In some ways, I have sympathy for Frank Coonelly, Neal Huntington and Kyle Stark.
Honestly, I do.
The Pirates’ President, General Manager and Director of Player Development — respectively — have been made to carry on with an easy-to-see-through charade because of an owner who simply doesn’t want to spend enough money.
It would be nice, however, if Nutting — the true puppeteer of this mockery — would stand in front of the cameras and offer an explanation, rather than relegate his henchmen to such duty.
Again, I feel a sense of compassion for Coonelly, Huntington and Stark. In this instance, how can you not?
The latest installment of the Gregory Polanco sham came on The Fan Morning Show on Tuesday, when Stark was kind enough — and brave enough — to stand in the line of fire for questions that, in truth, should be ones answered by Pirates principal owner Bob Nutting.
As the Pirates’ play has dwindled in the past few weeks — with an 18-26 record headed into Wednesday night against the Orioles and losers of six of the last eight — the shouts have again grown loudly for a Polanco promotion.
The national media has chimed in, the fans have offered their discontent and, without question, one can see with great clearness this isn’t a talent issue, but a monetary one.
It seems that pesky Super Two status — wherein the Pirates don’t want to start Polanco’s Major League service time now because they might be made to pay more down the road — has stepped in the way of having the best 25 players in Pittsburgh.
And what was one of the reasons Stark offered during his radio appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday morning?
“I think we’re looking for consistency,” Stark said.
Well, that’s cute. Really, it is. Cute as can be.
How’s this for consistency? Through 43 games this season in Indianapolis, Polanco is hitting .382 (65 for 170) with 14 doubles and 5 home runs to go along with 5 triples. He has also driven in 38 runs, has an on-base percentage of .444, an OPS of 1.056 and scored 31 times.
Seems like a model of consistency to me. Impeccable consistency.
Granted, these numbers have come at the Class AAA level, but it is unfathomable to use a lack of “consistency” as any part of the reason Polanco remains in Indianapolis and not penciled into the lineup with the big club.
Listen to Stark on 93-7 The Fan: