Found January 25, 2012 on

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Image credit amherst

I know the majority of my articles are about Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington, and the Pirates’ much-maligned ownership in general.  I honestly don’t set out to do so; I would love to write more positive stories about the Pirates, but:

1.  It can be trying to glean positivity from a team that’s a lock to lose for the 20th straight season in 2012.

2.  I’m fairly convinced Neal Huntington has no business GM’ing a Major League Baseball franchise, so tales of his never-ending follies aren’t hard to conceive.


Today, I want to point out a few things from the GM’s recent radio interview.  In fairness to Huntington, I’ll give the quote in question in as much entirety as its been transcribed.  When responding to rumors about Andrew McCutchen trade talks (bolding is my own), the GM stated:

Once it gets reported in the media, then the GM’s have to do their due diligence and they reach out and, ‘hey. I just wanted to put our name on your list if you’re talking about him.’ While no player is untouchable, we’re in a very different stage as to where we were when we got here. When we got here, it was all about acquiring talent, trying to accumulate as much as we could. We didn’t have very many good players. We needed to take a chance and see how many we could put together.

We’re in a different stage. We’re in a stage where we are looking to take this team and turn it into a winning team. Then try to take that and make it as consistent as we possibly can. So the motivation is very different. Never say never. If somebody wants to back up the truck and give us one of those organizational altering deals, it’s something we would have to listen to. But there are some players on our club that are extremely difficult to move and it would have to be a dramatic overpay on the part of the other club. We’ve got some guys that were are looking to build a club around as we go forward. We’ve got Andrew McCutchen under contract for the Pirates for four more seasons, and we expect to do some damage here during that time frame.

Image credit post-gazette

First, go ahead and look at the Major League club Neal Huntington inhereted when former GM Dave Littlefield (who was perhaps the worst MLB GM in recent history) was fired in September of 2007.  It’s not much worse- if any- than the team Huntington has spent the past 4 years “building.”  On won-loss record alone, the 2007 Pirates finished 68-94.  Huntington’s 2011 Pirates’ ended at 72-90.  At this average “improvement” of 1 game/year…Huntington will need to be on the job another 9 seasons just for the club to break even :)

Secondly, please examine Huntington’s last line about McCutchen.  As he’s already done multiple times, Huntington insinuates that the team will NOT extend their only legitimate top-tier player on the MLB roster.  And apparently, the spendthrift Pirates have ALREADY determined this.  Four YEARS in advance.

Bob Nutting; Image credit post-gazette

As long-suffering fans, this would be the last straw for many.  The Pirates will continue to cry poor at the question of signing marquee free agents, and raising payroll.  This much we know.  But if the club is incapable of even retaining what little marquee talent they DO develop internally, then folks, we might as well pack up and wait until the Nutting family sells the team.  If those are the groundrules with which the Pirates are playing, then they won’t win until new ownership is willing to invest in the team.

I don’t know Andrew McCutchen, but from his play on the field and relations with the fans and media, he seems like an absolute class act.  And he’s more than deserving of being a Pittsburgh Pirate for years to come.


Thanks for reading.  Go Andrew go.


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