FanGraphs has an interesting interview up today with Farhan Zaidi, the A's Director of Baseball Operations. There are lots of worthwhile bits, but particularly relevant to Pirates fans is how he describes the necessity of risk for teams with fewer resources:
“If there isn’t some residual between how you evaluate players and how other teams evaluate them, then you’re just using industry values to put together the second-lowest payroll team in the league, and likely end up being the second-worst team. You kind of have to take those risks to outperform your payroll. Sometimes it’s going to backfire, just because you have to try to do something different.
If you extend this a little bit to include the general consensus of the (thoughtful and informed) media and fans, you get close to the source of my frustration with a lot of criticism teams like the Pirates get. If everything a team like the Pirates do makes sense to everyone and gets a near-universal seal of approval, well, the team probably isn't going to be very good.
Of course, that obviously doesn't mean that someone like Drayton McLane is doing a great job because of the huge "residual" between how he apparently rates his players and how everyone else does, but I do wish the mainstream Pirates media would consider this more than they do.
Now, the Huntingdon front office's fairly lengthy track record is sufficiently subpar for him to be fired, but I stil think it's crazy to say that he's doing a terrible job because other people in the industry don't agree with some of his decisions, which is a go-to criticism for DK.
Here's the link: