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You may not know this but Bob Nutting isn’t the most popular man in Pittsburgh. The success of 2013-2015 masked the consistent accusations that Pirates’ management doesn’t spend enough to win. Those cries are most certainly back. Between calls for a boycott and a petition with over 50,000 signatures demanding he sell the team, Bob Nutting is about as loved as James Harrison right now.
Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly isn’t happy with the fans personally attacking Mr. Nutting. He said:
“This decision was made by our baseball operations team. In fact, Bob [Nutting] was the last one to get on board because he knows what Andrew McCutchen means to the city of Pittsburgh and to our great fans,” said Huntington. “But he came on board because he was being told by myself, [General Manager] Neal Huntington and the baseball team that, as great as [McCutchen] is, we need to get better and this is one of the avenues that we can get better.”
I am sure it’s frustrating when your team is losing and the fans are angry but do you know what doesn’t help? Making a half-hearted defense of your owner. I do not think Bob Nutting is some sinister, evil owner that pinches every penny and doesn’t care about winning. I doubt that Mr. Nutting likes hearing about fan boycotts and petitions but that’s part of owning a pro sports team. Frank Coonelly is just defending his boss but this isn’t going to calm the fans down. If anything, this is going to make them louder and angrier. Their boycott and petition won’t end with the sale of the team but they can frustrate and annoy their targets.
Pirates management isn’t in the business of telling fans how to feel. They need to understand the fan anger is valid. Stay out of the way and let the fans feel how they want. Winning is the best medicine. If the team begins to win, the fans will return. Until then, stay quiet and let the fans feel how they feel.
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