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The Pirates 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday night in extra innings was a perfect summary of their season.
Pittsburgh has a 3-0 lead entering the seventh inning, yet, they had been playing with fire all night and everything came crashing down in the seventh.
Gerrit Cole had six shutout innings going thanks to getting out of two bases loaded jams prior to the seventh.
Then Clint Hurdle left his pitcher out to dry.
As Cole’s pitch count was over 100, he began to start losing some zip and control on his pitches. Cole had run out of gas and it was clear to anybody that it was time to go to the bullpen.
The stubbornness, though, of Hurdle played out and getting out of a third bases loaded situation unscathed wasn’t going to happen as Cole’s 112th pitch would be crushed by Curtis Granderson for a grand slam and the amazing Dodgers turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead by tagging Cole for 5 runs in the seventh.
The Pirates would fight back to force extra innings with a 2-run eighth of their own, while a Yasiel Puig solo home run in the 12th off Dovydas Neverauskas would see the Dodgers get their 88th win of the season and Pittsburgh fall to 60-65 on the season.
It was fitting that the grand slam in the seventh came from Granderson, a player available for next to nothing that Pirate fans have been clamoring for the Pirates to acquire.
Just as was the case with Jay Bruce, $4+ million due to Granderson for the rest of the season saw Pittsburgh never pursue Granderson prior to Granderson becoming a Dodger.
If Bob Nutting treated being the Pirates owner as a hobby like many other owners do, Curtis Granderson or Bruce likely would have been a Pirate at somepoint over the last month and heck maybe Neil Walker would have been a Pirate.
But, for the budget Pirate management is allocated from ownership, there was no feasible way to add a Bruce or Granderson, team sources say.
Team officials contend outsiders just don’t comprehend what adding $4 million in salary for two months does for the budget they are permitted to work with.
The 2017 Pirates season has become one of the most frustrating over the last 10 years in that this group from the top on down has bobbled so many things from blowing winnable games, to bad coaching, to questionable/lack of roster moves.
Neal Huntington failed this ball club in constructing it starting in the off-season, Bob Nutting has failed this team by not giving the authority to add a Jay Bruce type when the Pirates were still competitive and could have bolstered the roster with deals that wouldn’t drain the farm, and Clint Hurdle has mismanaged this group more often than not this season.
The dynamic emerging now is this:
Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle have both had one year extensions on the table for months that may or may not have already been signed. The Pirates notorious for announcing things months later, are mum on whether any extensions have actually been signed or not.
The situation, though, is heading down a road where it’s no longer a lock that both would be back in 2018.
Whispers throughout the organization continue to persist that Bob Nutting’s inner circle of his closest associates in the organization that dictate just about every decision Nutting makes with the big league roster, have begun applying pressure to Nutting [hide] that a major change is needed.
The scenario being put on the table to Nutting, sources say, is a managerial change, and with ticket sales down and enthusiasm way down, the growing sense emerging is the Pirates are headed towards a PR disaster if they stay the course.
Bob Nutting is not going to open the vault this off-season to significantly upgrade the roster, — minority owners and others concerned about the direction of the club know that–, but discussions among the ownership group, top executives is whether a managerial change should be made from even a perception standpoint that the ownership group at least looks serious about trying to turn things around.
On the baseball side of things, contentious discussions have also been on-going about the need for a new voice from many ends in the organization.
Nutting, though, has always planned for a peaceful transition in changing managers and although Clint Hurdle does not plan to manage too much longer, he’s not ready to move on just yet. [/hide]
For the love of god can someone get mark Cuban to buy this team….we will get better that guy doesn’t tolerate losing or ineptitude
Painting lipstick all over this pig will not improve the farnchise, if the same people run the place; see POTUS in a similar situation in DC.
I hope Nutting does same-o, same-o, which is the fastest/surest way to drive fans from the turnstyles and drain his annual PBC earnings.
Keep Clint, keep, NH, and Coonelly.
Maybe selling the team will look more appealing to the penny pinching carpet bagger after a disastrous 2018 season following the disastrous curent one??
The ownership is a fucking joke, and will continue to be. Nutting needs to be forced to sell via blackmail or a murder charge or something.
Not Pirates related but there are rumours that Athanasiou is being low-balled by the Wings and is considering a move to the K… someone get JR on the phone 😉
That noted… Detroits problem is cap space… could become the Pens problem in making such a deal. They’d would have to make a move before the season but I am sure that could be worked out. Kids probably available for 3 – 3.5ish I would think. Had a similar season to Bones last year in Detroit which is quickly becoming a sewer these day.
Yeah – taht’s where i was going to go with that – not like we’re overflowing with cap space over here. He’s also had one worthwhile year, which was a fraction of the year Sheary had, and people here bitchedd about giving HIM $3M.
I do think the kid is on his way up, I don’t know if he will be a legit 2nd line C when all is said and done but that seems to be what a lot believe. If that’s the case it’s unlikely he would wanna come here to play in that type of a role
Man is the delusion just out of control anymore. Do the people putting the Rooney’s on the unattainable pedistal realize that he pocketed 248M in profits in 2016 and just made tiny St. Vincent she’ll out the money for new turf on the main field at the school. Art pocketed 5x what Nutting pocketed last year and couldn’t even kick in for the turf on the field that his team uses. So Mario/Burke met with Nutting, what exactly does that mean? Did they say what their plan was for the team if they did purchase it? Did they say what… Read more »
I heard Mario was coming out of retirement to play for the Pirates in hopes to save the team
Let’s see if we can answer what I am sure you thought were rhetorical questions. 1. They met with Nutting to gauge his interest in selling as they were interested in buying the team 2. I do not believe they made their intentions known publicly, but I think its safe to assume they planned on operating the pirates in Pittsburgh competing in the NL Central division of Major League baseball. 3. They did not project a budget on payroll. I think we can assume that it never got that far. 4. Absolutely we can say why they did not purchase… Read more »
It’s shocking people still waste their time following this club. I assume everyone bothering to post was born after 1993.
The discussion centers more around the proper way to run a business than it does a baseball team. But it’s no shock that that point sailed over your head.
Coming from the guy that comments and gives suggest of what the team should do regularly on DK’s site.
said unironically on an article about the team in question….
For a guy who has made such strong statements about how others post out here it is quite the exercise in hypocrisy to find your way on to an article about something “you don’t care about” just to Shlt on others to make yourself feel superior. Then again you do excel in hypocrisy so it’s not much a surprise lol
As I don’t go to DKs site, I was surprised that Jay brought up about Maloni posting there regularly regarding the pirates. Peculiar at best.
I love these “Nutting needs to go” posts. No he doesn’t. He owns the team and can do whatever he wants.
What’s funnier is that fans honestly think there are other potential owners out there who would gladly lose money just to appease the fans and give them a winner.
Again – it’s not that they’ll “lose money.” It’s the manner in which they get their ROI. Nutting apparently needs the cash flow, because the net income every year, and likely shareholder dividend that comes along with said net income, is more important to him than the fact that the value of the franchise has probably skyrocketed since he bought it – like most other MLB teams. Look at Burkle for instance – they paid – what – $107M for the team coming out of bankruptcy? And they were trying to sell it for $725M a year or two ago?… Read more »
Very well said, 100% agreed. We get you’ll never be a Rooney or Mario, the standard is impossible to meet, and you’ll always be the city’s 3rd-best (aka, worst) owner. But don’t be an absolute POS and tell people “yes, I realize I’m netting (whatever) $200-400 MILLION when I sell, but I can’t take the risk that I’ll make $5 million less this year to give the team a shot…even when there’s a decent chance that risk will payoff and actually make me more money now, it’s not a risk I can take.” You’re an embarrassment.
I agree completely Stan and that was a very accurate and detailed analysis of the situations. My comments weren’t necessarily directed at someone like you that actually understands the financial side of the business. My comments are directed at people like steelbuck who have this delusion that an owner like Burkle or Cuban would come in and spend whatever it took to win a championship. Would another owner increase payroll 15M-20M to get it in line with the revenue stream? Probably but that does little to guarantee additional success. Would an owner like Burkle or Cuban increase payroll 50M-70M to… Read more »
Ah – OK – we’re on the same page then. I’ll disagree that another $15-$20M “in the right year” wouldn’t make a large difference – because it certainly can – you have to be strategic and take your shots when the moons align, and I think an owner like Burkle would allow for that kind of flexibility, no question. But I’m 100% with you – no f’ing way would he just come in here and spend another $70M and lose his asss hoping to make it up on the back end – there’s a functional and responsible way to lose… Read more »
Nutting needs to go. He does not have the stomach, the $$$ or the will to do what it takes to win. Sell the team for some ridiculous “gain” to someone like Burkle who will spend what is necessary to compete. Its that plain & simple. Until then we are in the same vicious cycle. Hunnington and his front office / talent evaluators have to be perfect AND lucky for the pirates to be a viable contender. That simply cannot happen every year.
What’s plain and simple is that a new owner like Burkle WON”T spend whatever is necessary to win. Burkle is a businessman and a great 1 at that, there is ZERO chance that he will take a loss in the profit column just to appease the people of Pitsburgh and give them a winner. Will he spend more than Nutting spends? Probably but the spending will still be dictated by the revenues just as it is with every other owner in every professional sport. If there were no salary cap in hockey there would be no team in Pittsburgh and… Read more »
I kinda disagree with that. Burkle stated in the article with the PG that his philosophy wasn’t to worry about year to year income, but to focus on running a successful business and being rewarded by increasing the value of the venture – not profiting year to year. A guy like Burkle wouldn’t be irresponsible, and go ape shitt with a $200M payroll, but I do think, within being fiscally responsible, he’d increase payroll to allow this team a fighting chance on a year to year basis, which does not equate to “the budget is $90M – that projects to… Read more »
All of that being said – I agree with eshmo, above. It’s his team. He owns it. He can run the business as he sees fit. But I’m sure not contributing to his pocket without a modicum of entertainment value – his lack of a commitment means I haven’t seen a baseball game in my home city in probably 7ish years. Oddly enough, when I’m out of town, it’s the first thing I flock to. And my house in Pittsburgh is probably 10-15 minutes away from PNC Park.
So why did Mario and Burkle meet with him to gauge his interest in selling the team? Did they have some grand scheme to sneak in a salary cap in on all of MLB if there were successful in purchasing the team? Laughable my friend If you want to discuss completely clueless then keep focusing on strictly profit / loss of the operations. If you want to get real then read Burkle’s interview with Post Gazette earlier this year. He refers to profit / losses and how that’s all his CFO(s) and accountants focus on. While Burkle chooses to focus… Read more »
Sam – 1/4 of that amount of text is too much for you to follow along. This is a non-starter for you.
But Benny said everything is fine – so I’m confused – why do they need a change?