David Freese didn’t wait long after arriving for spring training to launch into an extended, critical monologue about the culture surrounding the Pirates. He didn’t leave much untouched, either.
Freese opined that the team lacks a winning culture:
“My opinion is I don’t think we lost 87 games because [Starling] Marte wasn’t there or [Jung Ho] Kang wasn’t there,” Freese said. “We lost 87 games because our environment doesn’t allow it.”
He didn’t lay it on the recent trades or on the front office, either, stating that “everybody can do better. [Clint] Hurdle, the coaches, the players — everybody around can focus on what’s truly important.” Freese added:
When you’re losing 10-2 in the pouring rain against Joe Maddon and you’re laughing, that’s not good. That says a lot.
There are various versions of Freese’s comments already proliferating around the intertubes. Obviously, print versions are providing whatever edits the writers find convenient or insightful. In particular, I expect his comments are going to get presented in many quarters as a diatribe against a front office that doesn’t want to win, but that doesn’t seem to have been his focus, as far as I can tell. I haven’t found a full, printed version of his comments yet. There’s a video version here, but I’m not sure how complete it is. If you’re really interested, I encourage you to check around for different versions or watch whatever video you can find.
George Kontos added his own views on a different subject, criticizing the lack of spending by teams this winter:
“In every other business, when revenue goes up, so does everything else,” Kontos said. “I kind of stick with that, as an Econ major.”
Just a couple days in and it’s not looking like a terribly quiet camp so far.