This is just becoming too hard to ignore and not put up a thread about it. Personally I think it's a little odd and strange but not really something that deserves a big controversy. A lot of teams due similar stuff to this, for instance I believe the Penguins run their players through a West Point work out nearly every training camp. Some of the stuff sounds wacky and is probably unnecessary but there seems to be a lot of misinformation. Some players have voiced concerns over it but others say it is less rigorous than their normal training.
Like I said I really don't see this is a necessary but nonetheless I applaud the Pirates for trying something different. Really its bizarre, odd and makes for a bit of a humorous story but the extent some have taken it seems too far for me. It does raise at least a few eye brows and probably deserves some degree of criticism but I think its been kind of blown out of proportion.
For the record here are two opposing views.
Dejan Kovacevic from the Pittsburgh Trib
Tim Williams from Pirates Prospects
I'm interested to see what the rest of the forum has to say on this issue.