TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Tabata's changed since July 3 demotion

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

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.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pirates

  1. Pirates DFA Vance Worley
  2. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  3. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  4. Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
  5. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015
  6. Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
  7. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  8. Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins
  9. Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 29, 2015
  10. Pirates minor league report: Moore a breakout star in Morgantown
  11. Starting 9: Pirates help and the illusion of help