Superscout Leuzinger leaves Pirates organization
Mike Leuzinger, the superscout who brought top outfielder prospect Josh Bell into the Pirates' system, turned down a contract renewal offer and left the organization.
“It was really just time to move on,” Leuzinger said by phone from his home in Canton, Texas. “It's something I've been thinking about for a year or so.”
Leuzinger, 45, was the Pirates' area supervisor for North Texas and Oklahoma. He joined the club in 2004 after working 12 years for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Among the players he has scouted and signed were Matt Kemp, Tony Watson, Duke Welker and Andy LaRoche. In 2011, the Pirates lured Bell away from a college scholarship with a $5 million bonus, adding a premier slugger to their minor league system.
The Yankees asked for permission to interview Leuzinger at season's end, but the Pirates refused. A few days later, Pirates director of amateur scouting Joe DelliCarri told Leuzinger about management's decision.
“That kind of stung,” Leuzinger said. “I wish I could've known what the job was. I asked Joe if he would reconsider. I just wanted to have that opportunity. I've been an area scout for 20 years, and I think I can do more. When I looked into the crystal ball a couple years down the line with the Pirates, I think I'd be in the same spot.”
Leuzinger said the Yankees situation wasn't the only reason he left; the Pirates' long stretch of losing took a toll.
“I was there for eight of those (20 losing seasons),” he said. “It does wear you down. I'm not the only one. I'm sure Neal (Huntington, general manager), Greg (Smith, assistant GM) and Joe feel it, too. But they all work so hard. I wish people knew how hard they're working to change things. I have nothing against the Pirates. Greg and Joe truly are class people. It was just time to move on.”
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7811.
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
- MLB notebook: Pirates’ Liriano gets $2 million bonus as part of 3-year, $39 million deal
- Pirates’ struggling catcher Sanchez sent home from Dominican Winter League
- Pirates enter Plan B with Martin off market
- Pirates tender deals to 11 players, cut ties with Sanchez
- Pirates notebook: New catcher Cervelli eager to bond with staff
- Ex-Pirate Parker fights against Parkinson’s with optimistic attitude