Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

      
  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 The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Yesterday, Wilbur Miller as he always does, produced a quality write up comparing the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals rebuilds in light of recent accolades Kansas City Royals GM, Dayton Moore is receiving for the Royals deep minor leagues that can be viewed in it's entirety by clicking HERE. LeeFoo almost posted a Thread here at the Pittsburgh Sports Tavern discussing the entire topic that you can view by clicking HERE

    Reading through the Article I thought the ending to Wilbur's Post was it's greatest part because it focuses in one something that is largely ignored mostly by the Lemmings that scream endlessly and uselessly about Payroll but also by the rest of us as well that tend to just forget.

    This would be the challenge that Neal Huntington faced when he inherited the team, the condition it was in and not just the fact that we were going to Rebuild but how the rebuild was going to begin. I had just brought this up recently when I was debating with one of the Lemmings who like most, erroneously look at everything in Black and White without considering the wider picture or even the desire to consider it.

    Here's an excerpt from Wilbur's post at Bucs Dugout that I enjoyed ...

    But itís possible that the Piratesí farm system could be marginally stronger now if NH had gone for lower level prospects instead of major-league-ready players like LaRoche, Morton, Milledge, Clement, etc. Then again, they probably would just have ended up with more flawed prospects like Tim Alderson and the system would be rated about where it is now. Those are the sort of prospects you get when you tear down a 95-loss team.

    But this line of thinking also ignores the situation NH was facing. In the typical rebuild situation, a team will have some talent ready to go in AAA and AA, even if itís just B-/C+ type prospects. A sad-sack franchise usually will have had high draft picks combined with at least a little recognition that it needs to build through its farm system. But the Pirates werenít like that. Not only did they have a rotten team at the major league level, they had almost nothing in the minors. To my knowledge, thatís unprecedented. The Royals werenít known for astute drafting prior to Mooreís arrival, but he inherited a farm system that BA ranked 11th. NH inherited one that was ranked 26th. The only teams ranked below them were the Astros, whose owner was unwilling to invest anything at all in the farm system; the Aís, whose system had been depleted by large numbers of graduations and injuries; and the Tigers and White Sox, whoíd just traded away all their best prospects. In short, the only teams rated below the Pirates were ones that either werenít trying or had extenuating circumstances.

    Typically, a rebuilding team would just bring up the prospects, regardless of whether they were quite ready and regardless of whether they were more than marginal prospects. But the Pirates didnít have that option. All they had in the upper minors was a bunch of career minor leaguers with no upside at all. I donít know that NH has ever publicly explained his strategy in the trades, but he had to put a team on the field. I suspect he was trying to balance the goals of building the farm system and populating the major league roster with players who had at least a little upside. To do the latter, he brought in a bunch of struggling, former top prospects who might still turn things around. I donít think he did a very good job of it, but I also donít think he had the option of focusing solely on lower level prospects. And thatís apart from the difficulty of getting teams to turn loose of truly high-ceiling prospects these days.
    At the time of the Trades, the plan wasn't to Trade solely for prospects. The plan wasn't quality as much as it was quantity and this was due to the poor condition that the upper minors were in thanks to McClatchy/Littlefield as Wilbur explained. We lacked players to step in and replace the players being traded and regardless of the Pirates win-loss record in the standings, the GM is going to try and put something reasonably and hopefully competitive out there. As Wilbur stated, Neal Huntington obtained a lot of AAA players ready to hit the Big Leagues type of players who were easier to be had because they had some big flaws or question marks. Most were former high picks that had flopped/Busted in previous short stints at the Major League level.

    I call them Stop-Gap players with regards to a plan, in that they were low risk high reward types. In all of these trades (Bay, Nady, Wilson/Snell, McLouth) Huntington seemed to really pinpoint a specific prospect he wanted (Tabata, Morris, Locke, Hernandez), asked for another decent upside guy (in the case of Wilson/Snell seemed to pinpoint 3 pitchers of this caliber in Adcock, Pribanic and Lorin) and then tried to get Major League ready players with some sort of upside albeit distant that could be viewed as "Temps" and "Hope".

    This is why grading Neal Huntington is difficult. We don't really know what his actual realistic expectations for a lot of these players were as he went the route of trying to fill the huge void in the Minor Leagues prospect Department and at the Major League level where we lacked replacements for the players we were trading. We may never know. Neal Huntington has a job to try and sell the players, team and hope to the public and fan base. I'm not convinced though that there was ever the same view of in terms of potential and projectability with Andy LaRoche and Jeff Clement as there is/was with say Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen.

    If some of these players were brought in more to be stop-gaps with some hope attached to them until we found better long term replacements, then they fulfilled those expectations. The problem here is that those expectations vary differently from those of what many fans had and desperately wanted so you get largely different opinions. Granted it would have been nice to see some more of the "hope" shine through but there's still a chance with Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, and Ronny Cedeno. It's slimmer and more hopeful in some cases but it's still there.

    The main question is what route should Neal Huntington have taken? Hindsight is great to have but predicting the future isn't a gift, it's fantasy. In hindsight, the Pittsburgh Pirates were a rotten team in the Standings with all of the Stop-Gap players accumulated to replace players traded that we lacked replacements for in the system. Perhaps, Neal should've just went full quality and focused completely on stock piling the Minor Leagues. However, at the time, being a new/newer GM his focus was on Rebuilding but he also had a Major League Team to field and sell even though expectations were rightfully going to be low. He had an impression to make all around as well and no GM wants to see his Major League team perform bad even if the expectations weren't much to begin with. That's a natural human element in all of us. This is still a business and you still need to sell tickets and a field a team that has a chance whether or not its chances of being competitive at an average level are realistic. As Wilbur finely pointed out, Neal Huntington had his back up against the wall. Rarely does a GM ever have to face the extreme burdens that Neal Huntington was faced with when taking over at GM.

    Wilbur is absolutely right that the comparisons between Dayton Moore and Neal Huntington ignored the larger picture but more importantly you can't really compare the job that Neal Huntington was faced with in rebuilding this Organization to any other GM and Team in the same time frame. The tasks that Huntington faced were a lot more than others were handed and considering how poor of a shape the Pittsburgh Pirates were in by late 2007, in terms of a time frame, the Pittsburgh Pirates rebuild realistically and fairly should take a little longer than most.


    It hasn't been all roses and ecstasy since 2007 with the decisions made but they never are for any GM. The microscope just happens to be far larger on Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly for that matter because the team and organization that they took over. With any other Organization they are afforded the mistakes that every Management team makes, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, you're not allowed to miss a beat when you walk or the petty few Lemmings in the fan base and the opportunistic local media will jump all over you.

    As I said in late 2007, I wouldn't want to be the GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is one of the toughest positions in all of sports that Neal Huntington accepted.
    Last edited by Kipper; Feb-27-2015 at 09:26 AM.
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  2. #2
    LeeFoo's Avatar
    Status : LeeFoo is offline
    Rank : Minor Leaguer
    Join Date : Mar 5, 2010
    Location : central pa
    Posts : 615
    Threads : 66
    Last Online : Jul-15-2012 @ 05:10 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Kipper.....I love your picture.

  3. #3
    LeeFoo's Avatar
    Status : LeeFoo is offline
    Rank : Minor Leaguer
    Join Date : Mar 5, 2010
    Location : central pa
    Posts : 615
    Threads : 66
    Last Online : Jul-15-2012 @ 05:10 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Btw, when is this Dayton Moore fella gonna win at the MLB level? Looks to be his 5th year in a row at losing.

    Isn't that the TRUE test??!!

  4. #4
    buccoray61's Avatar
    Status : buccoray61 is offline
    Rank : The Elite
    Join Date : Oct 11, 2009
    Posts : 3,885
    Threads : 691
    Last Online : Apr-03-2017 @ 06:56 AM

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Perhaps, Neal should've just went full quality and focused completely on stock piling the Minor Leagues
    The thing that was difficult about this,was not only was Neal trying a balancing act between the Major and Minor league talent level,but the fact that even if he wanted to focus on the minors side of it,most teams,even the large market ones,have becomevery reluctent to deal their top prospects. I seem to remember,when the Bucs were trying to deal someone (I think it was Bay) to Tamapa Bay,they had almost all of the prospects the Pirates would have been interested in on their no list.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

  5. #5
    wvkeeper's Avatar
    Status : wvkeeper is offline
    Rank : Major Leaguer
    Join Date : Oct 17, 2009
    Location : Right There
    Posts : 1,367
    Threads : 158
    Last Online : Nov-03-2016 @ 07:14 AM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    That is the greatest picture ever.

  6. #6
    Steelreign's Avatar

    Status : Steelreign is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 12, 2009
    Location : Wheatfield, Indiana
    Posts : 18,943
    Threads : 227
    Last Online : Nov-02-2016 @ 07:58 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Best article yet Kip. The Lemmings aren't buying it or believing there is a plan other than Nutting being a cheap ***. Been having some fun over there earlier this evening in the "Pirates desperate for lefties" blog.
    Pittsburgh Sports Forum: Member Driven and no ads

  7. #7
    exNCite's Avatar
    Status : exNCite is offline
    Rank : Hall Of Famer
    Join Date : Oct 12, 2009
    Location : Wall, New Jersey, United States
    Posts : 5,589
    Threads : 413
    Last Online : Jul-14-2017 @ 06:36 PM

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Best article yet Kip. The Lemmings aren't buying it or believing there is a plan other than Nutting being a cheap ***. Been having some fun over there earlier this evening in the "Pirates desperate for lefties" blog.
    Tell them to just be patient. We'll be able to get Oliver Perez back in a few days for the small price of only $12 mill.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

  8. #8
    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: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The thing that was difficult about this,was not only was Neal trying a balancing act between the Major and Minor league talent level,but the fact that even if he wanted to focus on the minors side of it,most teams,even the large market ones,have becomevery reluctent to deal their top prospects. I seem to remember,when the Bucs were trying to deal someone (I think it was Bay) to Tampa Bay,they had almost all of the prospects the Pirates would have been interested in on their no list.
    The market changed quickly in 2008 because of the breakout success of Tampa Bay. Huntington received a really great offer for Bay in the offseason heading into 2008 and decided to pass. In hindsight he shouldn't have but he was right to do it at the time. Bay at the time was coming off his worst season, had his lowest trade value, you would think that if he improved his play his value would increase greatly and we could get a better deal. Bay's value did increase but the market changed and we were caught trying to trade players in a buyers market.

    The one thing nobody seems to think about in regards to trades is that it always takes 2 teams to trade. Fans always assume that there's a better trade out there but they can never name it. Bay didn't receive a huge amount of interest. We saw most of the teams that were most interested and what they were willing to give up. Tampa Bay kept deciding to NOT trade someone to the point where it was useless to trade with them. We had a decent deal with Florida that fell through on Boston's end and we were left really just haggling with the Red Sox and Dodgers from what I remember.
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  9. #9
    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: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeFoo View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Kipper.....I love your picture.
    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    That is the greatest picture ever.
    I cracked up while making it myself
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  10. #10
    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: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Best article yet Kip. The Lemmings aren't buying it or believing there is a plan other than Nutting being a cheap ***. Been having some fun over there earlier this evening in the "Pirates desperate for lefties" blog.
    Self inflicted pain is what you get my choosing to go over there and read
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


  11. #11
    Steelreign's Avatar

    Status : Steelreign is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 12, 2009
    Location : Wheatfield, Indiana
    Posts : 18,943
    Threads : 227
    Last Online : Nov-02-2016 @ 07:58 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: The Difficulty In Comparing And Contrasting GM Neal Huntington To Others

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Self inflicted pain is what you get my choosing to go over there and read
    I heard so much about their trainwreck of a blog and I had to see it for myself. They are not normal people over there, they don't even know they are stupid. There were like 3 people over there who think rationally.
    Pittsburgh Sports Forum: Member Driven and no ads

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
  •