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Thread: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

      
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    Default Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    February 25, 2010
    Pirates' Milledge looks to have Lasting impact
    Associated Press

    BRADENTON, Fla. — Lastings Milledge is determined to make this his breakout season.

    “I have a lot of expectations,” The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder said Thursday. “I could set up myself for a long career. I want to show this organization that I’m able to play every day and that I can be productive.”

    Lofty expectations have followed Milledge throughout his brief career. But the Pirates are the third team Milledge is trying to impress enough to stick around. He was hampered before by limited production and a bad reputation.

    A first-round draft pick in 2003, Milledge spent only a bit more than two seasons in the minors before making his major league debut with the New York Mets. He played in 115 games over two seasons, and batted .257 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs.

    But he was criticized by some Mets players for not behaving like a major leaguer after he high-fived a fan.

    The Washington Nationals traded for Milledge after the 2007 season and penciled him in as their everyday center fielder. Last season he appeared in seven games, getting four hits in 24 at-bats, before being demoted to the minors.

    He angered the Nationals by twice being late for meetings and he took casual routes to fly balls. He was labeled as being too cocky and too lazy to succeed in the majors.

    “Some of the talk wasn’t fair,” Milledge said.

    In May, Milledge broke his right ring finger when he was hit by a pitch while bunting. After sitting out a month to recover, Milledge was traded to the Pirates, who gave up popular left fielder Nyjer Morgan.

    “Here, it’s a little bit smoother environment,” Milledge said. “Everybody’s not after you.”

    Milledge, who felt hounded by the fans and media in his previous stops, said he is more relaxed in Pittsburgh.

    “It’s always good to start out your career on the chill, instead of being compared to David Wright, (Carlos) Delgado and guys like that,” Milledge said. “I was moving through the system so fast, I was on different teams so fast, that I kind of missed out on instruction.”

    After the trade, Milledge spent about a month in the Pirates’ farm system to rehab his finger and his attitude.

    “I sat him down and told him our rules: Wearing pants up (high stirrups), no facial hair, clean locker and how we go through each day,” Pirates farm director Kyle Stark said. “He jumped right in and took accountability with it. As he started to get stronger and started to show more discipline in different things, it started to carry over onto the field.”

    In 58 games last season with the Pirates, Milledge hit .291 with four homers and 20 RBIs. He was switched to left field and his defense improved dramatically. That was partly due to getting intense, daily instruction from bench coach Gary Varsho.

    “Everybody knows how I am in the clubhouse, how I go about my business,” Milledge said. “The difference between me last year and now is my work ethic level is better. I know myself better and what I have to do to get better.”

    http://www.tribune-democrat.com/pros...056212315.html
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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    I like this kid. He has been nothing but a professional since he has been with Pittsburgh.
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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    It looks like our Buccos finally got lucky.

    I still cannot believe we got him for Nyjer Morgan.

    Seriously. Neil Huntington should be put in jail.

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Quote Originally Posted by wvkeeper View Post
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    It looks like our Buccos finally got lucky.

    I still cannot believe we got him for Nyjer Morgan.

    Seriously. Neil Huntington should be put in jail.
    I don't know if anybody else has noticed the sorts of comments people are making about NH, specifically towards the sorts of trades and off-season signings he's made. No, he didn't trade 3 year-old pine tar for Hank Aaron but I kind of like this comment and the comment in another thread regarding his signing of Carrasco. Starting to feel better about being a Pirate fan again.
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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    I'm really hopeful that milledge will put it all together this year... that said, I think it's a little premature to say NH should be put in jail for pulling off this trade...

    I think andy laroche could have a breakout season and finally live up to expectations as well... if both those things happen this team could really surprise some people.

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Of course, on the P-G blog, the FO haters still bring up the "immature" label, the rap stuff, and how he "quickly wore out his welcome" is his previous two stops.

    Fookin' eejits.

    I very much agree with what Steelreign said:

    He has been nothing but a professional since he has been with Pittsburgh.
    I think (and the article bears it out) that Edge realizes now that a pro athlete's career doesn't last very long, and he doesn't want to blow whatever time he's got left. If he continues to improve, he's got a good chance of making serious coin.

    I also think that since our team skews younger than his previous 2 teams, he feels he fits in better in PGH.
    Last edited by cocktailsfor2; Feb-28-2010 at 12:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    It says a lot when the whole clubhouse lit up when Millege and McCutchen walked in together. Millege seems to be taking on a leadership role and developing a solid friendship with Cutch. That can only be a good thing for this team, and our outfield.
    Now that his hand injury is healed, I look for 15-18 HR's, a .280 AVG and around 85 RBI's.
    Between Millege, McCutchen and Jones, we could have some nice offensive production and power.
    I am really looking foward to this season.
    Thank you for your time,
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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    It says a lot when the whole clubhouse lit up when Millege and McCutchen walked in together. Millege seems to be taking on a leadership role and developing a solid friendship with Cutch. That can only be a good thing for this team, and our outfield.
    Now that his hand injury is healed, I look for 15-18 HR's, a .280 AVG and around 85 RBI's.
    Between Millege, McCutchen and Jones, we could have some nice offensive production and power.
    I am really looking foward to this season.
    Thank you for your time,
    Steelreign.
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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Quote Originally Posted by cocktailsfor2 View Post
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    Of course, on the P-G blog, the FO haters still bring up the "immature" label, the rap stuff, and how he "quickly wore out his welcome" is his previous two stops.

    Fookin' eejits.

    I very much agree with what Steelreign said:

    I think (and the article bears it out) that Edge realizes now that a pro athlete's career doesn't last very long, and he doesn't want to blow whatever time he's got left. If he continues to improve, he's got a good chance of making serious coin.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]I also think that since our team skews younger than his previous 2 teams, he feels he fits in better in PGH.[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    I was thinking the same thing... to me that aspect of the equation is HUGE... he's surrounded by guys more like him, who aren't intimidated or offended by his style or how he carries himself

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    The kid will just be turning 25 when the season starts. It looks like his early struggles in the majors have helped him mature as a person and ball player. I'd love to see the kid succeed. I could see a nice 15 HR, 25 SB season with a line of .275/.340/.420.

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball Lover View Post
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    The kid will just be turning 25 when the season starts. It looks like his early struggles in the majors have helped him mature as a person and ball player. I'd love to see the kid succeed. I could see a nice 15 HR, 25 SB season with a line of .275/.340/.420.
    I would hope he does a little better than that! With those numbers he would be easily replaceable.

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    IMHO, although there are encouraging signs from Milledge the jury is still out on him. He has not established himself yet.

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    I would hope he does a little better than that! With those numbers he would be easily replaceable.
    That makes him a very solid 7 hole hitter or a serviceable 2, especially at the age of 25. I could see him being a 20-20 player in his prime, kind of in the Hunter Pence mold.

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    Default Re: Milledge looks to have Lasting impact

    Quote Originally Posted by irahuss View Post
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    I was thinking the same thing... to me that aspect of the equation is HUGE... he's surrounded by guys more like him, who aren't intimidated or offended by his style or how he carries himself
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