Posted by: Larry Smith Jr. | January 28, 2010

Funny Thing I Learned Today: January 2010 Edition

Chris Pittaro is Oakland’s director of pro scouting. I’m sure he’s good at his job and I’m happy he has one during these tough times, but I found that just short of hilarious. For those who are unaware, Pittaro was one of the many recipients of hyperbolic praise from former Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson, who once claimed that Pittaro was the best rookie to play for him in 15 years. In case you’re wondering, Pittaro was a rookie in 1985. This means that if we’re to believe Sparky’s account, Pittaro was a better rookie than Howard Johnson (who played the same position and who Sparky notoriously feuded with, leading to his exile to the Mets where he had a strong career), Glenn Wilson, Kirk Gibson, Dan Petry, Dave Concepcion, Bernie Carbo, Hal McRae, Don Gullett, Milt Wilcox, Ken Griffey Sr., and George Foster.

Pittaro played 28 games in his rookie season, getting 68 PAs and mustering a 242/299/323 line while making 5 errors in 42 chances at third base and 1 in 15 chances at second base. This would be the bulk of Pittaro’s major league career, as in the next off-season he was traded to Minnesota along with Alejandro Sanchez for backup Catcher Dave Engle. He would play 25 more games over the next two seasons with the Twins, mostly as a poor fielding substitution in the middle infield.

However, this post isn’t about poking fun at Pittaro’s career. He made it to the major leagues, which is far more than many others can say. And he got to play in 53 games. Considering that I took no hesitation in bragging on the very first post of this blog that I once played a single non-Major League game inside a major league stadium, I think that playing in 53 games at the MLB level is very much something to be proud of.  No, the humor that I derive is from the idea that the very man who was once the epitome of “overrated” as a player now makes his money by rating other players.

That’s right, Chris Pittaro’s job is to rate other players. As the director of pro scouting, he and his department has to report back to the front office how other players are doing around the league. Who looks good to acquire via trade and potential upcoming free agency.  I would also imagine that department does advance scouting.  Quite an ironic turn of events for one of the most overrated players ever to now be charged with rating other players.


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