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Pirates president: that stuff about the Navy SEALS training was “overblown”

Oct 31, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

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Pirates President Frank Coonelly spoke to Cory Giger yesterday about the team’s failed second half and the criticism it has received over the reports of unorthodox training (i.e. Navy SEALS-type drills) for its minor leaguers. He says it’s overblown:

Team president Frank Coonelly believes much of the criticism was “overblown” and also gave a vote of confidence to assistant general manager Kyle Stark, who has come under heavy scrutiny for his handling of the minor league system.

Coonelly says it’s not a fair criticism to say that Pirates players are fundamentally unsound because they aren’t given enough baseball training in the minors. Rather, it’s a matter of mental conditioning:

“It’s performing the fundamentals of the game in the highest pressure situation, and so we continue to work with our players throughout our system … teaching them how to perform well under pressure situations, how to control their emotions, how to be mentally and physically tough so that when they face the adversity, whether it be in the minor leagues or when they come up to Pittsburgh, they’re prepared.”

If anything that sounds like an endorsement of the military-style training. Which, people who about that sort of thing will tell you, is not about learning to carry logs and all of that. It’s about mental toughness and discipline.

The question I’d have is whether you can truly compare the mental discipline required for combat — which I’d say is considerable, to put it insanely lightly — and that required for turning double plays.  Which strikes me as more a matter of good habits and muscle memory as much as it’s about discipline.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    I can’t stand it when Presidents try to take credit for terminating Osama Bin Laden.

  2. sfm073 - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    No it’s more about drafting and signing better players. For years the pirates took the less talented player in the draft bc they were cheaper.

    • natslady - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Are you sure that’s true? The Pirates have spent money, but not gotten their money’s worth according to this article, which lays it out graphically.

      http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/10/the-pirates-have-spent-big-in-the-draft-but-has-it-paid-off.html

  3. xmatt0926x - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    How about this? All is forgiven with the promise that management will actually make some real moves to compete at the trading deadline when the team is still above .500 instead of hanging on to all these hidden prospects they’ve bee stockpiling for 20 years.

  4. alexo0 - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    It takes mental and physical toughness to remain a Pirates fan, so the team is simply bringing that level of dedication to the field.

  5. kiwicricket - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I am yet to read anything conclusive which states that cage-fighting/hand to hand combat does not
    “teach them how to perform well under pressure situations, how to control their emotions, how to be mentally and physically tough so that when they face the adversity they’re prepared”

    Something which falls between ‘Thunderdome’ and ‘Enter the Dragon’ should suffice.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Sounds like they’re going to stick with this terrible idea just so they don’t have to admit its a terrible idea.

  7. blacksables - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    You’re still missing the point. Entirely.

  8. canoyoulie - Nov 1, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    makes me want to just leave your website for good. nice stretch of the facts you flaming liberal

  9. steelers88 - Nov 1, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. Hey Frank wake me up when your in the playoffs.

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