Is Jose Bautista Messing With Neal Huntingtons Head?

We were fortunate enough to be at the game tonight for the graduation party of the Pirates losing streak. 

From the outset, it was apparent Jeff Karstens had changed his focus.  As soon as Reyes reached base, it was a mess.   It was Jeff Karstens Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar.  `
What’s the point?  He threw over so many times we lost count.  It was something Joe Kerrigan wasn’t a big fan of for the Pirates pitchers to do, we lost count.
Maybe Kerrigan had a point with Karstens specifically.  Coming into the game Karstens had an ERA of 3.18 in innings one through five.  He had thrown 85 innings and allowed 30 earned runs.  From the sixth inning on, Karstens rocked an ERA of 12.46 (13IP/18ER) which is just awful.
Maybe Kerrigan had some statistic to back up his belief in paying strict attention to baserunners changes focus of the poor pitching staff , because it was exhausting to watch.  Especially when the photo below happened regardless of Karstens and Clements best efforts to keep him close.

Jose Reyes stole his 27th base of the season sparking a three-run Mets first inning in their 7-2 victory over the Pirates. Photo:RumBunter

After the game, we heard Neal Huntington quickly elude to the fact that patience is one of the mistakes he has made.  Huntington was speaking with Rocco DeMaro in an excellent interview on Roccos’ Extra Innings show.   We weren’t able to stay for the show.  We had pissed off a pile of Mets fans and their fat wives (is that a requirement?) plus the boy needed to get his sleep.   The vomit in my mouth from watching the game was starting to stink too.
In the same answer that he discussed patience being perhaps a weakness, Huntington mentioned that he may have pulled the plug on Jose Bautista too quickly.  (15 HR in 2007, 15 in ’08, 13 in ’09, 38 in 2010)   It floored me. 
But maybe that explains things?  Perhaps he believes Ryan Doumit is going to find that stroke of years gone by.  Maybe that is that why Ryan Doumit is getting an extended look in RF.  Huntington mentioned a rapid fire of platoon possibilities including Brandon Moss, John Bowker, Jeff Clement (extra time was spent on Clement and how he could be a direct correlation of not having enought patience), Garrett Jones, and Ryan Doumit. 
It was a glimpse, albeit a quick glimpse, inside the mind of Neal Huntington.  No other interviewer in this town has done that. 
Perhaps the idea of patience is why the rotation still looks as awful as ever.   Is that why Zach Duke and Paul Maholm weren’t moved at the deadline?   Is that why Lastings Milledge continues to get plate appearances?  Heh, even the best have their moments
In conclusion,  we don’t have the answer for that question tonight.  It would be a great direct question for Huntington.   But on the surface, it would be awfully easy to read into the statements.
But as a fan it certainly sucks watching the pathetic on field play of the Pirates.  The core is better, but they aren’t proving it on the major league field.  Will the Pirates limp into the autumn sunsets?   And more importantly, will Huntington second guess his talent evaluation?
Ultimately, the big picture shows, the system is improving.  Drastically.   Just not some of the high risk, high reward moves Huntingon made.  Such as Jeff Clement (622OPS.)  Lastings Milledge (702OPS.)  Ronny Cedeno (654OPS.) 
But remember Neal, you gave up nothing in those deals except cash and old players.  Zip. 
The fact that Huntington sat in a bar room with many frustrated Pirates fans after clinching 18 straight losing seasons is admirable.  He answered questions, many of which came long after the interview was complete.  It’s a classy move that at least tells me the guy isn’t dodging, isn’t ducking and is not afraid to discuss his success and his failures as Pirates Sr. VP and GM. 
He spoke clearly.  He spoke confidently for most of the interview, but there was just a little something that sounded like his main goal is to now focus predominately on the major league talent level.  It’s the most visible statistic for certain, but Huntington also exhibited the one thing he alluded to being a weakness. 
He was patient in answering every question a rousing fan base fired at him.  It will be be an interesting rest of the season Pirates fans.

Since firing Joe Kerrigan and Gary Varsho, the Pirates have one victory. The Pirates have been outscred 52-26 in those games. PHOTO:RumBunter

How in the name of God did I end up a Pittsburgh Pirate? PHOTO:RumBunter

Ryan Doumit crushes his tenth homer of the year. PHOTO:RumBunter

OBEY. Bitch. PHOTO:RumBunter

Good article in the CDTon the nervous energy of SS Drew Maggi.

Maggi’s stock rose after helping the Collegiate National Team place second during the World University Baseball Championships in Japan. Maggi had a defined role. He led off and played second base, combining with Florida shortstop Nolan Fontana to form a dynamic middle infield.

The team played 27 games from July 6 to Aug. 7. Maggi relished everything about the experience except the ending. The U.S. lost to Cuba 4-3 in the finals.

“I had a good summer,” he said. “What is a really good summer? We got second. If we would have won, it would have been a really good summer.”

But baseball is a business, something Maggi’s days around former Arizona State stars Dustin Pedroia, Mike Leake, Ike Davis and Brett Wallace proved.
And finally from PBC+

Tags: Jose Bautista Neal Huntington Paul Maholm Pirates Blog Pirates Losing Streak Pittsburgh Pirates Ryan Doumit Zach Duke

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