Frank Coonelly Q&A other Bucco News
Pirates President Frank Coonelly participated in his monthly online chat with fans on Wednesday. Here are a few of the interesting questions that were answered:
Frank, What does the front office do during the month of September? Is it mainly evaluation?
Coonelly: Evaluation of the players on our roster is critical in September (as it is throughout the season) but the focus of the front office this September is to convince this young roster that it can play winning baseball and develop a winning attitude. We have had an extraordinarily disappointing season to date. It is critical that we finish this very poor season with a strong September. Several of our players will be playing into September for the first time but need to continue to work very hard and convince themselves that they can win at this level. In addition, the front office will be preparing for instructional league in Bradenton, Fla., and continuing to formulate offseason priorities and strategies that will provide us with the additional pieces necessary to build a winning team in 2011.
How does it feel to be president of the losingest team in baseball and what are you going to do to change it?
Coonelly: dj324, given that we have many young readers of this chat, I will keep my answer G-rated. It stinks. It is embarrassing, painful and incredibly aggravating. I never expected us to sit with just 44 wins on September 1, 2010. We have more talent than that and I expect us to play much better during this last month of the season. While the losing this year has been painful from a personal perspective, what hurts the most is to see the pain and disappointment on the faces of our great fans who rightfully expected much more from us. The losing is unacceptable and will change. While we will not deviate from a solid plan of building a winning organization through outstanding scouting, player development and significant investments in talented amateur players, we will look to add to a very talented core of young players currently in Pittsburgh and continue to evaluate everything that we do in order to finish strong in 2010 and make significant progress in the win/loss column in Pittsburgh in 2011
Mr. Coonelly, why can’t the Pirates be like the Rays?
Coonelly: I want to thank everyone for participating in today’s chat and for your support of the Pirates. believeinpirates, there is absolutely no reason why the Pirates cannot have the type of success the Rays are now enjoying. The plan that we are executing is identical to the plan that worked for the Rays. Much like the Pirates, the Rays had attempted to take shortcuts to winning for many years by signing veteran, well-past-their-prime free agents. Their efforts at shortcuts, while well-intentioned, were as unsuccessful as the Pirates similar efforts. Flooding a system with highly talented young players and refusing to rely on quick fixes will serve us as well as it served the Rays when they had their building process eight years ago. I often hear that success in markets like Tampa and Pittsburgh cannot be sustained but the Rays are doing a nice job of dispelling that notion. Clubs like the Pirates and the Rays, and most clubs in Major League Baseball for that matter, cannot retain every player for his entire career. That is why building a deep pipeline of talent is critical for sustained success. Minnesota and Tampa are enjoying that sustained success now and we expect to be giving Pirates fans the same type of sustained winning in the near future.
The Pirates have changed the starting rotation for the weekend series against the Nationals. Charlie Morton who was scheduled to start on Saturday will be moved to Sunday. Paul Maholm will be bumped up to Saturday, keeping him on his usual four days of rest.
- Brad Lincoln is expected to throw around 50 pitches for the Triple-A Indians’ game on Wednesday while being montored by management. Linoln has been on the DL since Aug 18th with neck stiffness. His potential Septemeber call-up will be determined how how he responds to coming back.
John Bowker made his Pirates debut on Wednesday against the Cubs when he pinched hit for James McDonald in the sixth inning. Although he struck out, Bowker can be a huge asset for the Pirates. He can play first-base and the corner outfield spots and also is a left-hand power bat.
“I’m just looking for an opportunity to play,” Bowker said. “The Giants gave me some good opportunities to go out there and play. They just wanted to go a different route. Now, over here, I’m just looking at it as a new opportunity for me.”