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    Default Piratefest

    I went today, not sure if anyone else from the board was there. I know Kipper was planning to go, but had to cancel last minute. I'm probably not the best person to try to recap the Q&As, but if there's a media report out there with any details it would probably jog my memory and I could fill in some info if it's missing. Here's what I remember off the top of my head:

    Pretty much everyone on the team said their favorite football team was the Steelers except Garrett Jones (Bears - got booed), James McDonald (Lions - got laughs), Clint Hurdle (Lions - got laughs), Kevin Correia (Chargers - not much of a reaction), Paul Maholm (Packers - got booed), and Brad Lincoln (Cowboys - got booed even louder than Maholm).

    Evan Meek told a pretty funny prank story about Octavio Dotel. Dotel used to make Meek give him oranges in the bullpen for some reason. Dotel wouldn't show up out there until the 5th inning since he wasn't used until late. One day Meek had the orange ready and DJ Carrasco asked him for it. Meek gave it to Carrasco, who proceeded to inject it with a syringe full of whatever they use to numb body parts in the trainers room. Meek later gave it to Dotel who started to eat it, freaked out because he couldn't feel his tongue, then had to go pitch.

    Sounded like the fans were all about Clint Hurdle, and there was a ton of positive energy centered around his hiring. Hurdle seems to have a lot of personality, which I guess is a welcome change for fans. He said they're going to put a ton of focus on drilling fundamentals, and talked a lot about having a "championship mentality" and playing "championship caliber baseball". Hurdle said the team is going to run, run, run this year. They're encouraging guys to use their speed and they'll pull back the reigns later if it's a problem.

    Rocco DeMaro showed up and asked a question to Charlie Morton about "which Charlie is going to show up?" Rocco got a big reaction when Greg Brown pointed him out. Morton said he appreciates what happened last year and feels like he's learned a lot, but as a player and just as a person.

    During the management session someone decided to ask a question about Rocco. Coonelly took the question and point out Rocco sitting off to the side. He said the team had nothing to do with the decision and they all really appreciate having his voice and perspective out there. He said they are making every effort to find a role for him to keep him talking Pirates baseball.

    Huntington took a question on Delwyn Young. Said he was "versatile in that he could stand at different positions." Said that they liked him as a bench bat, but Delwyn wasn't happy with that role and felt that they should have given him more of a chance as the starting second baseman.

    Huntington said he's "really pulling" for Steve Pearce. When he came up in 2007 he had a great season, but had some obvious weaknesses. Last year they thought they had him right at the point where he was about to put it all together, but he got injured. He said they thought he had come a really long way really quickly after the 2009 season. Said he'll have every chance to make the club, though he may need some time to put it back together due to the injury.

    Someone asked which prospects are likely to be called up this year. He said Pearce will be back though he's not considered a prospect anymore. Said Rudy Owens is the guy that has the best shot of coming later in the year. They want him to put in some work on the consistency of his breaking ball and continue some things with fastball command. He made sure he pointed out that Owens is not a "soft tossing lefty" and you shouldn't believe it if you hear that. Alex Presley has a shot at making the team as an extra outfielder, though there is a chance he can prove that he can be something more than what they originally thought. Danny Moskos could put things together, but they have to put in a lot of work with him to make sure his stuff will play at the major league level. Also threw out some of the other pitchers (Morris, Watson, Wilson) as guys with a chance, but not quite as far along as Owens. He said they have guys like d'Arnaud (who they are still very high on), Lambo, and Locke, but they might be more for next year than in 2011.

    Someone of course asked about Rendon. They said he's being touted as the #1 guy, but he's not quite the slam dunk Strasburg was. Cited the injury and he has to prove he can rebound from it. Also mentioned the new bat rules and said that can have an impact on numbers that they'll have to adjust for. Said there are some really good college arms, and also some high school arms that they also like. Pretty much the expected answer.

    That's about all I remember right now. I have some pics I'll probably put up later. I also took a couple short videos, but that was more a test of my new camera. They're just from the management Q&A. I might upload them, but I might not. The files are pretty huge.

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    I was there.

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Excellent Jnn... thanks for the update....

    Interesting about Huntington pulling for Pearce since he had written Pearce off by last year in spring training I believe.

    I wonder what the heck they could do with Rocco. Without having the outlet for his voice on the radio it doesnt leave much more choice outside of some online/podcast type of deal
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    A couple other things I remembered:

    Hurdle took a question on the catching situation. Hurdle said he believes Chris Snyder can be "a front line guy" and he really likes the way he can handle a pitching staff. He likes Doumit's bat from the left side and thinks he can contribute if he's dedicated to the catching position. Said he's had a few conversations with Doumit and he's very much in the picture. Also said that they could carry 3 catchers to give them more options to use Doumit's bat off the bench, etc. He said Jaramillo could make the team and also Dusty Brown as a defensive option. He said the Brown signing was under the radar with fans, but people don't realize that he had something like 14 teams make him offers as a minor league free agent. He said when he took the Pirate job he had a few other GMs call and mention the Brown signing like he had something to do with luring him away from their team, but he had nothing to do with it. I thought that was kind of interesting.

    Huntington said they had offers out and got counters back on Bartlett, Hardy, and Brendan Ryan this offseason. He said they were close a couple times, but they didn't want to give up a ton because they still want to see what they have in Cedeno. He said they have really liked what they've seen for stretches, but he needs to put it all together. They like him enough that they made sure they have an option for his first FA year in 2012.

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Here are some pictures. I didn't end up with too many. I was messing around with a new camera and couldn't figure out the focus at first, then started messing around with the zoom. I didn't bother uploading all the blurry shots I took. Most of these are taken from pretty far away and turned out pretty good.

    McCutchen, Ohlendorf, Tabata, Jones, Karstens


    Meek, Correia, Walker, Morton, Lincoln, Maholm (and almost McDonald). I don't remember Meek's hat glowing like that


    Silverio, Banister, Hurdle


    McCutchen, Ohlendorf, Tabata


    Morton, Walker, Lincoln, Maholm. Awesome facial expressions from Morton and Maholm.


    Silverio, Banister, Hurdle, Greg Brown


    Ohlendorf, Tabata, Jones, and part of Karstens. More good facial expressions.


    McCutchen


    Karstens, Meek, Correia, Morton


    J-Mac


    Here's most of the group. I think McCutchen is out of the frame and Hurdle and Banister are covered by that bald head. Another great Maholm pose.


    Huntington and Hurdle:


    Here's Hurdle and Coonelly (and someone's head). I'm not sure what's going on with Hurdle's skin tone here.






    Late night edit: I felt like I should add this:


    Last edited by jnn123; Jan-31-2011 at 12:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    A couple other things I remembered:

    Hurdle took a question on the catching situation. Hurdle said he believes Chris Snyder can be "a front line guy" and he really likes the way he can handle a pitching staff. He likes Doumit's bat from the left side and thinks he can contribute if he's dedicated to the catching position. Said he's had a few conversations with Doumit and he's very much in the picture. Also said that they could carry 3 catchers to give them more options to use Doumit's bat off the bench, etc. He said Jaramillo could make the team and also Dusty Brown as a defensive option. He said the Brown signing was under the radar with fans, but people don't realize that he had something like 14 teams make him offers as a minor league free agent. He said when he took the Pirate job he had a few other GMs call and mention the Brown signing like he had something to do with luring him away from their team, but he had nothing to do with it. I thought that was kind of interesting.

    Huntington said they had offers out and got counters back on Bartlett, Hardy, and Brendan Ryan this offseason. He said they were close a couple times, but they didn't want to give up a ton because they still want to see what they have in Cedeno. He said they have really liked what they've seen for stretches, but he needs to put it all together. They like him enough that they made sure they have an option for his first FA year in 2012.
    so weird and now im too lazy to research it all but I reponded to this post with a bunch of stats and stuff and it's not here. I guarantee I forgot to click the
    post quick treply" button and hit return

    Either way, Doumity isn't even an option off the bench of any worth. His splits don't help. His average improves as a lefty but his power drops to barely existant at about a a homer every43 AB's compared to a homer every 26 AB as a righty. Snyder isn't a good hitter at all but him and Doumit pull power against righties so there's really not much benefit for Doumit off the bench IMO.

    guy really has little value IMO to the team. Sucks to hear doumit mentioned as an option for anything
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    thanks for some of the pics Jnn! much appreciated.

    Charlie Morton choosing #50 is a weird number. It really is a number that looks like something you give to a guy on a quick call up that both sides know is temporary
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    By the way, Kipper, your wife probably would have missed the Garrett Jones autograph even if you did go. My friend's two kids wanted to try to get McCutchen (4:00-5:30) and Meek, Walker, and Drabek (5:30-7:00). They split up and had one kid get in line at about 3:00 and the other get in line around 4:00. The first kid got to the front of the line after 5:30, but was lucky enough to be the second to last person McCutchen signed for. The other kid got to the front after 7 and had to get Drabek while he was walking away and was one of the last 10 or so to get Meek and Walker. For that last group there were people who stood in line for over 2 and a half hours and walked away with nothing. It was insane. I would say there were well over 100 people still in line at the end.

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    so weird and now im too lazy to research it all but I reponded to this post with a bunch of stats and stuff and it's not here. I guarantee I forgot to click the
    post quick treply" button and hit return

    Either way, Doumity isn't even an option off the bench of any worth. His splits don't help. His average improves as a lefty but his power drops to barely existant at about a a homer every43 AB's compared to a homer every 26 AB as a righty. Snyder isn't a good hitter at all but him and Doumit pull power against righties so there's really not much benefit for Doumit off the bench IMO.

    guy really has little value IMO to the team. Sucks to hear doumit mentioned as an option for anything
    I think Doumit does have value as a backup catcher/utility guy/ bench player. If Hurdle can convince him that thiis his role, and that he needs to learn how to be good at it, I think he might produce a bit. Besides, he's not a bad guy to have if you get an injury to Snyder. I think it's all about him accepting his role and Hurdle using him the right way. With the pressure off, and Doumit adjusting his attitude to a new role, he could surprise...

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Ross Ohlendorf and I bs'ed about the Longhorns for a good 20 minutes.. Great guy.
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Quote Originally Posted by TX Longhorn View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Ross Ohlendorf and I bs'ed about the Longhorns for a good 20 minutes.. Great guy.
    Did oyou get anything else of interest?
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Doumit actually hits righty's pretty well. He had an ops of 832 batting left handed. He hit a homer every 25 or so ab's.He was awful right-handed though. I would play Doumit against the toughest rh'ed starters and let Snyder play the rest.

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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    By the way, Kipper, your wife probably would have missed the Garrett Jones autograph even if you did go. My friend's two kids wanted to try to get McCutchen (4:00-5:30) and Meek, Walker, and Drabek (5:30-7:00). They split up and had one kid get in line at about 3:00 and the other get in line around 4:00. The first kid got to the front of the line after 5:30, but was lucky enough to be the second to last person McCutchen signed for. The other kid got to the front after 7 and had to get Drabek while he was walking away and was one of the last 10 or so to get Meek and Walker. For that last group there were people who stood in line for over 2 and a half hours and walked away with nothing. It was insane. I would say there were well over 100 people still in line at the end.
    Wow.. well you did say that the lines fill early and i was planning on getting there early but that woulda been painful to stand through It was her fault we didn't go anyways so ...

    I found out later that they had allowed Bloggers and such to sit in and do a Q&A. It wasnt real long but it was with Coonelly, Maholm and Huntington. Had I known in enough advance and knew i wasnt going at the last minute, I'd have let you known to go and represent the Tavern
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Quote Originally Posted by Lup View Post
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    Doumit actually hits righty's pretty well. He had an ops of 832 batting left handed. He hit a homer every 25 or so ab's.He was awful right-handed though. I would play Doumit against the toughest rh'ed starters and let Snyder play the rest.
    the problem here also is pitchers. you are playing your best pitchers usually against their toughest pitchers so you want the guy that calls the better game which isn't Doumit.

    i wish i could remember what i had typed out and disappeared.... i think snyder hits lefties better, a little more power against righties and like you said doumit hits righties.

    problem there is that you'll face double the amount of righties easy and nobody wants doumit starting or playing that much not when you need your defense and more importantly, pitchers results to improve.
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    Default Re: Piratefest

    Bucs Dugout Talks To Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntington, Paul Maholm
    by Charlie on Jan 29, 2011 2:49 AM EST

    The Pirates held a short interview session for bloggers Friday night at PirateFest. Vlad and I represented Bucs Dugout, and also present were Kevin from Pirates Prospects, Matt from Pittsburgh Lumber Co., Tom from Rum Bunter, and Kristy from Pirates Booty. (There were a couple other people there too, but everything happened really fast so I'm not sure who they were. Sorry about that. If I missed you, let me know in the comments.)

    We were told we were going to talk to Neil Walker, Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington, but it ended up being Huntington, Paul Maholm and Frank Coonelly. It was a pretty loud environment, but I took copious notes, so here it is in bloggy form. I think Vlad will weigh in in the morning, either as an addendum to this post or in a new one.

    -P- I think the reason we didn't get to talk to Hurdle was because he spoke to the general audience first, and they loved him, so they had him stay there and meet people. He came across as very dynamic, which is probably a nice change from John Russell, and he had a very visceral vocabulary that included liberal use of words like "butt-thumping." This made Vlad's and my inner 13-year-olds giggle a little bit, but overall, Hurdle wasn't really saying much of substance. That was a shame, because I would have really liked to know what he plans to do with certain players. (He did say he would emphasize pitching inside.)

    -P- Later, Coonelly said that Hurdle was "extraordinarily effective" in recruiting players - that he could relate to them as a former player and a former top prospect. (Hurdle evidently played a big role in luring Joe Beimel to the Bucs.)

    -P- Huntington told the general audience that the numbers in the Pirate Report story about Pedro Alvarez's weight gain weren't quite right, without denying that Alvarez had gained weight. Later, I pressed Huntington to give an exact number of pounds Alvarez had gained, and Huntington wouldn't give a number, but said that Alvarez had gained "enough that we have concerns." He also said that how long Alvarez remains a third baseman is up to him.

    Maholm on Alvarez: "Let the guy play ... there's plenty of people in baseball who aren't the prototypical athlete... He's a good third baseman. He gets to a lot of balls, he has a great arm ... Don't try to bash him for his weight."

    -P- The Wil Ledezma situation isn't the biggest deal, but I asked about that since the media hadn't really explained it thoroughly. Essentially, Huntington said the Pirates just wanted a spot on the 40-man roster, and they thought the structure of Ledezma's contract, which will pay him $300,000 even if he isn't in the major leagues, made him a good bet to make it through waivers. Obviously, that didn't happen. Huntington gave a reason why they didn't reclaim him when that opportunity arose; I didn't quite follow it, but basically, I took him to be saying that they just didn't want to have him on the 40-man.

    -P- Huntington said Donnie Veal is progressing well in his comeback from Tommy John surgery and that he's "excited" to get going.

    -P- There were questions for both Coonelly and Huntington about the Pirates being placed in the lower half of all farm systems this offseason by Baseball America and Keith Law. Huntington said that he did not agree with those sources, that the Pirates graduated a number of top prospects, that there were injuries to other prospects, and that the Pirates' focus was on "developing players who will help the Pittsburgh Pirates win," not on having players put up big numbers in the minors.

    Coonelly was downright indignant about it. Like Huntington, he pointed out that the Pirates graduated several top prospects, but he went further, saying that the Pirates' 25-and-under talent compares favorably with that of the Kansas City Royals (!). (The Royals have the best farm system in baseball right now.) He also said that Rudy Owens' statistics and stuff (with a 93-94 MPH fastball and great command, he said) compared favorably to Kyle Drabek, and yet prospect gurus consistently rated Drabek as one of the better prospects in baseball while ignoring Owens. He also suggested the low ratings were possibly partly due to the Pirates not promoting their own prospects enough to Baseball America.

    Coonelly seemed particularly fond of Owens in particular, and later said he couldn't believe Owens hadn't been making top 100 prospect lists.

    [Read More....]

    Our good friends over at Rumbunter (Tom) is the one that pushed for the Pirates to be more media friendly with the bloggers and he was able to getr this set up nearly last minute. Check out Rumbunter -- www.rumbunter.com as they have split up some Pirates Fest stuff over a couple of blog articles
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