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Nutting: “Expectations are higher”

BRADENTON, Fla. — Owner Bob Nutting met with the team for about a half-hour this morning in the cafeteria at Pirate City, then spoke with reporters. Some highlights:

»»» Nutting said the mood in camp as well as expectations for the season are different this year. “We’re talking about very high expectation levels for this season,” Nutting said. “I talked a little bit about the tremendous achievement the first part of (last) year, but also how we need and expect to finish this year, play all the way through. We’re here to win a National League Central championship. That’s the goal that we’re absolutely committed to getting done this year. They needed to hear that from me.”

»»» Nutting did not respond directly when asked if president Frank Coonelly, who faces charges stemming from a drunk-driving incident, will be subject to any internal discipline. “As a father with three daughters who are driving, I was very concerned, very disappointed and thankful that nobody was hurt.” Nutting went on to call Coonelly’s actions “unacceptable in every way.” The bottom line from Nutting: “We’re going to try to move forward from this point, but in no way minimizing my disappointment or his disappointment in the actions.”

»»» Nutting said the Pirates “no question could have done the A.J. Burnett trade for significantly fewer dollars.” The Pirates sent two low-level prospects to the Yankees and will take on $13 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed over the next two seasons. “We are all committed that we are not going to sacrifice our future or high-end prospects. If we need to stretch farther in dollars, it’s more appropriate and better for the long-term future of the club. I’m very comfortable with that choice.”

»»» The Pirates have added two games to their spring training schedule. They’re scheduled to play a B game March 10 against the Twins at Pirate City. The also will play the Netherlands at 1:05 p.m. March 12 in the St. Petersburg International Tournament at Al Lang Stadium.

22 Comments

  1. “We are all committed that we are not going to sacrifice our future or high-end prospects. If we need to stretch farther in dollars, it’s more appropriate and better for the long-term future of the club. I’m very comfortable with that choice.”

    Seriously, how does this guy keep a straight face with these quotes? He is at or near the bottom in payroll again and he is talking about feeling comfortable with the stretch in dollar amount. Does he think people are completely ignorant?

    Every season is the same deal with this clown…different marginal players rotate through his money making system. Shameful. I hope he hangs his head when he meets with the real owners in the league. And make no mistake…Coonelly’s job was never in danger because he is doing EXACTLY what is being asked of him by Nutting….and I’ll give you a hint: it’s not about winning games.

  2. Wait ’til next decade!

  3. Significantly fewer? The Yankees picked up 20 of 33 million. What’s significant when they are already paying more than half, and more importantly, the Pirates on the hook for only $5 million this year.

    He’ll be sent on his way to finish out that contract before the Pirates pay all 8 million of next years contract they owe, that is for certain sure.

  4. Someday, maybe in 2014, most people who post here will not be tedious, old fools.

  5. How long before Burnett tells Hurdle to F himself? I say it’s before the All-Star break.

  6. The only goal he is absolutely committed to every year is making money.

  7. Some of you guys need to find a new team to root for. How about the Yankees, and you can slap each other on the back and tell everyone how good they are.

  8. Joel, these guys are just venting after seeing the same things happen every year with Nutting. He says he is committed to winning but the only thing he cares about is making money. So he tells his players and fans about winning to keep their interest.

    As far as finding a new team, when you are a true fan, you stick with them. No matter what.

  9. Will Coonelly pour the first beer on Opening Day?

  10. While Nutting says the team isn’t for sale, if he were given a number he couldn’t refuse, he would get out.

    For example, my house isn’t for sale and I have no interest in moving. But if you tell me the right price, I would be out by Monday.

    Bring on Mark Cuban.

  11. Hey, Joel, I jumped off this sinking Pirates ship years ago. I’m a Phillies fanatic now. My team is soooooooooooo much better than your team!

  12. Rob
    People who understand that there is a real difference between the Pirate front office of 2007 and the current management read and appreciate your reporting. We are not fully satisfied with the way that the Pirates do business. But we understand that it takes many years to turn around a poor, poor team.

  13. Mark Cuban has already tried and was refused……He is trying to buy the Dodgers.

    Do you really want a “Steinbrenner” type of owner?? One that would just come and buy the best and most expensive free agents? That’s not how you build a team. The plan they have in place is the right idea…..but…….ahh, obvious issues somewhere.

    Look at what the Brewers, Giants, Rangers, even the Phillies have done. All of their superstars have been brought up from within or traded for at a younger age…

  14. Lady Di, don’t be upset at Rob because he called you out a couple of days ago……Grow up and find a new blog if you wanna act like that……Check the PBS website, I’m sure there’s one for sesame street..

  15. Cuban was refused, you are right. But did he offer enough? He is out of the running for the Dodgers. He wants in baseball bad, so maybe he would up his ante for his hometown Pirates.

    And no, I don’t suggest buying a team like the Steinbrenners. Obviously doesn’t work. Look at the Cubs and Mets. That said, it sure makes life easier when the owner is really committed to spending to get a winning team (unlike Nutting’s lip-service to spending).

  16. Ryan: Lady Di has forgotten more about baseball than you remember.

  17. Terrible example. You’re not turning an incredible profit on your house, every year, with very little investment and almost no risk (because the lemmings come out to the ballpark regardless of team quality).

  18. Ryan — If you would rather have Nutting than Cuban as Pirates owner, then you’re driving the wrong way, too.

  19. Burnett will be gone before the trade deadline. No way this organization pays $13 million for a pitcher who’s over the hill.

  20. Ryan — Actually, I’m not upset at all. I sleep very well at night.

  21. Expectations are higher? After 19 piss-poor seasons, how can they be any lower? Don’t insult us with more asinine comments.

  22. why????? Do you even conduct an interview with this Fake. Nutting thinks we (Pirate fans) buy into his usual spring training speach of “I like the direction we are headed in and we are committed to not sacraficing our future”. Come on Nut, sell this once very proud franchise and quit making us sacrifice for anoter 90+ loss season.

    Cuban back to the BURGH!!!!!!

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