Originally written on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Former Pirate minority owner Jay Lustig gave an interview to the Tribune Review in a story that was published late last night in which he gave some perspective on Bob Nutting's reign as owner of the Pirates. I'd recommend reading the whole thing, but the key passage is this: “If you are a small-market franchise, if you want to win, you have to be willing to lose ... money,” said Lustig, 58, a Rostraver money manager and businessman who also is board chairman of Adfitech Inc. “(Nutting's) problem is he is a rational owner in an irrational business. “People say he is a cheap owner, but nothing is further from the truth. He allocates the money properly. He wants to make enough money to keep us from going into the red. He is running the business rationally, trying to make money. No small-market teams that win make money.” Lustig goes on to say that, basically, he wishes the Pirates were owned by a real life equivalent of Jed Clampett; some crazy old man willing to throw away his substantial life savings on making the Pirates a winning baseball team.  Let me be clear: obviously, what Lustig wants is what every Pirate fan wants. I would love (love love love love) to live in a universe where the Pirates could be on equal footing with the Yankees in the same way that the Steelers are on equal footing with the Cowboys and the Penguins are on equal footing with the Rangers. I would also love to never have to worry about grant money and for all of my experiments to always work on the first try. The problem is that (and here I'm going to pull out the biggest dork card in my arsenal) as Dumbledore once told Harry Potter, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Who are these small market owners that operate with no regards to profit? Some of the best small market teams (Tampa Bay, Oakland) operate on much tighter budgets than the Pirates. The Reds and Brewers are similar teams to the Pirates and they both seem to have hit functional payroll caps in the ballpark of $90-100 million. This seems like a lot more money than the Pirates spend right now, but it won't when Andrew McCutchen's extension really kicks in and Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez hit arbitration.  Let's imagine that there is a billionaire that wants to call the Pirates. Let's give him a crazy name, like, say, "Mark Pork Ham And Swiss With Pickles And Yellow Mustard." Now, Mark PHASWPAYM has a ton of money and he even owns a successful NBA team, maybe the Mallas Davericks. How did he make that NBA team successful? It wasn't by pumping tons of money into the team at personal detriment to himself, it was by figuring out what other NBA teams were doing wrong and trying to do those things better than everyone else. Why on earth would we expect that Mr. Pork Ham And Swiss With Pickles And Yellow Mustard would run his baseball team differently?  The Pirates' problem is this: in order to compete as a small market team, you have to be smarter and better than everyone else and I'm not sure that the Pirates are. They very honestly might have been if they'd been hired in 2001 instead of Dave Littlefield, but the way baseball teams are run has changed enormously in the last decade and the Pirates have been consistently behind the curve. Right now, the Pirates are followers in an arena where they need to be revolutionaries. The Yankees can afford to be behind the curve, but the Pirates just can't.  It seems to me that our time as Pirate fans would be better spent wishing that the Pirates would find their own Andrew Friedman or Jeff Luhnow and less time hoping for The Perfect Owner to buy the team.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tom Brady admits he has a cold

Paul Pierce: Computers to blame for lack of NBA trash talk

Darrelle Revis: I don’t feel sorry for Jets fans

A recent history of Super Bowl injury hullabaloo

DeflateGate football could fetch $50K at auction

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Father and son allegedly attack coach over playing time

The AFC North will regress in 2015

Doug Baldwin bringing 'sunblock' to Revis Island

Will the first-round running back return in 2015?

Robert Kraft: Richard Sherman is a 'marketing whiz'

Rob Gronkowski's party bus headed to Super Bowl

Ten worst teams to ever play in a Super Bowl

Marshawn's new stiff arm to media: You know why I'm here

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Keys to victory for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX

Keys to victory for the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Grandpa: Marshawn would retire rather than deal with media

Ten best teams that didn't make the Super Bowl

Ranking the NBA’s Coach of the Year candidates

WATCH: Zach Parise picks up his tooth off the ice

Crosby's name misspelled as 'Sindey' on Penguins program

Joe Biden blows off Olivia Munn to talk to Aaron Rodgers

James Shields need to adjust his contract expectations

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Super Bowl XLIX: Key people to know

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.