Veteran scout Livesey added to Pirates staff

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A new front office executive will bring a lot of experience and a different philosophy to the Pirates' scouting and player development systems.

Longtime scout and baseball executive Bill Livesey will join the baseball operations staff as senior adviser to general manager Neal Huntington, the team announced Thursday. The Pirates hired Livesey on Nov. 1.

Livesey, 72, has spent parts of five decades in the industry -- most of his years with the New York Yankees.

"He was someone who I wanted to connect with and learn from every time we're in the same ballpark," Huntington said.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has described Livesey as a "baseball purist" and "one of the game's better evaluators of talent, one of the best baseball men that's around."

That description fits the type of person Pirates owner Bob Nutting said he wanted to add to the development staff.

"We need to have more scouts with a strong sense of the gut, the feel that 'he's a gamer, he can play, he can contribute,' " Nutting said earlier this week. "We need to have those pieces."

Livesey said he has always tried to be on the cutting edge of the industry and uses sabermetrics as often as possible, but he said scouting is about balance.

He said he was not in a position to evaluate the Pirates' current system -- check back with him in a year, he said, and he will be an authority on the subject -- but he has been impressed with the talent he has seen in the system.

Since 2008, Livesey has been a professional scout with the Yankees. The Pirates had to ask the team's permission to speak with Livesey.

Though he spent most of his career working for the Yankees, Livesey left New York, where he was eventually named vice president of player development and scouting, in 1995 to take a job with the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a special assistant to the general manager.

He also worked as a special assistant to the general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 and 03 before taking the same job with the New York Mets from '04-07.

He worked for the Yankees from 1978-95 and helped sign and develop Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte -- stars who led the Yankees to multiple World Series championships.

"What we tried to build was a championship organization," Livesey said. "It certainly worked out."

There were a lot of people involved in that process, Livesey said, and it required a lot of good decisions -- good drafts, successful development, timely trades and good free agent signings.

"That was a lot of fun," he said.

As a senior advisor to Huntington, the Pirates hope Livesey can recreate some of that success. In that role, he will advise, mentor and help develop some of the young front office personnel, work with player development staff and take on special scouting assignments.

"Bill brings years of player development and scouting experience," Huntington said.

From New England, Livesey graduated from the University of Maine, and his former baseball coach there, Jack Butterfield, gave him his start as a scout for the Yankees.

"He told me he would call when he got the right opportunity for me," Livesey said. "And he did."

pirates

Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino.


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