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.
Not entirely sure where I stand on the issue. Part of me says the time could be better spent teaching more fundamental stuff for the younger guys or something along those lines. The other part of me says it is different and could be beneficial as it is something these guys have probably never experienced, breaking them out of their norms.
What I will say though is that it is a bold decision to continue to do it. Your team just wrapped up it's 20th consecutive losing season , people aren't going to be very willing to accept something that isn't too popular around baseball, at least not currently. Add to that that there are reports of guys getting injured and the tolerance level is that much shorter.
Like I said, I'm pretty indifferent to it. If it was more than a week (I think that's how long it is?) I would say the time could be better spent elsewhere but a week isn't going to make or break a player's development
I get the feeling that people are up in arms about this simply because it is unusual. Just because something is unusual doesn't make it bad. In fact the fact that this is unusual is what I like most about this. For far too long the Pirates have tried to act conventional on all fronts and it isn't working, different things have to be tried.
Once again, I'm not sure how many other teams do this but I think the general view is "do the Yankees, Sox, Cards, Giants, (perennial playoff teams) do the Seal training?" If not, why are we wasting our time doing it?
I know you know this but I don't think acting conventional is necessarily a bad thing, it's what we've done while acting conventional. Lack of spending, poor drafting, poor trades have been the downfall.
I've heard of no professional baseball teams that practice similar stuff like this. I've seen that quite a few colleges and Olympic athletes do it though. Also seen it attributed to the the Boston Bruins but overall I really don't care how common it is. I'm also not really concerned about any injury risk nearly every person who I have seen comments from, including the players themselves, say it is not that rigourous of a work out and some have even said their own personal training is more tiresome.
My concerns with this aren't the negatives it could produce because outside of it becoming a whole ordeal like this and possibly furthering the Pirates reputation the negative possibilities really differ very little from a standard work out would. The problem I have with it is I really am not sure I see positive value in this. The fact that the positive value is unclear or possibly non-existant means the practice should absolutely be questioned but to the extent it has reached one would think this is actually a negative thing and I don't think there is any evidence of that.
Acting conventional in certain things is ok but the Pirates have to think outside of the box. The best move this past offseason wasn't a free agent signing or your typical trade it was acquiring AJ Burnett in an atypical Yankee salary dump. Those are the types of moves I want to see the Pirates make more often. Take a real risk on a guy (the Bedard signing is kind of also an example of that) and see if it pays off instead of just signing middling free agents like Barmes and Barajas who at best will give you below average production. For the record I didn't and still don't mind the signings of those two, they were some of the best options available to the Pirates last season but I would have preferred a different train of thought.