Pittsburgh Pirates Walk Off Home Run Drill Shows Lack of Team Leadership

By Matthew Germino

The following is a list of where the Pittsburgh Pirates finished as a team in major offensive statistical categories for the 2012 season:

  • 23rd in runs scored
  • 25th in batting average
  • 27th in on base percentage
  • 19th in slugging percentage
  • 25th in OPS

They also finished 24th in the league in errors committed. So what does a team that finished in the bottom third of these major categories do during spring training? If your answer was “practice walk-off home run drills,” you should be a stock speculator on Wall Street and not be reading this article right now. Go make some money!

This move tells you a lot about the leadership that is on this team right now. The biggest question is: where is Andrew McCutchen in all of this? McCutchen has been in Pittsburgh for the entirety of his career, led the team in every major offensive category last year and is undoubtedly the face of the franchise. He has also never seen a winning season in his tenure there.

Where is his leadership here? Why is he not stepping in and helping his team focus? A team that finishes in the bottom third of the league in all major offensive statistical categories should not be practicing walk-off home run drills. They should be practicing how to create an offensive an offensive that can score runs because the logic is simple: You score more runs, you win more games.

Apparently, two decades of losing has caused the organization to lose sight of this simple statement.

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