One word for Pirate Manager John Russell following his recent comments at the Winter Meetings. Seriously?
”Pedro gets here at some point, Tabata gets here at some point … and we’ve got Clement and Jones in the lineup, (Andrew) McCutchen, Aki (Iwamura) … it’s starting to look pretty potent,” Russell said.
Those players make the Pirates potent? Jeff Clement is in the lineup card already? What happened to proving himself at 1B? Holy hell.
“I’ve gotten to the where it’s fun to dream now, because we couldn’t do that before. We can look and be excited about the future. And it’s kind of nice to see what we have on paper now.”
So the Pirates look good on paper? Really?
While you spend time dreaming, Pirate fans spend time screaming.
And one more quote really struck home when Russell also had this to say about Neil Walker …..”has a long way to go to make an impact at the major league level.” Rob Biertempfel Twitter
Pirate fans know someone else who has a long way to go to make an impact in the majors and that is Y-O-U, Mr. Russell. Oh, you did make quite an impact with your brilliant move to take Zach Duke out when he was an out shy of his fourth complete game of the season with the Pirates up 10 runs. Now that was an impact.
At RumBunter, we are firm believers in coaching. Look at the best team that just came into your mind. What does their coach do, how does he motivate? Do you ever see a quote like this from a great coach about one of their first year players like Neil Walker was this year? Especially a player of Walker’s talents. Sure, if Walker wants someone to pat him on the back all he needs to do is talk to a close friend. A coach isn’t a friend. We’re not saying that Walker doesn’t have important steps to make before he succeeds at the major league level.
We can’t say that JR hasn’t been forthcoming to Walker and told him exactly what he said in the above interview. But let’s say he has said it. What purpose is there in repeating it? But let’s say he hasn’t told Walker this fact, it sure makes one wonder what Walker’s reaction will be doesn’t it?
We have to believe these young players need someone to evolve them beyond where they are currently in their career. Players like Tabata, Lincoln, Walker, Alvarez, the list will continue to grow, but they will need to learn an amazing amount of information on their opponents, they will need to work better than they ever have to sharpen their skills, certainly the players will need someone to remove the stumbling blocks. Teach them to soar as professionals in the majors. The young Bucs need someone they can trust, connect with, a respected leader.
Does that sound like Russell to you?
Russell and his staff will certainly need to work on leadership as the Pirates begin to see an influx of very young talent hit the diamond this spring. Major League Baseball will be a lonely stage in PNC Park.
But what is puzzling to us, is that according to Russell, Walker has a long way to go, but Tabata and Alvarez are all going to come up and just produce immediately? They will make the Pirates lineup potent?
I am an optimist as much as anyone, but that is quite a dream.
Don’t let us wake you Mr. Russell