Tabata's changed since July 3 demotion
SAN DIEGO — For the first time in a long time, Jose Tabata is at peace with himself on the field. Perhaps that will allow him to finally fully tap his potential.
“I'm a little different than I was before,” Tabata said the other day, speaking in a quiet voice, pausing to think before each answer.
“I'm more relaxed. I'm more focused,” he said. “When I went down (to the minors), I said to myself, ‘Oh, wow.' Now that I'm back, I know that I have to appreciate this opportunity.”
On July 3, the Pirates demoted Tabata to Triple-A. He was making meager contact at the plate, not running out plays, letting fly balls drop in front of him. Tabata stunk it up even worse in Indy.
In late July, Indy broadcaster Will Flemming called Tabata's effort “appalling” and charged that he had cost the Indians wins. The Pirates front office thrust a copy of those comments at Tabata and challenged him to do better.
“At the beginning, yes, I was very frustrated,” Tabata said. “I didn't want to be there. Then, I realized that if I wanted to be in the big leagues again, I had to do my job. I had to start playing like I used to, playing hard all the time.”
Tabata admits he didn't play all out at times last season, especially after he returned from a strained quad injury. But he bristled at those who accused him of loafing.
“People talk, but they don't know,” he said. “I didn't feel all the way healthy. I was scared because I didn't want to go on the DL. Now when people talk, I don't care. I know how I feel, and I know what I can do. Now I'm healthy, so I can play hard all the time.”
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.
- Starkey: Cervelli’s inspiration
- Pirates hope 1st baseman Alvarez starts to regain power stroke
- Gameday: Pirates at Tigers, June 30, 2015
- Late rally falls short, as Pirates can’t complete sweep of Braves
- Pirates notebook: Power shortage continues, Tabata designated for assignment
- Pirates’ Taillon sidelined by abdominal discomfort
- Starting 9: Is this the best Pirates team since 1992?
- Pirates overcome mistakes with big inning to knock off Reds
- Finally healthy, former 1st-rounder Joe finding his way