The Pittsburgh Pirates have taken the back seat since Dejan Kovacevic brought to light coverage of HokaHey and the military-esque training that the Bucs had conducted with their minor league prospects. Frank Coonelly addressed why he stayed out of the spotlight and other topics today with 93.7 The Fan.
We thought The Fan would post the interview, but as of this post, nothing is up. So we will try and do our best to generalize what was said.
The interviewers from the Fan were Mr. Gregg Giannotti and Mr. Paul Alexander. Coonelly sounded relaxed and confident as he spoke, sometimes at length. He even joked about his long answers with the gentlemen. It was obvious Coonelly was filled with passion as he responded to the questions.
Coonelly said that the team conducted a self evaluation, not an investigation. Yeh, the word investigation does sound a bit like a murder scene doesn’t it? The Bucs President stated that many people were involved in the evaluation and that he waited until that was complete before commenting with the media. He also added that he doesn’t enjoy ducking the media. To our memory, Coonelly is always around the microphone, has never turned down a request from this site, and sometimes has been criticized by us for providing too much information.
The military training and methods of teaching the Bucs young prospects was brought up. The Bucs President said the organization should be criticized if it wasn’t doing things to improve the teambuilding and mental toughness of its’ youngest prospects. Coonelly said the training is an additional three days in length. He also noted the championship won by the youngest players in the Bucs system which was said in a manner that could lead one to believe that Coonelly felt it helped them.
He also described the article in which Pirates owner Bob Nutting discussed the complete investigation/evaluation with the Pittsburgh media. Dejan Kovacevic wrote and has tweeted that Nutting ordered the end of the exercises. While Coonelly never used Kovacevic’s name during the interview, it was rather easy to read between the lines. Coonelly said (and I am paraphrasing here) that the article included no direct quotes from ‘Bob’ that specifically stated Nutting demanded an end to the training.
The Pirates President was not asked about reported injuries to talented prospects during the training, nor did he add the information.
The interview ended with Giannotti asking if Coonelly felt the Pirates were covered fairly in the Pittsburgh media. The answer was clear and concise.
No, by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, no.
It sounds like the battle lines have been established. Coonelly clearly doesn’t agree with what Kovacevic has reported on the Bucs this offseason. Kovacevic has been clear that Nutting told him he wanted these practices to end. So who do we believe here?
I know who I don’t believe and I have made that clear for some time now and that’s Bob Nutting. Just listen to Nutting describe his decision to make no changes this offseason, does he sound like a man that is a straight shooter to you? He doesn’t to me.
In that interview Nutting says the Pirates are not a military organization, however, he does believe valuable lessons can be learned from the military. Nutting sounds like a fence sitter to me on Navy SEAL training, but he is open to innovative training methods. After listening to Coonelly’s comments today it seems likely, to me at least, that Navy SEAL training could happen in the future.
What rung the loudest from the Coonelly interview is the fact that the Pirates don’t want Kovacevic telling the organization what they will do.
Or more specific, what they won’t be doing in the future.