The Pirates Still Have a Communication Breakdown

8-13-21 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

Way back in 2019 before Bob Nutting did the Pirates franchise bare minimum for accountability in disposing of his front office, I wrote about how much the communication from the Pirates needed to improve.

When they made the hire, first of Travis Williams, I hoped his time with the Penguins would afford him the experience to bring some of the genius he witnessed first hand to this organization.

I’ve seen spurts, they’ve done well on some things, less so in others. I’m not here to tell you it’s the same train wreck it was, but I think I can say there is absolutely room for improvement.

Here’s an example of the kind of stuff I’m talking about. Jason Mackey reported after Ben Cherington press session.

Now, first of all, credit to the media for asking the question, it’s a long time coming and Polanco’s play following the All Star Break probably kept it from being front and center.

But what is being said here? This isn’t a topic that requires GM double talk. Like I get it for trade stuff, or promotions, you want to keep that in house but what’s the purpose of being indirect here?

Just about every fan of this team or even baseball in general are pretty confident that Gregory is going to be bought out. Maybe contractually they aren’t allowed to publicly state their intensions but there is a happy medium.

Here’s what that statement ultimately says to me minus all the misdirection. It says, hey, we know the guy has been bad, but we wanted to give him a shot to prove us wrong. We get that it’s after the All Star Break and oh yeah, let me say Shelton and I talk but it’s ultimately his call.

Now, maybe this isn’t what he wanted me to take from his statement but that’s how it sounded to me.

This also sets up perfectly for the inevitable follow up question to Shelton. The onus has been tossed back to him. Cherington has now essentially said he’d be ok with Greg not playing because “Shelty makes out the lineups” so if he continues to play guess who has to explain why.

Pushed further on the matter he talked about needing to earn playing time.

Here’s another quote from Jason Mackey’s report.

“It’s a balance. … We need to give players the opportunity to improve, develop and make adjustments at the major league level, particularly those guys who have a chance of being part of what we’re doing.”

So, yeah, that’s what we want, and that’s why we’re asking about Polanco. I’m not sure if there has been a bigger fail from this club when it comes to communication than the whole meritocracy thing. I say that because quite honestly, they haven’t done it much.

There is a period of time that you have to give a player to truly evaluate him. I get that. I even supported it for Ka’ai Tom despite what my eyes were telling me. I did that out of respect for the process more than the player. My threshold isn’t as long as the Pirates.

Another factor in these decisions is, even if you get them to show you something, does it matter. For instance, If Ka’ai Tom eventually shows you something, he could be a piece for 5 years. Now, he isn’t of course but his control was reason enough to try.

As we discussed already, Greg, he gone. So what’s the point? I’m not like most, he doesn’t have to be DFA’d, just bench him. If you aren’t using Nogowski, option him and get me one of the kids. Try Chavis, Marcano, Madris, whatever, just someone who actually could be, as you so eloquently put it Mr. Cherington, ” those guys who have a chance of being part of what we’re doing.”


I think my Dad could sum this up quite well. Just say what you’re doing and do what you’re saying.

How about the foodservice situation at PNC?

We’ve heard nothing from the team, hell it even made the news. Not enough employees to work the stands, and while that in no way is the Pirates fault since they use a third party, it’s been complained about enough that you need to address it at some point.

Some have suggested changing the bag policy, or at least warning people, which bluntly they’re late in the game to bother with, as I mentioned, it’s out there.

This has no effect on the product on the field, it’s just a missed opportunity.

This team has a PR problem named Bob that isn’t going anywhere. It’s not like Lemieux who people are more than happy to find excuses to praise, and does most things right on top of it.

Point is they have a bigger hurdle than other teams and it’s something I expected to improve. I understand the plan, well, most of the time, but let’s be honest, I work for it. I don’t understand it because they’re terrific at explaining things.

Add this to the list of things like “we’ll spend when the time is right” but stopping short of telling you what right looks like. It’s not enough that most journos and bloggers and podcasters were willing to fill in the blanks and hazard guesses. All it would take is a few more words.

You’re allowed to trust the process, even like it, and still have questions. When you do, it just doesn’t feel like a direct answer is going to come back.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

One thought on “The Pirates Still Have a Communication Breakdown

  1. good article Gary. Its about time someone delved into the area of chronic Pirate double-speak. We were hoping that BC would be a refreshing change , but, he gives the impression of a lack of candor. Pirate fans are tired of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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