Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

      
  1. #1
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

    I've been saying this for a couple of years now... the Pittsburgh Pirates are basically trying to use the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins models for success. Build through the draft, develop your best players and use Trade Deadlines to fill holes or get a player to help push you over the top. Using Free Agency to add some character and depth types and secondary type holes (Bullpen, bench, 1 or 2 position types).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Pedro_Celebration.jpg 
Views:	36 
Size:	85.1 KB 
ID:	2980The Steelers have perfected this type of team and franchise building. Amazingly team have tried to replicate the Steelers style of team that they build and generally fail in the end results because they aren't using the recipe for doing it..

    Building through the Draft and Developing your best players.

    To get to the stage at which the Steelers and Penguins are at, you have to start at the bottom and build brick by brick. The Steelers aren't able to show consistent success if they haven't been working the cycle for years and years. That's how the recipe is designed to work. You can get rid of Joey Porter because you have James Harrison waiting. You can get rid of Willie Parker because you have Rashard Mendenhall waiting. etc... This happens because the importance of the draft and developing players to take over starting roles is the heaviest point of emphasizing.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins are an even better example in that they have just latched onto the Pittsburgh Steelers recipe in for team and franchise building this past decade. They present a current example of how it's done where the Pittsburgh Steelers have been doing this for so long, you have to trace it's roots back to the 1970 NFL draft.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins were a terrible team for years after they unloaded payroll and star players in the early 2000's. What they did while they were terrible is most important..

    The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted well.

    The Penguins got almost everything out of their top picks. When you look at the Penguins drafts during all of those years up until 2006, the results are practically the entire core of the team (Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Staal, Letang, Orpik, Talbot). Players that the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted like Alex Goligoski and Ryan Whitney were flipped for players currently on the roster (James Neal and Chris Kunitz). more importantly they were flipped because the Penguins had replacements ready. Alex Goligoski was ready to step in and take Ryan Whitney's spot and 2009 #1 pick Simon Despres is waiting to take Goligoski's spot, not to mention others in the Penguins minor league system like Brian Strait.

    That's the importance of drafting and having your own talent. It is truly the most important factor of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers success. If they aren't using this recipe of building their cores through the drafts and continuing to draft well and flipping players in and out, neither team would be as successful as they are right now.

    Since late 2007, when Frank Coonelly replaced Kevin McClatchy as team President/CEO and Neil Huntington was brought in to replace Dave Littlefield, a Plan was put in place. It was a plan conceived by owner Bob Nutting after he took over Principal Ownership in January 2007 and was making his rounds through all of Major League Baseball talking to fellow owners, CEO's and GM's in order to learn more about the job he had inherited. At some point a realization had to occur in that the Pittsburgh Pirates were not following the footsteps of other similar market teams and hadn't been for at least all of Dave Littlefield's reign as GM. I'm sure any of the new friends that Mr.Nutting made during this time called or E-mailed him and asked him what the heck was going on, why did his GM just pass on Matt Weiters and choose a relief pitcher. Why did the Pirates turn around and take the money most likely meant for the draft and spend it on a trade for 35 year old washed-up starting pitcher, Matt Morris. $10 million per year. Gm Dave Littlefield orchestrated the trade, took on all of the remaining salary and Morris still had a season left on his contract.

    Ignoring the importance of the draft and building from the ground up in order to supply the team with just enough name players to provide band-aids year in and year out is what forced the Pittsburgh Pirates into a long spiral of futility that began after the Great 1992 salary dumps.

    Right now, the Pirates plan is to emulate how the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins have built their franchises and teams.

    So why does it not feel like that?

    The main problem is that people/fans are simply impatient.

    Football, it only takes a 1 season or 2 for a draft pick to make an impact at the NFL level. Mostly all of those picks are in their early 20's and playing in College. The same applies for Hockey. The Pens turned it around in one season just by getting draft picks Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal into the lineup in their first years. Hockey players can make the jump from Juniors as teenagers to the NHL.

    Baseball doesn't work like that.

    The process is for Baseball is far slower and much more in depth. It can take 3 years for some prospects to make it to the MLB level, especially if they are Highschool draftees. The NFL and NHL don't have Minor League systems that span 4+ leagues worth of development, either. There's a lot more involved for a Baseball team to get players to the Major League level than Football and Hockey. A Baseball organization itself, has to do far more in terms of scouting and development than an NFL and NHL team does.

    People are programmed to seeing instant success. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been working this system since 1970. There's not a lot of people that remember how the process even began, but most people are used to all of the benefits in terms of success that have come from it. Steelers fans haven't had to deal with massive rebuilding projects like the Pittsburgh Pirates have been currently going through since 2008, because they've been using the same recipe of building through means in which they can control -

    Strong Drafting, Developing, and Scoutin. .

    These teams aren't resorting to utilizing methods that they can't and don't control like Free Agency and Trades to create their cores.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have been successful since the 2006-07 season but that success has come on the back of being a bad team for years prior and using their high draft picks to build the foundation for it's franchise and core of their current team. The Pittsburgh Pirates are attempting to do the same. Will they be as successful as their brothers in the "Burgh"? Nobody knows, but what is important is the plan by which the Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to re-build their organization and reverse the 18 years or so of losing seasons. It's the same basic model and plan that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins use.

    The main point of difference is that it will take the Pittsburgh Pirates a longer time to get there than it took the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Steelers initially. The Pirates can't take shortcuts or apply band-aids. It'll set them back. The Steelers didn't take any short cuts in the early 1970's. They stuck to their plan. The Pittsburgh Penguins attempted the Dave Littlefield band-aid approach in 2005-06 and it resulted in their worst season since 1984-85. The following season in 2006-07, more Pittsburgh Penguins drafted players saw more prominent roles and playing times while the veteran "band-aids" were mostly gone or on their way out.

    The Pittsburgh Pirates will only be as good as the players that they draft.

    There's so much time and effort spent focusing on Free Agency amongst Baseball fans because Large Market teams are often building through that avenue and the media amplifies that. The reality right now is that it's really meaningless when it concerns the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates aren't going to go from a 57 win team to a 90 win team on the back of building through Free Agency, nor could the Pirates trade their way to that sort of an improvement if the Minor League system isn't stocked with good prospects that other teams would want. While the execution can always be questioned from the drafting of players, their development etc.. the Plan itself shouldn't be called into question as it would be a double standard if one has never questioned the way the Steelers and Penguins have built their teams (current successful teams in the Pittsburgh Penguins case).

    The Re-Building plan has been the correct one by the Pittsburgh Pirates since 2008 and the Pirates decision to stick closely to it without wavering despite the public calls for a return to the Dave Littlefield band-aid era is the right decision. It's the best decision for this team to eventually get back to winning baseball and providing for hopefully consistent success rather than a 1 or 2 year window.

    Let's hope that the results are the same as the ones the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins have gotten.
    Last edited by Kipper; Feb-27-2015 at 09:22 AM.
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  2. #2
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

    Over at Pirates Prospects, they had put up an Article recently about the errors of fans and media drawing comparisons on how Baseball teams operate and how standard businesses operate. It's a really good in depth article worth reading simply because I've been saying a lot of the same things for years now, so it's always nice to see similar opinions..

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2011...economics.html

    Here's some excerpts that I particularly liked...

    First we have the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have averaged an $80 M payroll over the last three seasons. They've also averaged almost three million fans a year. And they've been somewhat competitive, making the playoffs in 2008, but finishing third in the NL Central in 2009-2010.

    The common theory is that the process should be: Spend Money -> Improve the Product -> Increase Attendance. The comment above by Coonelly draws a lot of criticism because people think this is what the order of events should be. However, this order is wrong. It's not how things actually are.

    Milwaukee spent $80 M a year over the last three years, and they had a large attendance. But look at how they got there. In 2003-2004, they averaged about 1.9 M in attendance, and spent an average of $34 M.
    I've pointed this out on several occasions over the years. I know I made a post about it on the old Bucco's Forum and I did something here last year (not sure if it was an Article or just inside of a post/reply). The Brewers are bringing in twice the amount of people at the gate than the Pirates. They are also getting more parking concessions and basically more in stadium concessions due to the increase at the gate. That's a big deal of money and both teams practically averaged the same ticket price for 2010. The Brewers extra payroll revenue is coming from those increased gates and the trickling down from it. You need to put a decent or good product on the field, but small market teams don't spend first and then win, they win and then spend.

    The Pirates have lost for so long that fans are desperate. They don't want to rebuild. They want immediate success. They see the other local teams competing, and they want the Pirates to do the same (ignoring the fact that the NFL and NHL are built to give a team in Pittsburgh a fair shot at being competitive, unlike Major League Baseball).

    I've always felt that the losing streak should mean absolutely nothing in terms of how the Pirates build a team. Maybe that's due to watching Dave Littlefield put together so many teams aimed at being competitive for just one year. A team's approach to building a winner should be the same whether they've had one year of losing, or how ever many years the Pirates have had
    I basically said the exact same things in this Article that was said here. People want the result, but often forget or choose to ignore the pains that are taken to get to that positive result.

    Forget the restaurant and car manufacturer analogies. All you need to do is look at other small market teams to realize that the Pirates can't just go spend $70 M and hope that attendance and winning will follow. The Pirates need to build a winner first, see attendance rise, then use the additional profits to keep that winning team together. That's how it's done. It may not be what people want to hear, but it's the truth.
    A great example of this was some of Littlefield/Bonifay's teams. Look at what nearly $60 million (doubling the 2000 season payroll of around $26 million) in payroll for the 2001 season got the Pirates... 100 loses. There were a few other seasons where payroll had gotten up to the $55 million range by seasons end (2003 for certain) and the results were the same - Losing Record. Spending money is never a guarantee to winning and having success not when the Decision making is poor and not when the pool of talent in Free Agency for a $50-70 million payroll is average at best. If spending money meant automatic success alone, then the Washington Redskins would've won multiple Super Bowls by now, the Chicago Cubs wouldn't be an embarrassment to other successful Large Market teams etc..

    The question specified "if this current group of players were competitive enough to merit additional outside free agents". If the Pirates are competitive, it shouldn't be an issue. If the Pirates are competitive, I expect fans to show up and increase the attendance from the current 1.6-1.7 M a year range. It's almost the wrong question to ask. The right question would be to ask the fans "would you go to more games if this current group was competitive"? I'd assume the answer would be yes. Then, the next question would go to the Pirates, in the form of "if the team was competitive and attendance increased, would you spend more to keep the team together"? I can't imagine the answer would be no.
    This touches briefly on something I brought up a few months back which is was the question of what is the ceiling for the Pirates payroll? I looked at all of the attendance history of the Pirates and even when we won World Series with brand new opened venues like the 1971 Pirates, we averaged 1.5 million. Times have changed and such but even in the early 1990's we still peaked at barely over 2 million per season and only exceeded that with the opening season of PNC Park. It's questionable whether the Pirates could ever get to the Brewers 3 million per year level of attendance or really close to it. If not, fans would have to expect ticket prices and concession prices at PNC to increase. They've been rightfully stagnant for years and concessions at PNC Park are some of the better prices in the league but if we can't pull in the gates that teams like Milwaukee pull in, to hit anywhere near their payroll figures, increases in prices elsewhere will have to be made. Will fans be accepting of these prices with a competitive team like they have been accepting of the Steelers and Penguins ticket and concession increases? Or will the same double standards continue to apply in some sort of fashion?

    Tricky indeed
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  3. #3
    Shaker100's Avatar
    Status : Shaker100 is offline
    Rank : 3rd Stringer
    Join Date : Oct 17, 2009
    Posts : 803
    Threads : 31
    Last Online : Jul-18-2017 @ 07:26 PM

    Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

    This is one of the best articles/blogs I've read. I meant to post it yesterday but didn't get a chance. It was well researched with facts throughout. Everyone loves to compare the Steelers and Pens to the Pirates which is a practice I absolutely despise. The article clearly states how the Brewers and Rays built their payrolls and I expect the Twins have done the same thing. It's win, attendance, spend in that order and it should be that way.

    What is the upper limit for attendance at PNC? I would think in the best case scenario 30,000 per game which is probably wildly optimistic, especially for April and May games. Even if that happens you are talking 2.4 million. Is that enough to support a payroll in the 70-80 million range? Probably not without sustaining an operating loss.

  4. #4
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaker100 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This is one of the best articles/blogs I've read. I meant to post it yesterday but didn't get a chance. It was well researched with facts throughout. Everyone loves to compare the Steelers and Pens to the Pirates which is a practice I absolutely despise. The article clearly states how the Brewers and Rays built their payrolls and I expect the Twins have done the same thing. It's win, attendance, spend in that order and it should be that way.

    What is the upper limit for attendance at PNC? I would think in the best case scenario 30,000 per game which is probably wildly optimistic, especially for April and May games. Even if that happens you are talking 2.4 million. Is that enough to support a payroll in the 70-80 million range? Probably not without sustaining an operating loss.
    I wanna say PNC holds about 38K and that in 2001 we hit around an average of 30k per game. I'd be really shocked if the Pirates pull in more than that average, at least initially. Perhaps the next season after their breakout, you might see a slight increase but I'd be really shocked if we could hit a 3 million mark. We'd have to average around 37K which is near sell out for 82 games. The Twins hit 39K this year but that was with a brand new stadium + really good team. That happens once in a lifetime at best.

    I can't see how the Pirates could operate a payroll of that size without a ticket and concession increase at 2.4 million..

    http://teammarketing.com.ismmedia.co...10_mlb_fci.pdf
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  5. #5
    PSUFan8023's Avatar
    Status : PSUFan8023 is offline
    Rank : Waterboy
    Join Date : Jan 26, 2011
    Location : Altoona, PA
    Posts : 27
    Threads : 0
    Last Online : Jan-08-2013 @ 02:19 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

    A quick thought ...

    The article states that the Pirates success should follow the path Win> Attendance Increases > Spend More, and NOT begin the process by Spending. It goes on to show how the Bucs are aqcuiring players from within the farm system to achieve the first step, winning. I agree with this.

    However, with the drafting of McCutchen, Alvarez, Sanchez, Taillon, Allie, and more in the future, the Pirates seem to PRIDE themselves on not being shy to SPEND THE MONEY on the draft, i.e.-signing bonuses. In fact, for the past couple of years the Pirates have been a leader in the entire major leagues when it comes to draft spending. Ownership even recently stated that the 2011 draft will not be influenced by the confines of finances.

    I realize that drafting these players is a key part in the "Win first" process. But the organization still has to PAY the players to become a winner. If you want a winning product, you need the talent to do so. Acquiring that talent requires that you pay for it.

  6. #6
    Kipper's Avatar
    Status : Kipper is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 8, 2009
    Posts : 67,323
    Threads : 1817
    Last Online : Apr-25-2017 @ 08:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pittsburgh Pirates Following The Pens And Steelers Footsteps Building From Within

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUFan8023 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    A quick thought ...

    The article states that the Pirates success should follow the path Win> Attendance Increases > Spend More, and NOT begin the process by Spending. It goes on to show how the Bucs are aqcuiring players from within the farm system to achieve the first step, winning. I agree with this.

    However, with the drafting of McCutchen, Alvarez, Sanchez, Taillon, Allie, and more in the future, the Pirates seem to PRIDE themselves on not being shy to SPEND THE MONEY on the draft, i.e.-signing bonuses. In fact, for the past couple of years the Pirates have been a leader in the entire major leagues when it comes to draft spending. Ownership even recently stated that the 2011 draft will not be influenced by the confines of finances.

    I realize that drafting these players is a key part in the "Win first" process. But the organization still has to PAY the players to become a winner. If you want a winning product, you need the talent to do so. Acquiring that talent requires that you pay for it.
    Thats a good point about spending and I agree.

    People focus so much on spending in Free Agency like it's a crack obsession that often ignored is how much more the Pirates are spending on the talent that they are choosing to win with - drafted talent. I mean you're absolutely correct, no matter which way you look at it, if you want a winning product you need talent and the beast talent comes from the draft and your own developmental means. If you dont have that, then you can't win. it's that simple, the Pittsburgh Pirates have proven it for years and years now and there's no logical way the Pirates could ever buy a championship through Free Agency and no small market team has won that way
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


Quick Reply Quick Reply

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •