Tabata facing his challenges with help from Silverio
LOS ANGELES -- After the Pirates hired coach Luis Silverio last winter as their first base and outfield coach, the first player he met was Jose Tabata.
Tabata was training in Bradenton, Fla., and specifically requested that Silverio visit him. Over three days at Pirate City, Silverio put Tabata through a series of outfield drills. Silverio also spent much time in deep conversations with Tabata.
As the season went on, Silverio became a mentor for Tabata, for matters on and off the field.
"He talks with me like a father would," Tabata said Saturday. "We talk about the game, playing the outfield, my life -- everything. I look at him like he's my second father."
This is a crucial time for Tabata, 23, both as a player and as a man. He is still establishing himself in what looks to be a promising career as the Pirates' everyday right fielder. He also must deal with the challenges that come from having a $14.75-million contact, a new wife and a baby on the way.
"Jose is a pretty young, immature player, and he's growing up in the big leagues," Silverio said. "He comes from a split family in Venezuela, so he's been missing a father figure for a long time. I've tried to be there for him, any way I can. I've tried to let him know he has somebody he can trust."
When Tabata signed his contract last month, Silverio was quick to offer straightforward advice.
"I told him that a lot more people are going to come at him now that he's got money," Silverio said. "He's going to have to make some choices. The money is only there for so long. Be smart about it. Take care of your future first, then look around and see what you can do for others."
Silverio, 54, has five children, including teenage sons Louis and Luis Jr. He spent the last 35 years as a player and coach in the Kansas City Royals organization.
"I consider myself a family-type person," Silverio said. "It's gratifying to know I'm helping to keep the kid (Tabata) away from trouble. I would do it for anybody on the club, but particularly for him. He's had some issues in the past, so I've tried to be there as much as I can for him."
During spring training in 2009, Tabata's first wife, Amalia Tabata Pereira, was arrested for kidnapping a 2-month-old girl, which she tried to pass off as Tabata's daughter. Pereira, who's 23 years older than Tabata, is serving a 24-year jail term.
Tabata, who divorced Pereira in 2010, got married last winter in his native Venezuela. His wife, Auromar, is living with him Pittsburgh. The couple is expecting a daughter, whom they will name Barbara, at the end of this month.
"I'm very excited," Tabata said. "And a little nervous."
It's been a difficult season for Tabata. His stats are down slightly from his debut season, and he's suffered leg and hand injuries. The Pirates last week decided to shut him down for the final two weeks of the season.
"I'm frustrated a little bit (by the injuries)," Tabata said. "I haven't had too much luck this year. I wanted to finish the season playing. I need to focus for next year. I'm working hard to get in shape for next season."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates sign Corey Hart to 1-year deal
- Pirates notebook: New catcher Cervelli eager to bond with staff
- Ex-Pirate Parker fights against Parkinson’s with optimistic attitude