Other than the hiring of a new manager, what do you feel is the biggest need of the team personnel wise?
-- Mike P., Sandy, Pa.
As an organization, Mike, we need to infuse talent into the system. We need to utilize all methods of player acquisition to improve the depth of talent in the system. We need to be aggressive in scouting and signing amateur talent domestically and internationally. We need to be creative in acquiring professional players via trades, free agency and waiver claims.
We have some pieces in place for a successful 2008, but overall we need to add talent and depth to the system to position ourselves to bring a consistent winner to Pittsburgh.
What are the most important qualities you're looking for in a new manager?
-- David H., Pittsburgh
We are looking for a manager that brings positive energy and passion to the clubhouse. He will be a tireless instructor, an exhaustive communicator and will instill discipline and a sense of pride in the Pirates, what we stand for and how we play the game.
What is your roadmap to mirror the success of the Rockies, who were last place in the NL West last year?
-- Michael S., Atlanta
There are several clubs in similar markets to Pittsburgh that have experienced recent success, and we hope to take successful elements from each and apply those appropriately to the Pittsburgh model. Colorado, Arizona and Cleveland all had terrific seasons and did it with young players from their scouting and development system. To attain the level of success we plan to attain, Michael, we need to successfully evaluate, sign and develop championship caliber players and staff.
We are in the process of putting in place quality personnel and systems to ensure a systematic and consistent structure to maximize the ability of every executive, scout, instructor and player in the system. We need to be creative and will have to make some tough decisions as we progress, but those decisions will be logical, rational, well researched and for the benefit of this organization.
In the end, our success is contingent upon our ability to evaluate, sign and develop championship talent.