Nutting: Pirates success justifies another year for front office
Pirates owner Bob Nutting and Andrew McCutchen shake hands at the news conference in Bradenton, Fla. this spring, announcing McCutchen's $51.5 million, six-year contract.
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Pirates owner Bob Nutting said while he was angry about his team's late-season collapse, he believes the team's success this season justified another year for his management team.
"We clearly have a number of things in the organization that have gone right," Nutting said during an interview with a group of reporters today. "As angry and frustrated as we were about August and September, it's taken me a month to come back and to recognize that last year was still the best season that we've had for 20 years and we didn't get there by accident."
After playing 16 games over .500 in August, the Pirates collapsed for a second consecutive season and finished with a losing record for the 20th year in a row.
Fan anger -- and Nutting's anger -- prompted the owner to undertake a lengthy review of the team's operations, a review he said is still ongoing. Nutting said he considered making personnel changes in the front office.
"If you're angry, you count to 10," Nutting said. "If you're really angry, you count to 100. If you're incredibly infuriated and frustrated, you wait four weeks.
"We considered all kinds of alternatives. At the end of the day, the progress that the organization has made -- when you look at the seven game improvement last year, more than 20 game improvement over two years, the rankings of the development system -- we do have a much stronger organization than we did."
Nutting also indicated the Pirates would likely scale back its military style training that it has used recently with some of its prospects. Nutting said while the players do not go through as rigorous routine as boot camp, the focus of the baseball development staff must be on player safety and to produce the best baseball players.
He said he would like to find an "appropriate balance."
"We should not be, will not be, are not a paramilitary organization," Nutting said.
First Published November 6, 2012 6:08 pm