year after year of pathetic results which start from the top down.....and people keep buying it.

The spin on where all the money goes? Paying down debt? Meanwhile a 200 million dollar increase in value of the franchise, with a hand out new stadium. Paying down debt means when the team is sold, all the more money that will be made. The only hope for things to change is a new owner who makes the true effort to win.

How can you guys keep keep spending your time and money knowing the sham that has gone on and continues to go on? Again what can a fan do to make Nutting accountable?

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:26 am 
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The basic cruxt of Smizik's article:

Quote:
Littlefield, clearly, was a desperate man when he made this trade [Morris]. He was trying to save his job and not even his top advisers, the ones still on the payroll, would have been able to talk him out of this. But if they couldn't, why couldn't owner Bob Nutting?


At least most of us can agree that DL did not possess the skill set necessary to be a successful GM. I'm being nice. What I don't understand is why does McClatchy always get a free pass? Hey Bob, you do realise that DL was hired and reported directly to KM don't you?? The proper question is "why couldn't the CEO Kevin McClatchy step in and talk him out of this?" Probably because he also lacked the skill set necessary to be a successful baseball executive. He saved baseball in Pittsburgh, unfortunately he couldn't save Pittsburgh from bad baseball.

So where does Nutting fit into all of this? He has some exposure and certainly gets a part of the blame, but to suggest that he should be making roster decisions is a bit of a stretch. He has freely admitted to NOT being a baseball person, why would we expect him to make operations decisions? Isn't that what DL and KM were for? And can't we give the man at least a little credit for realising this and making changes?


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:53 am 
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Argentum wrote:
The basic cruxt of Smizik's article:

Quote:
Littlefield, clearly, was a desperate man when he made this trade [Morris]. He was trying to save his job and not even his top advisers, the ones still on the payroll, would have been able to talk him out of this. But if they couldn't, why couldn't owner Bob Nutting?


At least most of us can agree that DL did not possess the skill set necessary to be a successful GM. I'm being nice. What I don't understand is why does McClatchy always get a free pass? Hey Bob, you do realise that DL was hired and reported directly to KM don't you?? The proper question is "why couldn't the CEO Kevin McClatchy step in and talk him out of this?" Probably because he also lacked the skill set necessary to be a successful baseball executive. He saved baseball in Pittsburgh, unfortunately he couldn't save Pittsburgh from bad baseball.

So where does Nutting fit into all of this? He has some exposure and certainly gets a part of the blame, but to suggest that he should be making roster decisions is a bit of a stretch. He has freely admitted to NOT being a baseball person, why would we expect him to make operations decisions? Isn't that what DL and KM were for? And can't we give the man at least a little credit for realising this and making changes?


Very well put. This argument has been beaten to death. What do you have a GM for if he can't make the proper baseball decisions. If Nutting has to make all the decisions, then he should just hire himself as GM. Many guys on this board clamor for Nutting to "spend more money on the team", I think 10M was quite a large paycheck. If his GM tells him that this guy(Morris) was going to make them a better team, then he has to trust his GM. Nutting was burnt, knows he was burnt, and decided to make wholesale changes to the organization, much to his credit. Also he has stated that he would put money into players at the MLB level if this team shows promise late in the season. If not, then he will hold his money. I don't blame him. Everyone must realize, this thing might get a little worse before it gets better.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:56 am 
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Mayor Mystery wrote:
Bertie wrote:
I rather think the more interesting aspect is his reference to those 'advisors' to DL who remain on the back-room staff.


I agree, Bertie. That's one thing that has long bothered me about this "changing the culture of losing" with the Pirates is that they retained a ton of the same talent evaluators who created this "culture of losing." As Dejan Kovacevic says, they changed the chiefs but kept the same Indians. I think it's a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Here's a Post-Gazette article that mentions that Littlefield's 5 special assistants were retained.
- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07329/836567-63.stm

Here Dejan mentions the Pirates kept some of the same talent evaluators
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07337/838653-126.stm


This means nothing if those advisors were telling him to NOT do the deal. They are "advisors", not "decision makers."


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
Mayor Mystery wrote:
Bertie wrote:
I rather think the more interesting aspect is his reference to those 'advisors' to DL who remain on the back-room staff.


I agree, Bertie. That's one thing that has long bothered me about this "changing the culture of losing" with the Pirates is that they retained a ton of the same talent evaluators who created this "culture of losing." As Dejan Kovacevic says, they changed the chiefs but kept the same Indians. I think it's a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Here's a Post-Gazette article that mentions that Littlefield's 5 special assistants were retained.
- http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07329/836567-63.stm

Here Dejan mentions the Pirates kept some of the same talent evaluators
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07337/838653-126.stm


This means nothing if those advisors were telling him to NOT do the deal. They are "advisors", not "decision makers."


Another thing to keep in mind is that NH may have had specific "advisors" in mind for the job, but due to contract situations can't hire them yet. Total overhauls take more than one offseason. You sometimes have to wait for the personnel you want to become available, etc. I'm not using that as an excuse, because if any "advisor" was recognized as being bad and wasn't immediately fired, then there is a problem. However, NH may have looked around at the available front office personnel and decided that what he had was as good as he could do for the time being.

I'm trying to dance around the issue, but to be frank, I have solid reason to believe that he has offered a position to someone within another organization (someone fairly well respected based on the fact that people within the other organization is upset that he is probably leaving) who wanted to fill out the remainder of his contract. There may or may not be others, and he may or may not end up getting any of them, but it is just something else to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:12 pm 
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McClatchy shouldn't have needed to talk Littlefield out of the deal. He should simply have vetoed it. Same with Nutting. You don't need advisors to make that kind of call. Everyone, literally, thought it was a bad deal, except San Fran of course. Can you imagine the heat they would be taking if they were paying Morris and Zito?

I agree that the Pirates kept too many people from the old regime. That includes the minor league coaches and managers. But to be fair, there is only so much you can accomplish in one off-season. Hopefully they will continue to weed out the non-performers.

BTW, what the hell happened to the IGNORE button???


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm 
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If the Pirates wanted to spend $10 million on a player weren't there quality pitchers in Japan we could have tried? What are the Dodgers paying Kuroda? I realize it's a risk (Igawa hasn't done much for the Yanks.)


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Ollie wrote:
If the Pirates wanted to spend $10 million on a player weren't there quality pitchers in Japan we could have tried? What are the Dodgers paying Kuroda? I realize it's a risk (Igawa hasn't done much for the Yanks.)


I'm not entirely sure Dave Littlefield would be capable of finding Japan on a map, let alone recruiting quality pitchers from that country.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:34 pm 
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Quote:
Littlefield, clearly, was a desperate man when he made this trade. He was trying to save his job and not even his top advisers, the ones still on the payroll, would have been able to talk him out of this.


Here's a question: if you were trying to save your job as, say, a network administrator, would you do so by purchasing a prohibitively expensive server that hadn't worked reliably for the past half-decade or so?

I don't get this reasoning that DL was trying to save his job. More likely, he knew he was getting canned and decided to hide the proverbial turd in his boss's office on his way out the door. (Find a pic for that!) I see more malice in the Morris trade than incompetence.

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:41 pm 
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Good point, Slaphead. I knew something smelled funny!


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:14 pm 
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1) If turds = bad deals, then the bosses office must have been a bathroom. Which reminds me, whatever happened to Estragand?
2) Smizik sux!!!!
3) As has already been mentioned, the owner shouldn't be the one answering to baseball decisions unless his name is Steinbrenner. Nutting is responsible for hiring a competent president and GM, which he seems to have done. Those baseball people must then hire other good baseball people which won't happen overnight.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:23 pm 
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bradf wrote:
1) If turds = bad deals, then the bosses office must have been a bathroom. Which reminds me, whatever happened to Estragand?
2) Smizik sux!!!!
3) As has already been mentioned, the owner shouldn't be the one answering to baseball decisions unless his name is Steinbrenner. Nutting is responsible for hiring a competent president and GM, which he seems to have done. Those baseball people must then hire other good baseball people which won't happen overnight.


I agree on points 1 and 2 100% Brad. I also agree partly with point 3.

The owners shouldn't make baseball decisions, etc. However, he still signs off on them, especially deals that account for 25% of the payroll. If everyone one this board knew that was a bad deal, Nutting should have too. He could have vetoed it.

As for McClatchy, I agree he deserves his share of the blame. Both he and Nutting are factors in getting this team to this point.


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:37 pm 
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LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
More likely, he knew he was getting canned and decided to hide the proverbial turd in his boss's office on his way out the door. (Find a pic for that!)


Littlefield's Office:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:21 pm 
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Argentum wrote:
LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
More likely, he knew he was getting canned and decided to hide the proverbial turd in his boss's office on his way out the door. (Find a pic for that!)


Littlefield's Office:

Image

How could I have ever doubted you?

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:33 pm 
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LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
How could I have ever doubted you?


Never underestimate the idiocy of an idiot!


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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:52 pm 
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From some of the talk I've heard on radio shows and in the paper, Littlefield rarely took the advice of some of his people working for him...like in the draft last season...
Maybe there was a big falling out afterwards from that, maybe Littlefield lost the front office, just like Tracy lost the clubhouse...

If you arent a baseball guy like someone like Nutting, who was not involved until last season, and saw a pitcher who was an All-Star for St. Louis making $10 Million and you heard your GM wants him, you might be swayed to think your GM is getting you an All-Star, who knows, Littlefield might have thought the same thing...

Needless to say, Littlefield was fired soon after, and probably alot had to do with the public outcry for the 2nd time (3rd if you count the walkout) in 2 months...I'm sure Nutting wasnt too happy with hearing the fans getting upset, whether it be less butts in the seats for bobbleheads and fireworks, or people actually coming to see the game

Nutting may not be a baseball guy but the longer he is the guy in charge, from the looks of it, there will be baseball people in the organization to run it...

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 Post subject: Re: Smizik's column
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:59 pm 
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LtCol Kojak Slaphead wrote:
Quote:
Littlefield, clearly, was a desperate man when he made this trade. He was trying to save his job and not even his top advisers, the ones still on the payroll, would have been able to talk him out of this.


Here's a question: if you were trying to save your job as, say, a network administrator, would you do so by purchasing a prohibitively expensive server that hadn't worked reliably for the past half-decade or so?

I don't get this reasoning that DL was trying to save his job. More likely, he knew he was getting canned and decided to hide the proverbial turd in his boss's office on his way out the door. (Find a pic for that!) I see more malice in the Morris trade than incompetence.


Yeah, that's probably it. It's not like he'd ever need to get another job or anything.

Given the mountains of evidence we have that Littlefield was absolutely incapable of evaluating talent, why is it so hard to believe that he actually thought he was making a good deal?

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