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Thread: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

      
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    Default Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    Pirates' Coonelly says patience is exhausted
    Sunday, February 20, 2011
    By Tim Potvak, Special to the Post-Gazette



    VWH Campbell Jr./Post-Gazette
    Pirates president Frank Coonelly, left, and general manager Neal Huntington.


    BRADENTON -- Long-suffering Pirates fans should know that team president Frank Coonelly also has run out of patience. He won't be happy with just good effort anymore.

    He wants more tangible results. And he is all but demanding them.

    "Trying hard is not good enough," Coonelly said firmly Saturday morning at Pirate City after listening to new manager Clint Hurdle address the entire team before the first official full-squad workout of spring training. "This is a doing league, and it's time for us to start doing."

    And it isn't just the players and coaching staff whose performances are being evaluated daily. General manager Neal Huntington, in the fourth and final season of his original contract, also likely will see his Pirates future determined by how this team plays.

    "He is under contract. Our expectations are that Neal will be here for a long time," Coonelly said. "He has not been extended at this moment. We'll continue to evaluate it."

    The Pirates hit bottom last season with a 57-105 record, their 18th consecutive losing season, a record for major professional sports in North America. The 57 wins were the franchise's fewest since 1952. Although Huntington has preached patience in the past, there is no patience anymore from Coonelly.

    This team's nucleus includes several promising young players. And the talent level throughout the organization is better than it was a few years ago. Yet the only thing that will matter is dramatic improvement from the 2010 disaster.

    "We're poised to make significant improvement. We're not going to put limits on ourselves with a number [of wins]," he said. "I'm confident we'll be far better than we were the past several years."

    Although the Pirates have had one of the lowest payrolls in the league, Coonelly said he would welcome the day he would be faced with the decision on where to spend to add pieces to a contender.

    "We've said all along, we look forward to the day we need to make that decision. We're prepared to add players if we need guys to get us over the hump," he said. "I look forward to that day when we're in that position."

    Although finally finishing with a winning record again would show progress, that's not what he wants.

    "For us to be successful, we have to win championships. That's the goal, the objective. We won't define success as anything short of a championship."

    Notes

    Manager Clint Hurdle was happy with the 31/2-hour workout Saturday, leaving the field under perfectly clear skies, the way it has been all week. "It was a good day, a very good day. Guys were focused and ready to work," Hurdle said. "There will be a group of men who turn this around, so why can't it be the group that is here?"

    The spring training routine changed somewhat Saturday morning for the first official full-squad workout. Instead of the usual early start in the batting cages and various small group sessions, the entire squad gathered in the clubhouse, left together and assembled in a nearby cafeteria/meeting room to hear Hurdle addressed the team.

    Pirates legend Bill Mazeroski, a special assistant, also arrived Saturday at Pirate City. Mazeroski will work with the infielders for the next week. Also at the opening practice were Pirates legends Manny Sanguillen, Kent Tekulve and Bill Virdon.

    Most Pirates have found living accommodations nearby for spring training, but newcomer Matt Diaz commutes daily from his home in the Lakeland area, about an hour and 20 minutes away. He was insistent about leaving for home after the first workout, making sure he was there for his 3-year-old daughter's birthday party. "It's a Princess Pool Party, you're invited Clint," Diaz said to Hurdle before the workout. Hurdle's response: "Is the pool heated?"

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11051/1126724-63.stm
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    Default Re: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    As much as I hate to say it, Smizick's blurb about EVERYONE, including Coonelly himself, being evaluated is correct. And it makes absolutely no sense to me, none, zero, nada, for Coonelly to even bring the subject up.

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    Default Re: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    I think it is rather obvious and transparent.

    Coonelly's is setting up Neal to be the fall guy, when the inevitable sub-.500 season evolves..

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    Default Re: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    As much as I hate to say it, Smizick's blurb about EVERYONE, including Coonelly himself, being evaluated is correct. And it makes absolutely no sense to me, none, zero, nada, for Coonelly to even bring the subject up.
    Presidents/CEO's get a ton more wiggle room than GM's. it's always been customary that GM's and Coaches are the fall guys. You rarely see Presidents and CEO's go anywhere, not after 3 seasons. Coonelly will get the chance to fire and hire another GM before he gets canned and definitely will get more than 3-4 seasons of a massive rebuild

    Once again Bob Smizik is wrong, mainly because in his narrowminded world, he ignores the reality and this is the reality whether we like it or not.

    All that THIS and Bob Nutting's statements are, are nothing more than the generic, piped ownership/management comments that a lot of teams make about expectations. It's really nothing more than that unless people are looking under every rock for it to be. This and Nutting's statements are basically public pep rally types of statements that I'm sure they've made privately to the players as well.

    The message is clear... the Organization has spent 3 years dedicated mainly to rebuilding it's bread and butter - the minor league system. It's put a ton of resources and time into it and rightfully so. I share the belief that the minors, draft, development etc... should've been priorities 1-5 even if the MLB product takes a beating like most do during massive rebuilds. Now the new message coming out is, it's time for the MLB team to improve and produce. The minor leagues are at a more comfortable stage and the expectations at the MLB are now going to be higher.

    I'm all for it. I think it's the right approach. I do believe that they need to evaluate Huntington's job at the MLB level like they have and we have in the Draft and Minor League level. There's no reason why this team can't win in the Littlefield level of 68-72 wins
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    Default Re: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    Quote Originally Posted by DCBILL View Post
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    I think it is rather obvious and transparent.

    Coonelly's is setting up Neal to be the fall guy, when the inevitable sub-.500 season evolves..
    If we barely improve on our record over last year, I don't think it's inappropriate to look at Neal Huntington. I wouldn't call him a fall guy anymore than Craig Patrick and Michel Therrien could be considered for the Pens ownership and upper management.

    The question is, when the main emphasis has been on rebuilding a depleted minor league system and international and National scouting system and development ... what is an appropriate amount of time to really judge ones job at the MLB level? We know about the misses in trades and those become part of the evaluation but when the main goal has been building a core through your own system and we just get some of that core here last season, what is a rational and reasonable evaluation? Bobby Cox said something about it taking either 5 or 8 years to completely rebuild an organization from bottom up and that was back when the financial competition was less.

    I really dont know the answer. I think it's a personal "gut" decision. I always felt that Craig Patrick was fired as GM a little prematurely because he analayzed what the post lockout NHL was gong to be wrongly but he wasn't and the rest is history
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    Default Re: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I'm all for it. I think it's the right approach. I do believe that they need to evaluate Huntington's job at the MLB level like they have and we have in the Draft and Minor League level. There's no reason why this team can't win in the Littlefield level of 68-72 wins
    Sorry, but gotta disagree. If they are satisfied with the work of Huntington thus far, then why not simply say we're satisfied where the minor system is and now we're going to concentrate on the big league club. That infers that NH is part of that. Instead they say that we're going to evaluate Huntington's performance. You don't play those games in the press. Maybe you convey it behind closed doors, but I think it's bushleague to sit in an interview with a beatwriter and make those comments. Put yourself in NH's shoes. How would you feel if your boss held an employee meeting and said those things about you? Not very happy I'll bet.

    I don't like Smizick's opinions, certainly not to the extent that you do, but in this case, he was correct.

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    Default Re: Frank Coonelly Says That Patience Is Exhausted at the MLB Level

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Sorry, but gotta disagree. If they are satisfied with the work of Huntington thus far, then why not simply say we're satisfied where the minor system is and now we're going to concentrate on the big league club. That infers that NH is part of that. Instead they say that we're going to evaluate Huntington's performance. You don't play those games in the press. Maybe you convey it behind closed doors, but I think it's bushleague to sit in an interview with a beatwriter and make those comments. Put yourself in NH's shoes. How would you feel if your boss held an employee meeting and said those things about you? Not very happy I'll bet.

    I don't like Smizick's opinions, certainly not to the extent that you do, but in this case, he was correct.
    Why make that statement? Seems like a waste of wind to me If they weren't pleased with Hutnington's performance rebuilding the minor leagues and his drafts, they wouldn't have extended him "secretly" last season. that they did showed that they had faith in him in particular to that job he's done. Now, from everything that I've gathered, the emphasis has shifted to the MLB expectations. Maybe it was the **** poor underperformance of the team last year, the pitchers, the regression of guys like Lincoln and Morton. Perhaps there's some urgency not so much that expectations are to compete for a pennant right now but with a clear cut youth core on the team right, to really improve. it's what they've been working on, getting to this point to start the upward trend.

    Huntington has to be evaluated as a whole. His work in one phase can't be ignored because of his work in another phase. I do think that upper management has higher expectations for this season, but another 62 or 57 win season or what was it 65 or whatever in Neal's first season isn't going to cut it whether he deserves it or not. That's underperforming IMO and Huntington builds this MLB roster.

    Smizik as usual doesn't look at the reality of the entire picture. Even assuming that coonelly's job could be on the line is pure stupidity and nothing short of what I would expect from Bozo. CEO's don't get fired this quick. Like I said, he'll get the chance to fire and hire another GM before he is fired.

    Besides, why are we acting like Huntington was thrown under the bus? Coonelly said he was being evaluated but he also said that he expects Huntington to be here for a long time. That's the bigger vote of confidence that I see. He answered questions, i have no problem how any of them were answered. I'd like to assume that GM's and coaches and players are evaluated every year
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