Dejan Kovacevic reports that someone in the Pirates' employ in early 2007 was "pleading" for Dave Littlefield to acquire Carlos Pena, who went on to hit 46 homers last year.
This is certainly interesting, but there's no way I'm adding this to the long list of things I blame Littlefield for. Pena was an effective but unspectacular hitter before 2007, and he's off to a slow start this year; his 2007 could end up having been a giant fluke. The Bucs traded for Adam LaRoche that offseason. As disappointing as LaRoche has sometimes been, he was clearly a better option than Pena at the time. The Bucs also had a bench masher in Josh Phelps who hit .351/.463/.649 but still couldn't get more than 77 at bats; if it had been Pena instead of Phelps, the same thing might've happened, and I don't think I would have blamed the Pirates in the least. Yeah, Littlefield was an idiot, but I'll stick to criticizing mistakes that were foreseeable.
UPDATE: Another way of putting this is that Carlos Pena signed with Tampa Bay because he's just the sort of player who signs with Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay or Kansas City. So somebody in the Pirates' management was clamoring for Carlos Pena -- I'm at least as inclined to see that as the problem as I am to see Littlefield's inaction as the problem.