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    Default Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change
    Monday, February 21, 2011
    By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates owner Bob Nutting held a closed-door meeting with players and staff at Pirate City this morning before the team went through workouts to get a strong point across -- things must change.

    "The real message was a change in level of expectations," Nutting told reporters. "It is critically important that they understand, and we understand, that 2011 is not going to be a year where small bits of incremental progress are going to be adequate."

    The Pirates finished 57-105 last season, the franchise's 18th consecutive losing season, a record for major professional sports in North America. The 57 wins were the fewest in Pittsburgh since 1952.

    Nutting's address was not out of his normal mode of operation in spring training, as for the past few seasons he has addressed players and staff early in camp.

    "Until we win a National League championship, we are not going to be satisfied with incremental progress," Nutting said. "It is critically important they understand that right up front."

    However, Nutting would not discuss the future of general manager Neal Huntington, who has not been granted a contract extension. Huntington's contract is up at the end of this season. Nutting was asked "whose head is on the block?" if there isn't progress this season.

    "I think today is the first day I have addressed the group and we have our first spring training game coming up Saturday," Nutting said. "It is not the right time to start speculating on 'what if we fail?' What we need to do is be focused on what the goal is, what the target is, and be committed to achieve it.

    "It is too early to start speculating. It is not productive and not the right use of energy."

    Nutting spoke of how he feels new manager Clint Hurdle can breathe fresh life into the Pirates.

    Also, the owner said he understands how patience has run out with some fans, and listens when they offer criticism.

    "I absolutely listen to it, it makes a huge difference," Nutting said of public feedback. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for and appreciation for the fans, that's the reason the franchise exists. That's one of the reasons Pittsburgh is such a tremendous baseball town and sports town. We owe our fans every opportunity to listen."

    More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11052...#ixzz1EbsyBAEJ
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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    First Coonelly, now Nutting. Ya think maybe people don't already know this stuff? I honestly can't see how it serves any real purpose. I know there is a plan in place and that is to completely rebuild the organization from the ground up. That seems to be working but it doesn't change the records overnight, despite the "public feedback" tells them.

    I've always stated that simply spending money is not the way to go, but if this is the story that Nutting and the rest of the owners want, then putup or shutup.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    First Coonelly, now Nutting. Ya think maybe people don't already know this stuff? I honestly can't see how it serves any real purpose. I know there is a plan in place and that is to completely rebuild the organization from the ground up. That seems to be working but it doesn't change the records overnight, despite the "public feedback" tells them.

    I've always stated that simply spending money is not the way to go, but if this is the story that Nutting and the rest of the owners want, then putup or shutup.
    This is really nothing different than Art Rooney coming out last offseason and whining about needing to run more effective and getting back to "steelers football". Owners often make these types of speeches. Mario did it when the Pens stunk and talk ad nauseam about needing to reach the 2nd round of the playoffs in 05-06. Ray Shero from a GM standpoint talks about things, Ken Sawyer in the past for the Pens has said things.

    I think this is pretty much the norm. It's a chance for Owners and CEO's to put a stamp on the season coming up however I think that both Nutting and Coonelly are right in that we've been rebuilding at all of the lower stages and putting all emphasis there for expectations and rightfully so, now it's time for the MLB expectations to hold the same importance. We have a younger core starting out the season together. We have a lot of higher draft picks playing. I'm not sure how "legit" not giving Hutnington a contract right now is. On one hand it could be a PR ploy to make it seem like there's accountability on the other hand, they might really want to see what unfolds at the MLB level this year before making a decision and why not. Huntington doesn't need extended right now either way.

    In the end, I think the guys are both right. I don't know if needs to be said publicly but then again, I don't think I ever need to hear Art Rooney talk about the upcoming season publically or Ken Sawyer, Mario Lemieux etc... but they do
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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Maybe the Pirates need a couple of "This is how it is" leaders.

    The Buccos need some leadership............and I thought I would be the last guy to say that! They would have to be believed in, and after so many years, that could be a tough assignment.

    Pssible leaders if they stick:
    Doumit
    Alvarez
    Jones
    Walker
    Tabata............throw in a pitcher or two and start to have a team!

    One of the veteran signees, or Doumit, could be the "This is how it is!" guy.

    What ever Nutting, and Coonelly say will not be as meaningful as Huntington. When Huntington appeared, he looked like a snake oil salesman. He don't look so bad now. He kept the best of the organization and drafted some good players. Most agree that the organization is better.

    Nutting could be Al Davis from the Oakland Raiders and Coonelly could be Michael Keaton. They can mouth off a lot and ruin every start of a team that ever happens in Pittsburgh.

    Huntington was commanded to sell out the team, maybe rightfully, and still improved the organization as a whole................man is that painful to say! If he could swing a top free agent or trade for a top player (pitcher), he could be a hero, in our eyes. He has, in my opinion, buckled to ownership, Coonelly(whatever he is) and the fans and hired on some definite maybees in Overbay and the likes. If the veteran signees are successful, us here fans might have something special.

    Nutting begat Coonelly, who begat Huntington, who begat some good players, despite the challenges presented to him! If Huntington fails...............follow the begats!

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    This is really nothing different than Art Rooney coming out last offseason and whining about needing to run more effective and getting back to "steelers football". Owners often make these types of speeches. Mario did it when the Pens stunk and talk ad nauseam about needing to reach the 2nd round of the playoffs in 05-06. Ray Shero from a GM standpoint talks about things, Ken Sawyer in the past for the Pens has said things.

    I think this is pretty much the norm. It's a chance for Owners and CEO's to put a stamp on the season coming up however I think that both Nutting and Coonelly are right in that we've been rebuilding at all of the lower stages and putting all emphasis there for expectations and rightfully so, now it's time for the MLB expectations to hold the same importance. We have a younger core starting out the season together. We have a lot of higher draft picks playing. I'm not sure how "legit" not giving Hutnington a contract right now is. On one hand it could be a PR ploy to make it seem like there's accountability on the other hand, they might really want to see what unfolds at the MLB level this year before making a decision and why not. Huntington doesn't need extended right now either way.

    In the end, I think the guys are both right. I don't know if needs to be said publicly but then again, I don't think I ever need to hear Art Rooney talk about the upcoming season publically or Ken Sawyer, Mario Lemieux etc... but they do
    Kind of obligatory for the owner to come down and talk to the guys, but , man, Nutting is always coming up with these hyperbolic statements that make everyone in baseball think the organization is a joke. I guess it really doesn't matter, but the Pirates have enough bad vibe, such that the owner shouldnt contribute to more of it...

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    So, the Pirates have said they won't add any high dollar free agents until they are close to a championship, traded away most the veterans they had for fringe MLB players and minor league players, most of which haven't panned out, and have said numerous times they are building from the draft....yet Nutting is going to walk into a room of 3 second year players and a bunch of MLB riff raff and tell them it's time to start winning? Really? Your method of player acquisition beyond over the hillers, injury rehabbers, and might-be's thrown in with 3 years of drafts where most players from those drafts are in AA or lower and you expect better results this summer?

    He would of been better off staying in WV or at 7 springs for a few more springs before laying out that speech. Throwing it out there now accomplishes nothing other than at seasons end when their record is about the same as last summer he is forced to either eat his words and do nothing, or is forced to make changes just to not lose face.

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Nutting just makes the orgzanization look stupid coming out with a statement like that. If he really means it then he should losen up the purse strings. Our best Starting Pitcher won 1 game last year.
    The only player in the NHL more overpaid than MAF is Jordan Staal

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by BGK View Post
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    Nutting just makes the orgzanization look stupid coming out with a statement like that. If he really means it then he should losen up the purse strings. Our best Starting Pitcher won 1 game last year.
    Purse strings are opened, it's up to Coonelly and Huntington on how they want to spend and regarding pitching, there was very little in Free Agency and anything we would grossly overpay for, since that is what it would take to get a player to choose the Pirates instead of somewhere else wasn't going to help put this team over .500 .

    Gotta draft the good players, the core and then fill in the holes when the core starts to show up. It's the same thing the Pens and Steelers do, not logical reason why there's mandate for the Pirates to operate any differently. What former management and ownership regimes did from 1992-2007 is completely irrelevant right now
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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    Kind of obligatory for the owner to come down and talk to the guys, but , man, Nutting is always coming up with these hyperbolic statements that make everyone in baseball think the organization is a joke. I guess it really doesn't matter, but the Pirates have enough bad vibe, such that the owner shouldnt contribute to more of it...
    What is he contributing to that you or others aren't grossly overexaggerating? if Mario or Dan/Art Rooney make these statements and they make similar ones, there's not a flinch or a cry from the fan base. Bob Nutting does it and suddenly a separate set of standards and rules are applied. I don't want to hear any bull**** either that "well, the Steelers go to superbowls, he earned it". Statements are statements, they aren't any different and only getting treated differently by people who choose to make it an issue, otherwise, there'd be no issue. There should be no issue. Yet here we are in another whining about anything Bob Nutting says or does thread that have gone beyond redundancy
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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    What is he contributing to that you or others aren't grossly overexaggerating? if Mario or Dan/Art Rooney make these statements and they make similar ones, there's not a flinch or a cry from the fan base. Bob Nutting does it and suddenly a separate set of standards and rules are applied. I don't want to hear any bull**** either that "well, the Steelers go to superbowls, he earned it". Statements are statements, they aren't any different and only getting treated differently by people who choose to make it an issue, otherwise, there'd be no issue. There should be no issue. Yet here we are in another whining about anything Bob Nutting says or does thread that have gone beyond redundancy
    The Rooney's and Mario can say **** like that cause their teams are loaded with talented players and they have won a lot in recent history. For the Steelers, they have won a lot for over a decade now.

    But when you bought a team that hadn't had a record over .500 in over a decade, and the only player additions of impact you are adding are through the draft, and you have only been drafting for 3 years, you can shut the **** up about standards and accountability until you actually once get over the top. Once. If you have a ****ty season out of 18 ****ty seasons, what is the point of laying down the law or saying this is the season? He has the right to say what he wants, but fans also have the right to think he is a ******bag for what he says.

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    The Rooney's and Mario can say **** like that cause their teams are loaded with talented players and they have won a lot in recent history. For the Steelers, they have won a lot for over a decade now.

    That's bull****. Complete and utter bull****. They are statements and winning and losing makes no difference when it comes to generic public statements like these. Every owner should have expectations for his team. doesn't matter if he's the owner of the Yankees or owner of the Pirates. to complain and ***** about it is ridiculous, baseless and completely irrational

    But when you bought a team that hadn't had a record over .500 in over a decade, and the only player additions of impact you are adding are through the draft, and you have only been drafting for 3 years, you can shut the **** up about standards and accountability until you actually once get over the top. Once. If you have a ****ty season out of 18 ****ty seasons, what is the point of laying down the law or saying this is the season? He has the right to say what he wants, but fans also have the right to think he is a ******bag for what he says

    The only ******bags there are, are the constant whining "so-called" fans that act like drama queens about every last little word and statement that an owner and management say.

    He has a complete right to make a statement about expectations. He's the OWNER. He should be making statements about expectations. Frank Coonelly SHOULD be making statements about expectations. Neil Huntington and Clint Hurdle should be as well. Every player in that clubhouse should be talking about expectations they are placing on themselves and the team. It doesn't matter if you think they are PR stunts or if I think they are legit. That's part of their duty in the positions they are in. whether you wrongly perceive one as a ******bag is completely irrelevant. These are generic statement, take or leave them. No different than any of the others another owner would make except that some people with regards to the Pirates constantly look for something to ***** about with a blatant agenda that Stevie Wonder can see.
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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Don't agree at all man. The only constant through all the losing has been **** ownership and **** management. The full story is yet to be told for this owner and this management team.

    Sure, they all have the right to say 'this is the year, no more excuses', and I also have the right to think it is a joke. I don't LOOK for **** to ***** about with the Pirates. What did they add from last year that they should expect much more than what they got last year that would put it in Nuttings mind legitimately that they are under acheiving? They didn't add a **** impact player from what was there in the last game of the year! Overbay? A MLB pitcher that smokes cigarettes? What did they add that expectations have gone up?

    I don't ***** about the Steelers or Pens even though they have weaknesses.

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    What is he contributing to that you or others aren't grossly overexaggerating? if Mario or Dan/Art Rooney make these statements and they make similar ones, there's not a flinch or a cry from the fan base. Bob Nutting does it and suddenly a separate set of standards and rules are applied. I don't want to hear any bull**** either that "well, the Steelers go to superbowls, he earned it". Statements are statements, they aren't any different and only getting treated differently by people who choose to make it an issue, otherwise, there'd be no issue. There should be no issue. Yet here we are in another whining about anything Bob Nutting says or does thread that have gone beyond redundancy
    I will readily confess that my complaint has little to do with anything important. I just think Nutting says stupid things (but I think he's a decent owner). Yes, other owners do the same thing, owners in other cities, and other owners in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates have an embarassing losing streak and Nutting is tone deaf to his circumstances. Most people laugh when he says stuff. Who wants to be laughed at? Does it help to be laughed at? Is it, ultimately, a big deal? Nope, but if you're trying to "brand" the Pirates in a positive way, you are more thoughtful about what you say. You don't come out in the beginning of a year and aloofly suggest that there ought to be more than "incremental" progress, when it is likely that that's indeed what you are going to get, given the way you are building your team.

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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    I will readily confess that my complaint has little to do with anything important. I just think Nutting says stupid things (but I think he's a decent owner). Yes, other owners do the same thing, owners in other cities, and other owners in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates have an embarassing losing streak and Nutting is tone deaf to his circumstances. Most people laugh when he says stuff. Who wants to be laughed at? Does it help to be laughed at? Is it, ultimately, a big deal? Nope, but if you're trying to "brand" the Pirates in a positive way, you are more thoughtful about what you say. You don't come out in the beginning of a year and aloofly suggest that there ought to be more than "incremental" progress, when it is likely that that's indeed what you are going to get, given the way you are building your team.
    I think that all owners say stupid things. Dan Rooney's defense of James Harrison for beating his wife was about as dumb as they get, Mario complaining about not wanting to be part of the NHL anymore like a kid that was ready to take his ball and go home etc... They make them, it's emotional reactions at times. most times, it's really a non issue that means very little.

    the fact of the matter is... there's nothing Bob Nutting can say or do that isn't going to get a negative reaction. If he says something completely harmless like this, it gets twisted into something that it's not just to placate the minds of people looking for something to complain about. If he doesn't say anything, then people are complaining that he doesn't care, complaining that he should say something. Look at Neil Huntington. Same reaction. People get ****ed if he gives canned answers in the Littlefield mold but then ***** if they deem him to say too much.

    Winning will definitely cure it all but in general, i believe that Bob Nutting should be making statements like this. I expect this from the owner. Whether I like what is said or not, I expect this and to be honest, I saw little wrong with it. If Bob Nutting was satisfied with 57 wins, i'd have a problem and maybe he does but he made a statement that says otherwise, which is good enough for me in a PR world
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    Default Re: Pirates owner Nutting: Expectations must change

    I think these comments were made for two reasons:

    1) To give fans a little bit of hope that the culture of Pittsburgh baseball is beginning to change. Have we seen any of that change? As of now, no. 57 wins in the previous year leads me to believe we'll be waiting for a while yet before the Bucs are called winners. Young talent, yes. Successful manager, yes. But in my mind, the whole season depends upon pitching. And in my opinion, the Bucs did not make any major upgrades that will result in immediate success. However, as every previous year, I hope I'm wrong.

    2) To motivate his team. Part of changing the culture of the team is to get them to believe they are winners. I think he's trying to show some faith, along with accountability, in his team. Sometimes a sense of urgency is needed to get some fire under the players' ***. Having said that, expectations and statements like these have been out there for years now.

    Overall, I don't have a problem with Nutting saying what he did. He just has to realize that after 18 straight losing seasons, the fans are immune to these kinds of statements. It doesn't really get the juices flowing anymore when someone in the front office starts demanding results. Been there, done that. But if it does actually get the team to change a loser mindset (which I'm not sure even exists because of some of the successes that they have had in the minors), more power to him.

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