Pirates Move On From Military Training
PITTSBURGH — Pirates owner Bob Nutting said no way to "Hoka Hey."
That was the battle cry of Crazy Horse when he went into battle while leading the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes. Literally translated, it means "it's a good day to die," though in spirit it means that when you have given a full effort you could finish your life with no regrets.
It became a battle cry of assistant general manager Kyle Stark this season, which ended up causing embarrassment to the organization. Yahoo! Sports and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review both reported about an e-mail Stark sent to player-development staff members that ended with "Hoka Hey," which Stark described as being "The War Cry of Clutch Performers."
The e-mail outlined Stark's key to developing players and included this line: "Dream and be creative like a Hippie. Have the discipline and perseverance of Boy Scout. Be crazy and take risks like Hell's Angels."
The Pirates drew more scorn when the Tribune-Review reported that two top prospects, righthander Jameson Taillon (knee) and outfielder Gregory Polanco (ankle), sustained minor injuries while taking part in instructional league drills that were modeled after Navy SEAL training. That finally led the normally private Nutting to say the Pirates would return to more conventional player-development methods.
"I believe that our primarily focus is to develop baseball players, to build championship players at PNC Park," Nutting said. "That's the job of our development system. We should not be, will not be, are not a military organization. We should not be or are not running a boot camp . . . We should be focusing on baseball drills."
• The Pirates hired Bill Livesey as a special assistant to GM Neal Huntington. Livesey worked for the Yankees in scouting and player development from 1978-95 and 2008-11. Livesey's son Jeff is the Pirates' minor league hitting coordinator.
• First-base coach Luis Silverio will be senior adviser of Latin American operations in 2013, a new position. Low Class A West Virginia manager Rick Sofield will take Silverio's spot on the major league staff. Dave Jauss, who spent last season as an adviser to Huntington, will also be part of manager Clint Hurdle's staff in 2013, in a role yet to be defined.