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A fresh start?

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DENVER — Bob Nutting delivered some good news yesterday.

During a telephone conversation from his office in Wheeling, Nutting indicated the next Pirates’ CEO will be a “baseball guy” — which should calm the jangled nerves of fans who feared Nutting would hire a bean-counter whose only concern is the bottom line and not the product on the field.

Nutting admitted his inside baseball knowledge is limited, setting him apart from meddling dilettantes such as Peter Angelos and George Steinbrenner. I get the impression Nutting wants to surround himself with brainy execs and trust their judgment.

The new CEO should be only the first step toward progress for this franchise. Nutting did not say that general manager Dave Littlefield, manager Jim Tracy and other staff would be fired on the spot once the new CEO steps in. But, Nutting said there would be discussions about whether — or, more likely, how — the new CEO wants to overhaul the front office.

If so, it would buy Nutting some patience from the fans (maybe a couple of years’ worth, tops). And if really could signal a fresh start for this team.
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