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Thread: Spot on article about NH

      
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    Default Spot on article about NH

    Here is an article by WTM…Wilber Miller in which he is worried about the performance of NH. I expressed the same concerns if not in the exact words pretty darn close to it in the spring. Good to see one of the more knowledgeable Pirate bloggers articulate the same unease as me.

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2011/4/26/...an-opportunity
    Last edited by PittFaninVa; Apr-27-2011 at 07:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    I don't know. What do you call Garrett Jones? He's been worlds better than anyone ever would have thought. Or even Littlefield failures like Neil Walker and Dan Moskos, coming alive under NH's regime. Now in fairness, I don't know how much you can credit NH's regime to that, but they certainly weren't showing much under Littlefield. The idea of Walker as a utility guy is when he really started coming around, then showing he could play second every day.

    He's trying. Milledge, Delwynn Young, Jeff Clement, Joel Hanrahan, now Brandon Wood. He's doing his best to take on guys who had potential, and make them into something. Hanrahan has worked out pretty good. Milledge was okay for us, but nobody in baseball can save that guy, I don't think. Ditto for Clement and his injuries. Wood has not looked bad at all in two games for us.

    I also don't really get why he's saying we "wasted plate appearances" on Brian Bixler. He wasn't Huntington's prospect. And he hit his way through the minors. What the hell else were we going to do with him, other than waste plate appearances?


    I agree in some sense with what he's saying, that you'd like to see more success at the MLB level than what we've seen, but this is a tad bit too negative. It's FAR from as easy as "the Reds got Brandon Phillips, look at him!" "The Cards got Ryan Ludwick, look at him!" "The Brewers got Casey McGhee, look at him!" when we have Garrett Jones as "that guy". Not many teams have more than one of those guys.

    It was not easy for Huntington to acquire legit MLB talent for what he was shipping off. He had next to nothing on his MLB roster, and absolutely nothing in the farm. The only real miss on acquiring something MLB-productive was the Bay trade. He was about the only guy we could have hoped to land something good for, and that was Andy LaOhgodhesucks. I fully support the Nady/McLouth trades, and feel we won with them, considering what we got rid of. You can bring up their free agency failures, but it's not like they've had much to choose from. For one, who the hell wants to sign with them, aside from guys that nobody else wants? Lyle Overbay was honestly a nice pickup, though.

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Neal's job performance has been way above board when you look at it overall picturewise. While the current Major League talent has certainly been lacking, NH has done a solid job of adding future talent to the system. He is certainly not afraid of using multiple methods of acquiring talent. I say he deserves to be extended and I hope he is.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Also, we would need the record of other teams' waiver wire pickups to compare. WTM used very biased data, essentially cherry picking to support his point.

    Btw, so far, kinda glad we didn't pick up Carlos Pena, instead of Overbay.

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    I am a huge supporter of NH, But I gotta agree that some of the stuff in this article makes me think a little more about it. However is every other GM in the MLB Perfect?

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    So I am not one to overly support management, but here I will say a couple things in support of NH and then ultimately conclude, like WTM and PFIV, that his time should be limited as our GM.

    First, the point of the article was not to say that he isn't trying. Its that he isn't succeeding. Success is the goal. Otherwise, we would not even need the job. Yes, he is and has been trying but, like WTM and PFIV, I too worry about the major league acquisitions and allocation of money at the major league level etc.

    Second, I would like to provide a couple names that WTM did and did not include that I believe should be mentioned simply because these were GOOD chances to take irregardless of the outcome. Lastings Milledge, Andy LaRoche, Evan Meek, Garrett Jones, Brendan Donnelly, Brandon Wood, Lyle Overbay, Joel Hanrahan, and Donnie Veal. The issue, again, here though is not whether these were good chances, but that the outcomes have been from a major league stand point much below the expected return. Now, it also needs to be said/understood that these waiver pickups etc are not always going to work and be successful...but you may want to have more success on the major league front than he is having. Also, he did pick up Octavio Dotel and flipped him for a very talented SP and talented but inconsistent OF.

    Third, I think people talk about the Bay trade way too much. Yes, that trade ended up completely sucking. However, I think I can point to three other trades that have been successful, at least from the stand point of getting a hell of a lot more return than what was lost. 1)Xavier Nady trade (Karstens, Ohlendorf, and Tabata), 2) Octavio Dotel trade (McDonald and Lambo), and 3) Nyjer Morgan Trade (Hanrahan and Milledge). Some may want to include the McLouth trade, but I still need to see more from both Hernandez and Morton to say either way. The first trade has all three players on the major league roster (although I dont think Ohlendorf should be) with Tabata being a future star. The Dotel trade has us with a potential top of the rotation live arm and a power OF who, if he ever figures it out, will be a hell of a player. Finally, the Morgan trade was one of two nobodies for a somebody and a hope. Burnett isn't that good and you can find a similar or better LOOGY just about anywhere (although we have failed to do so since we traded him I should note)...and Morgan simply sucks. Hanrahan is definitely a potential top-flight closer and Milledge was worth a shot.

    Fourth, and here is where I will get a little negative, I dont see what he's done as being all that worthwhile. He's instituted a plan that I talked about with some/many of you before the TRIB boards went down (woohoo for me btw haha) and has been somewhat successful except in the realm of major league pickups. However, i would like to quickly address two types of arguments: the argument from scouting and the argument from GM'ing. First, I think its completely true that we could have stocked our farm system the way we have simply by the increased and superior scouting focus. I am not sure how much NH has really had to do with these things and I truly believe, again, that too much credit can be given here. HOWEVER, if I am going to take that argument I have to then be able to also accept that the failures on acquiring ML talent also fall on scouts. I am willing to do so. Then, ultimately, we are looking at a complete non-equation no gain or no loss. However, if we look at the argument from GM'ing and claim both of the positions (drafting and ML talent evaluation) I would have to conclude that while he's done a good job with the drafting he's done poorly or below average on the ML evaluations and at most should be kept another year or two to build up the minors further and then cut him. Ultimately this will be my conclusion anyways.

    I will again reiterate the plan I laid out some 3 years ago (or more) for building a successful small market team: 1) drafting well and spending a lot of your resources in the acquisition of minor league depth and talent, 2) trade wisely, procuring assets when possible from players not in the long-term future of the team/organization, 3) work the LATAM and Asian markets to procure talent...there is no reason why financially the Pirates cannot procure even the top Asian players when they are posted, and 4) procure major league talent in FA and trades that can work in the short-term interest of the organization and maximize the potential long-term gains of the organization.

    I will now contend that while NH has done well on two of the areas, he's only performed adequately in another, and completely missed on the third. Yes, I will say that his trades have been at minimum wise...possibly better than wise. The ultimate question, though, is not whether they are simply wise, but are you getting an actual MLB return. I think he has and has done a good job in this area. I think we all would agree he's drafted very well. I think he's performed only adequately in the international area. We have missed out on Asian and LATAM talent that we should have been more active in procuring and are still not adequately represented in the Asian market. When you are a small market team who spends little on its payroll you have additional resources at your disposal to take calculated risks in these areas and I think he's only done adequately thus far in these areas...mostly because of the LATAM signings of last year. Finally, I think he's done pretty poor on major league talent evaluation. This is not to go overboard, but there are some avid baseball people on this board who can and have advocated better pickups than NH has made. Look at the discussion about JJ Hardy (who i understand got injured but that certainly isn't sufficient to undermine the position) and Lance Berkman from last offseason. I like the Kevin Correia signing and the Lyle Overbay signing, but I dislike and I cannot even understand the Matt Diaz signing...likewise I think that Beimel was advocated as a potential pick up a season or more before NH pulled the trigger here.

    Ultimately, with the goods being the ML roster and ML win/loss and ML success...I give NH possibly one more draft after this years...a one year extension...before he's ultimately gone. Why? Because I think the drafting and trading has earned him a slight amount of capital...and only slight because of the major league failures (John Russell too btw)...and I think that this team is far enough away (one+ years away) from being a good enough team that giving him this season (which doesn't to me factor in) plus the extra one to procure additional minor league talent would be in the best interest of the ballclub. It would also give him a chance to see if he could figure out the ML level. However, if he cant then I cannot justify keeping him around simply because of the drafting...keeping the scouting department the same I think one could get similar drafts from other GMs. NH should get this year and possibly one more, but if otherwise things stay the same...he should be gone by this time in 2013.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Quote Originally Posted by WonderfulBurgh View Post
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    I am a huge supporter of NH, But I gotta agree that some of the stuff in this article makes me think a little more about it. However is every other GM in the MLB [HIGH-LIGHT]Perfect[/HIGH-LIGHT]?
    I am not sure what perfection has to do with it.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Quote Originally Posted by WonderfulBurgh View Post
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    I am a huge supporter of NH, But I gotta agree that some of the stuff in this article makes me think a little more about it. However is every other GM in the MLB [HIGH-LIGHT]Perfect[/HIGH-LIGHT]?
    I am not sure what perfection has to do with it.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    NH, at this point, can't be judged using the same scorecard as other GM's. While they are trying to maintain their franchises or progress further, NH is trying to build a franchise from the ground up and to restore its pride. It's a 5-7 year deal that is showing progress and promise.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    NH, at this point, can't be judged using the same scorecard as other GM's. While they are trying to maintain their franchises or progress further, NH is trying to build a franchise from the ground up and to restore its pride. It's a 5-7 year deal that is showing progress and promise.
    Well, sorry, but this just seems wrong. He does and should get judged by the same measures as other GMs. The fact that he has more work to do does not excuse poor results in any particular key area. Again, review the outline I gave above...its not about perfection...its about adequate or better results in all the key areas. And he's not providing it above and beyond the minor league procurement.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    Well, sorry, but this just seems wrong. He does and should get judged by the same measures as other GMs. The fact that he has more work to do does not excuse poor results in any particular key area. Again, review the outline I gave above...its not about perfection...its about adequate or better results in all the key areas. And he's not providing it above and beyond the minor league procurement.
    The focus, as it should have been,has been on building the system. There are now signs of consistency coming from the Major League roster, and that's where the focus needs to shift now. I want to see how he handles next offseason before I deem him a part of the future or not.
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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    None of the comparisons in that blog are really relevant. When Huntington took over, the Pirates' minor leagues were so depleted of talent that NO ONE could've re-stocked with other teams' castoffs and made it work at the major league level. The Reds were loaded with minor league talent and the Cardinals had plenty of superior talent alreday on the major league roster. The players the Giants got are really marginal.

    Jones, Meek, Morton, McDonald, Kartstens and Tabata are actually decent pick-ups. However, having said that, I always thought it was nuts to sign a guy like Jeff Clement and HAND him the first baseman's job without any real competition. Same with Kevin Hart getting the fifth starter's job right out of spring training last year. Those moves made me really question Huntington's ability to evaluate talent, but i think he's righted the ship pretty decently.

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Neal's job performance has been way above board when you look at it overall picturewise. While the current Major League talent has certainly been lacking, NH has done a solid job of adding future talent to the system. He is certainly not afraid of using multiple methods of acquiring talent. I say he deserves to be extended and I hope he is.
    Pretty much anyone could of been hired as GM and added to our barren system by drafting. I do like the approach of drafting high school kids and offering them too much loot to pass up, but I am unsure if this is a novel idea or one created by NH himself. He has landed a few decent players in trades, but flopped on a lot of others.

    Overall I guess I feel he has done an alright job, but would welcome a more proven talent evaluator to take over the wheel heading down the line. There are going to be some bigtime decisions on the MLB level coming up in the not too far off future and would rather have a GM that has shown much greater evaluation skills making those decisions.

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    As far as NH drafting... do we really have any kind of "stats" to determine how well other GM's draft and stock? I know there is the whole thing on how well KC has done, but as the Smizik' people point out... how well have drafts really made a difference in a team and stocking? Has every GM stocked their team well through the draft?

    NH's job is NOT easy.

    It's easy to be a Cashman, Epstein, etc... and just throw money around. If their FA's, over slots, draft picks flop. Oh well, just go out and buy more.

    NH (or, and past, future Pirate GM) has to be PERFECT. And, that my friend is nearly impossible

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    Default Re: Spot on article about NH

    I find the timing of this article odd. Seems to me this could have been written in the summer of 2010 when a number of NH acquistions were failing/failed; Iwamura, Church, Crosby, Morton, etc. But I'm not sure I buy it in 2011 when we've seen a turnaround by Morton and Jones. A good acquistion of Kevin Correia. An excellent bullpen with Resop and Veres joining Meek and Hanrahan. Not to mention a strong 2010 draft and likely another one to follow.

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