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Vukovcan: It’s Time for the Pirates to Stop Being A Joke and It Starts with Nutting

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We’ve reached the end of another major baseball season and once again the Pittsburgh Pirates are an embarrassment and a source of frustration to anyone that enjoys the sport of baseball and that will not be changing anytime soon.

The organization announced on Sunday that after nine seasons manager Clint Hurdle was fired. But if Bob Nutting, Neal Huntington and Frank Coonelly actually think he was the major reason for their 69-93 record in 2019 then they’re more clueless than I thought. Joe Torre could’ve managed this year’s team and he wouldn’t have added 10 wins to their record.

While the Pirates management might think that the fan base will take the firing of Hurdle as a sign of the organization trying and caring, the good news is that a majority of the fan base realizes that it was a token move and means nothing aside from costing Nutting $6 million in severance pay.

If Nutting really wanted to show Pirate fans that he was seriously trying to turn things around, he would’ve done two things:

  1. Fire Huntington and everyone in the front office and scouting department.
  2. Held a press conference answering the legitimate questions and concerns of the fan base and announce that the team’s 2020 payroll would be increased drastically.

Neither of those two things happened because Nutting knows that Huntington is his yes man and will take the public’s bullets for him and spews out any nonsense that Nutting wants to get out to the public. The other reason that didn’t happen is Nutting is cheap, unwilling to spend what it takes to compete to win and is one of the worst owners in professional sports.

While you can accuse them of making wrong personnel moves or questionable draft picks, the one thing you can’t say about the other two professional sports teams in Pittsburgh is that they don’t spend and that winning isn’t a priority. On the other hand, since becoming the principal owner of the Pirates in 2007, Nutting has never prioritized winning and has only cared about increasing his personal wealth.

The sad reality for baseball fans is that as long as Nutting owns the team, the Pirates have no chance to have sustained winning; only small windows like they did from 2013-2015. Once it becomes time to really invest in the roster by signing core members to extensions or to go out and sign a key free agent or two, Nutting simply won’t do that.

Nutting is the cancer of this franchise and I’m glad to see that Dejan Kovacevic, a high-profile Pittsburgh sports media member, go after and speak the truth about Nutting. Unfortunately, not enough members of the media, who have a forum to do what Kovacevic did, will attempt to do so. Veteran Pittsburgh sportscaster John Steigerwald heavily criticized the Pirates and Major League Baseball way back at the opening of PNC Park but was accused by many of just being negative and a fossil. It turns out, Steigerwald was 100% correct but unfortunately his message feel upon deaf ears.

Although this is a long-shot, the only chance of real baseball returning to Pittsburgh is for the fans to stand up and be heard which started to happen this season. Pirate fans need to stop going to games, stop buying season tickets, stop renewing their season tickets and just drop the Pirates from their vocabulary until Nutting is gone. I know that some people enjoy going to the North Shore to enjoy a night out but you’re not really watching major league baseball, as the Pirates have sadly become a glorified minor league team.

The other argument that people make is that team payroll isn’t the key and that team drafting and development is the biggest factor for long-term success. I don’t disagree with that and will counter by saying any front office that has a track record as poor as Huntington and his crew have would’ve been fired a long time ago. That hasn’t happened here because Nutting doesn’t really care.

The Pirates enter another off-season without any hope and will continue to be a joke in the minds of real baseball fans, media and the national baseball community. Although they should step in, neither Major League Baseball or the City of Pittsburgh won’t step in and investigate or call out Nutting like Kovacevic did.

That means the only people that can bring back baseball to Pittsburgh is the Pirates fan base. It won’t be easy and it could hurt but Pirate fans need to go cold turkey and completely stop supporting Nutting’s scheme and then maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a change in ownership and someone that truly cares about competing and their fan base instead of pocketing every dollar possible.

Bob Nutting is bad for Pittsburgh and needs to go: IMMEDIATELY.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dejan Kovacevic

    September 30, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Well done, Michael, as always. Enjoyed your level-headed Pitt perspective over the weekend, as well. A W’s a W.

  2. Mike

    September 30, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Instead of developing the minor league system, Huntington has signed has-beens, never-weres, and cast-offs from the waiver wire. It should be noted the the primary reason for the existence of the minor league clubs is to stock the major league club. Is there a catcher in the wings? Well, at least we got Jake Elmore.

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Opinion

Mic Drop With Mike Asti: It’s Nutting’s Team Not Yours

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Since the end of the Pirates season and the firing of long-time manager Clint Hurdle, Bob Nutting has been the subject of many conversations and media columns.

Pittsburgh Sports Live’s Mike Asti is here now with his take on Nutting and the pressure by some to try and get him to sell the team.

 

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