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Two tidbits from Buster Olney’s “evaluators”

Mar 22, 2011, 10:35 AM EDT


I read Buster Oleny’s column every day. It’s handy, as he links the great bulk of the day’s major stories. And while I don’t always agree with Buster’s take on things, I think he gets stuff right more often than a lot of the other big national guys do when they take off their reporter’s hat and think about the issues of the day.

Buster also seems pretty ego-free, and I get the sense that I’d enjoy sitting down for a beer with him more than I would the other handful of guys with whom he competes. Assuming he drinks beer. I’ve been to two Winter Meetings now, and I don’t recall him hobnobbing in the hotel lobby with the rest of us lushes, so maybe not. No matter.

Anyway, one of the things that has amused me lately about Buster’s column is that he uses the term “evaluator” all the time when referring to his sources. Maybe he’s done this a while, but I’m just noticing it. I’m pretty sure he used to use “scouts,” but now it’s “evaluator.” Probably pretty handy because you can include GMs and others farther up the chain with the same anonymous description. Although to be honest, part of me wants to think that it’s just Buster adding flair to the title, because I like the idea of the extremely straightforward Olney adding flair for no real reason.

Today there are two “evaluator” notes in his column that caught my eye. The first:

One evaluator loves the work he has seen out of Prince Fielder this spring, saying that Fielder is playing very hard and hustling.

Note to those who keep score of such things: a non-white, non-middle-infielder was described as “hustling.” That should bring the score to 1,345,224 to 2.  Also:

A rival evaluator stationed in Arizona thinks that the worst team he has seen this spring is the Diamondbacks. “They just don’t have a lot (of talent) over there,” he said.

I think the “stationed in Arizona” part is key, because I can’t see how the Pirates aren’t going to be the worst team in baseball this year.  Though, yeah, as far as the Arizona teams go, I think he probably has a point about the Diamondbacks

  1. Kevin S. - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Meh, I don’t even think the Pirates are going to be the worst team in their own division. Andrew McCutcheon automatically makes them better than the Astros.

    • JBerardi - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      Yeah, I’d much rather be a Pirates fan than an Astros fan right now.

    • trevorb06 - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      I think the Pirate’s offense is going to be putting up decent numbers this year (decent for a losing team). Not good enough to get them a winning record because of that pitching staff but they won’t be near as painful to watch.

    • fatcatt - Mar 23, 2011 at 2:34 AM

      Cutch doesnt make up for the Pirates horrific pitching staff. the Stros did well the 2nd half of last season with this team and their pitching is way better than the pirates. Pence is the counter to Cutch. I keep reading the same thing about the stros here and can only find that no one really has a clue about the team. No they wont be very good but they wont be bad and certainly not pirates bad. because that is the definition of bad. look in Websters and you’ll see the Pirates logo next to the word. Wait that was KC. The Pirates own the rights to pathetic!

  2. billtpa - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    D’oh. *Olney

  3. cur68 - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Ahhh.. my plan for paradigm change is working; today the Brewers, tomorrow all of MLB! BWAHHHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAA….

    So I can say, backed by Olney’s cred, that Fielder is “scrappy” and a “gamer”.

  4. klwillis45 - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Prince has been playing hard & hustling for 6 years but it’s nice that “evaluator” finally got a look at him.

  5. trevorb06 - Mar 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Craig, I’d be willing to say the Royals and Mariners will have worse records this year. I wouldn’t be surprised even if the Marlins looked absolutely terrible this year and had a worse record.

    If the Orioles (the ex-Pirates of the AL) were in a different division they’d probably be able to scratch out an ALMOST .500 record this year.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand throw your stones commenters. :-)

    • jwbiii - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      Did you miss the memo? We’re evaluators, not commenters.

      • umrguy42 - Mar 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        jwbiii – YOU might’ve missed the memo. We’re MINIONS! :p

  6. Jonny 5 - Mar 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Prince always has been a hustler as far I’ve ever seen. I’d never get between him and first base, he’s cruising at about 30 knots as far as i can see by the time he hits the bag. Pretty fast for a tank.

  7. pipkin42 - Mar 22, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Buster’s been using “evaluator” and “talent evaluator” for years – I think he once explained that term in the column, or maybe in a chat.

    I always found it a bit annoying, but hey, whatevs.

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