Neal Huntington opened his press conference with a mini-soliloquy this seismic Sunday afternoon at PNC Park, noting that the pirates had just fired Clint Hurdle .
“Where to go now? "Huntington started one segment." Honor Clint. Rate Clint. "
Because God is my leader, this is what happened. The adult bleeding man spoke these four words. For someone who an hour earlier, he basically pushed out of the building forever. For someone he and others in the front office was buried as a way to save their own jobs.
Yes, imagine the agenda of next morning's sitting in 115 Federal:
• Honorable Clint
• Clint's assessment
• Cancel ten years damage
They think you're stupid. They think I'm stupid. They think we're all stupid. [1
We are. We have had a very long time.
Maybe this should change.
After this news, I walked away from the ball. , journalists, we are conditioned to be objective, to observe and even to think, but I should never cross the line in direct care. I would like to think that in my life I am doing this, this is the line I walk along, and everyone.
Not this time.
I was in Hurdle's office early in the morning, just the two of them. I thanked him for his professionalism in an experienced year for all concerned. He thanked me, then asked me about business and family. That's right. Good man.
I was chatting with Starling Marte while he was getting on his scooter. I noticed what a solid and steady season it was. Ray Searage pretending to be peeking that we were blocking the corridor, he yelled, "Hey, you two want to move him?" Searage thanked me for reflecting on his work path in 2010, the year he became a full-time picking coach. It always gave me some credit for it, though it was not deserved at all. Another good man.
Both their dismissals – and Searage will be next – will have merit. It was a bad, bad year. It costs good jobs.
But to hear the hired general manager of the National League speak these four words above … with such offensive ease … with such neglect that they can only be taken seriously by a complete moron … man, this made everyone rush back.
That's who they are. That's who Huntington is. This is Who Frank Couley . And you will be damned better believe who it is Bob Nutting .
I have never been more convinced of this than that day.
Because the controlling franchisee is one that, after 12 years that led to eight losing seasons, nine non-playoff seasons, zero division titles, documented the worst drafting and development of any major league baseball team, the worst trade of anyone made in the last decade, the smallest crowds this magnificent balpark has ever seen and the lowest level of public faith in our lives … this man said these words: "I strongly believe that Neal Huntington and the management team tvoto that he assembled are the right people who continue to lead our baseball operations department. "
He" believes strongly "in this.
I did not come close to scratching the surface of the shortcomings of this front office or that Natting himself weighed in to fire Huntington back in 2011 … but he" strongly believes s & # 39; that.
Or so he tells us. Because he thinks we're stupid. Everyone does it.
And again, it's because we are. We really are.
Pirates have been so bad for so long – no 1979 World Series, no division title since 1992, no new feathers added to PNC Park since its inauguration in 2001 – that we are a victim I am. Even with the three-year break, we became so conditioned by the failure of baseball that it was assumed that this was the case.
We are sad, you know?
We think pirates can never succeed because unlike the NFL and NHL, where we regularly watch our teams win, there is no limit to baseball salary. Remember, the Rays have the fourth-lowest salary of majors and brewers are based on the smallest majors market and both are heading to the playoffs.
We Think Pirates Can Never Succeed Because They Will Never Succeed Take TV, Gate and Other Revenue for Meaningful Built-In Pay because they are Trapped in Bad, Miserable Pittsburgh – The Way Nutting, Coonelly and Huntington Always represent the market. It doesn't matter that when it comes to pure market size, Pittsburgh and St. Louis are the same coincidence, except that Pittsburgh has a much healthier economy and the Cardinals have attracted 3 million. Again. It doesn't matter that the breweries, in a two-thirds market size of Pittsburgh, have nearly reached 3 million. Remember, the Steelers and Penguins overcome their limitations, and are generally good at what they do.
We believe that pirates can never succeed because one-time wild cards were not enough that they failed. there is no "ace" that every team has to win one of them. It doesn't matter that Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnov and the current version of Gerrit Cole would all fit into anyone's definition of this role, but everyone was given nothing.
We think about all this, and we can't get it out of our heads. We're sorry.
We also think it's hopeless that pirates can succeed under Nutting. And we are in the dark about this.
My first such sensation on this front came after the 2015 season, when his subsequent 98-win teams were to cut salaries and watch his front office rotate to John Nees, Ryan Vogelsong, Jeff Locke and Juan Nikasio . It burned a bridge for me. They did not have to be taken seriously as a sports entity to throw away a competitor for a few bucks.
My next one was this one. All this.
Here Nutting was able to hit the reset. The contract for television contracts and stadium naming deals has almost expired and a new front office could revive a little confidence and, in turn, pump a little more money into salaries. (I know, I know.) The team performance offered the perfect opportunity to push every piston in and out of the field.
No. Nothing. His answer was to agree to buy out the redemption barrier and to stand behind the two men most responsible for helping him make millions of this endeavor every year.
But here's another thing we think: "Nuts won't sell." Or nuts cannot be made for sale.
Please be different.
Short cut, if I may: The official team name remains, as always, the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. That's right there in the fine print.
That's because it's our city's baseball club. Born here in 1882, after joining the National League in 1887, he created the first World Series in 1903, with the legendary Honus Wagner defeating the Cobb Tigers his championship in 1909 after Wagner was selected for the inaugural Hall of Fame class, with Bill Mazeroski hitting the biggest start since the inauguration of the sport, after Roberto Clemente ] has become our gift to the world since Willie Stargel and others wear five common crowns and through this year 133 Our erudite
These things are challenging, but I think only red are older as they are anchored in a city.  Pirates are a baseball institution. They are a civic institution. And when combined with the unsurpassed origin of our city in the Negro leagues, it only multiplies.
I snapped a few photos of myself passing the Clemente Bridge downtown this summer Sunday just to soak it all up on the last day of baseball season:
As Pittsburgh gets, huh?
This team is ours. It's not his.
This is where I was born and raised, and pirates have been mine since my grandfather first broadcasted the gunner to a transistor radio for me. And they are yours. They are not his.
I once mentioned something this way about Nutting itself. It was morning in Braden, as I recall. I pointed to Mazeroski and Bill Wirdon sat on a few inverted buckets of balls, smoking cigars, and made friendly that the franchise was just his loan, that he was really bigger than anyone I would ever own.
It is difficult to describe now, but he has not actually achieved it.
Now I know why: He doesn't care. He was never interested not even coming back when I was naively convinced that he did.
He bought out almost all his minority shareholders, mostly so that he had all the deciding votes and so that he had fewer questions to ask. My understanding is that it is now approximately 90 percent. He has invested in the Dominican Republic – his pet project after taking control – but he is asking and borrowing governments to modernize facilities in Braden and here in Pittsburgh. He took a $ 50 million check bonus from all 30 teams received a few years ago and turned it into a dramatic pay cut.
He watched all the horrible things that happened to this once proud franchise, all the empty spaces, all the erosion of trust, and he did nothing about it.
Remember what he says. These are the actions of a person who is not interested. Not for the main product. Not that the team is competitive. Just for the money.
I don't know about you, but I feel pretty stupid.
Because the answer was obvious all the time: it forced him to sell.
Coming together as a Pittsburgh to return an institution to Pittsburgh.
Start with this: Where the hell were the government leaders in this?
Lord, if there is something that a politician loves more than a gap, it would be to think about the most bilateral issues. Yet there was never a peek. Not by Bill Peduto Mayor of the city and a highly visible sports commentator on every topic, but this one. Not from Rich Fitzgerald Commissioner of Allegheny County. Not by Tom Wolf Community Manager. Even from city or county council members or US and state senators and representatives in all party lines, the kind that was vocal during the stadium debate but now seems awful to be the first. 19659002] Why?
What's up-close in this regard?
Which voters might protest?
Pirates cannot leave Pittsburgh. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of the state of professional sports today can testify to this, as such events are almost always tied to a seriously deficient stadium, which this one will probably never be. And that doesn't mean anything from all the historical pieces I've listed above. The pirates couldn't move more than the Reds could.
Put another way: Clemente's Day is already in baseball. There is no Clemente Day without pirates. They are connected in eternity.
PNC Park cost $ 262 million to build. Of that, only $ 44 million came formally from the pirates – then under owned by Kevin MacLatchie but with Ogden Nating Bob's father as the dominant investor – and even then, $ 30 million from they come from PNC Bank for naming rights. Team total cost: $ 14 million
The stadium was built by taxpayers. And in this difficult process of funding him, McClatchy was made a public promise that the pirates would act in good faith to maintain a competitive salary within their means.
This has not happened. This is definitely not happening now. Not when the Brewers are currently at $ 128.6 million and the Pirates are at $ 82.9 million, barely exceeding the forever Marlins.
That's a pity. And indeterminate. And it is very worth the serious investigation by our elected leaders, given the huge – and ongoing – public investment that the team is making.
Do you think "Fooling" will like this?
Does he think he will enjoy being dragged to government committees and asking to explain grossly the violation, if not outright laws, of at least the spirit of the agreement reached between the city, state and the team leading in 2001?
Do you think he would like to face the very real possibility of being asked to open his books?
Don't laugh. Of course, pirates are a private company, but these lines are blurred over a long period of time when private companies repeatedly have their hands in the public trough. In addition, there is enough precedent for governments to prosecute irresponsible franchise owners when they do not hold up.
In 2003, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Trade Association, working with the Wisconsin Legislature, became so skeptical of brewers they reduced payroll shortly after Miller Park was built – all with public funds – to convene a group of leaders with blue ribbon, both from various government organizations and the local corporate community, to approach the brewers aggressively to prove their word.
Think about it for a second: Brewers could say no, but look at all that would start. Including potential or existing sponsors. MMAC alone accounts for nearly $ 7 million in season ticket revenue among its members.
This is done.
And so it happened : the MMAC has become more active, 50 state deputies have signed a resolution demanding that the books of the brewers be seen, and a committee has been set up to do just that, with the brewers' reluctant consent. The Breakthrough: In less than a year, Bud Selig's family found himself ill by getting involved in an endless dispute, selling franchise to Mark Atanasio outgoing, frugal and richly competitive , which has since fed the team to unprecedented heights.
Who will do this here?
Where are the civil servants?
Where is the corporate community?
People are usually upset by attendance figures as some form of insurrection, but this hardly influences the "Tangling". His low earnings only earn him a bigger shared check than MLB, so everything goes well. But these other things take the discourse to another level, even nationally, as has happened in the recent past with the Marines. Here's how the real change is reflected.
Where are these entities?
Who will lead?
Who's going to convince this fan, around whom Joe Musgrove wrapped his hand this Sunday, is her favorite team interested in even just a part of him?
Where are all those Pittsburghs, current and former, with the wealth and connections needed to build a serious approach?
I'm talking about Chuck Greenberg an incredible guy who bleeds for pirates and owns baseball ownership of his RBI resume. I'm talking about the various CEOs and other benefactors in the community, people I won't name but who also care about the institution and are outraged at how it falls apart. And it's good that while I'm on this roll I could quote Ron Berkeley and Mario Lemieux who tried it once – they both told me how much they would like it – and they would easily could try again.
Imagine penguins and pirates of the same ownership on the same local television network with all this profit. My God.
Where is everyone?
If you are interested, you already have an advantage over the present man. Do matter.
I can't do that. The media cannot do this, though it certainly sends enough investment to try to encourage more action. I can write a piece like this and it will be completely ignored by pirates. As they cannot be ashamed and as I have just outlined, they are never cause for concern of any kind.
These numbers above can do something.
You can do something.
Don't tell me you don't care. It is a waste of both our breaths. You may not care about this embodiment of Nutting pirates, but the institution – to repeat – is bigger than it. You can treat pirates the same way you would if they climbed a destructive ball to the Point Fountain. Or dissolved the Pittsburgh Symphony. Or one of the Carnegie Museums closed.
The pirates are older than all of them. They are part of us all. Те са предадени повече поколения, отколкото почти всичко останало, което съществува в нашата местна култура.
Нека се събудим. Хайде да работим заедно. Нека най-накрая всички спрем да бъдем толкова глупави.
ГАЛЕРИЯ MATT SUNDAY
Pirates vs. Reds, PNC Park, 29 септември 2019 – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS  За да продължите да четете, влезте в акаунта си: