Principal owner Bob Nutting on Friday said the Pirates’ performance and record this season are “totally unacceptable and incredibly frustrating,” but did not sound ready to make wholesale changes with either the coaches or in the front office.
“I’m just flat-out angry with the results,” Nutting said during an interview with the Tribune-Review. “But I really do believe the course we are on will get this franchise turned around.
“The pieces that have been put in place are the right pieces. The people who are doing it are the right people. We are not going to abandon ship at this point.”
Nutting’s comments came a day after president Frank Coonelly revealed GM Neal Huntington and manager John Russell were given contract extensions last October. Russell and Huntington are contracted to the team through the 2011 season.
The Pirates have lost 11 straight games and take a 23-43 record — the lowest in the National League and second-worst in the majors — into tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
“Frankly, I expected the team to play better,” Nutting said. “Boy, I wish we’d never hit this stretch. But, also, the plan that has been put in place is beginning to show results.”
As he reiterated that the franchise is not for sale, Nutting pointed to the recent arrivals of highly touted rookies such as Pedro Alvarez, Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata as reasons for hope.
Lineups for tonight’s game:
Indians (25-40) – 1. Trevor Crowe cf, 2. Shin-Soo Choo rf, 3. Carlos Santana c, 4. Austin Kearns lf, 5. Jhonny Peralta 3b, 6. Shelly Duncan 1b, 7. Anderson Hernandez ss, 8. Jason Donald 2b, 9. Fausto Carmona (5-5, 3.23) rhp
Pirates (23-43) – 1. Jose Tabata lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Garrett Jones 1b, 5. Ryan Church rf, 6. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 7. Ryan Doumit c, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. Paul Maholm (4-4, 3.63) lhp