You'd think a team with the record of futility of the Pirates would be a little more used to criticism.
If you're a player, apparently your job is to shut up and take it. Of course, for Jose Bautista, all's well that ends well -- namely getting the hell outta Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 's Dejan Kovacevic runs down the history between the Pirates and Bautista , and notes the Pirates have made a similar mistakes recently with Neil Walker and Garrett Jones.
Anyway, it's a great read -- make sure you go read the whole thing -- but the key part is here:
In the summer of 2008, just before a morning workout at Wrigley, Jose Bautista was told by John Russell that he had lost his job to Andy LaRoche. This was what Bautista told me that morning in the visitors' dugout.
Nevertheless, the Pirates, by several accounts, took umbrage that Bautista expressed that he still saw himself as everyday material, almost as if it were an act of insubordination.
Then, Bautista was sent to the minors.
Then, after Bautista did very well in the minors, he was traded to Toronto for third-string, since-released catcher Robinzon Diaz.
Walker apparently upset management last year when he said he thought he deserved a chance in the mjors -- instead he was told he had to be a super-utility player to make it to the majors. Walker also said Dave Littlefield players were being held down.
Walker got his chance this season and hit .296/.343/.474. The 24-year old got his chance and made the most of it, but was he right and maybe was he ready last year?
Jones may be the latest to receive the cold shoulder from the Pirates after having the audacity to believe in himself. Two weeks ago general manager Neal Huntington said Jones' disappointing 2010 means he will be considered a platoon player in 2011. That didn't please Jones.
"Yeah. My production was down this year, but nothing's set in stone," Jones told Kovacevic . "I think they're just looking at different options for next year. For me, I've got to go into the offseason and really work on my swing, find a way to get out of some of these funks I've had. I'll come in prepared for next season and, whatever decision they make … I'm going to make it hard on them to do something like that."
Or the Pirates could just trade him -- it worked last time.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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