PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting said that he is committed to bringing a winner to Pittsburgh on The Fan Pirates Preview Monday morning.
“What we are trying to do at the Pittsburgh Pirates is hard,” Nutting said. “There is nothing magic or easy about putting together a team on paper at any level.”
The Pirates’ payroll this year will be around $80 million, although the Yankees and Astros are paying a portion of that as part of trades for A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez.
Nutting is often dealing with fans calling him cheap.
“I think the organization has moved a long way from that concern and that message at this point,” Nutting said. “I believe the changes we made, the success that we’ve made, I wish they could have happened instantly. But, they don’t happen with one flick of one switch. We’re making great progress. I’m proud of where this organization is today.”
Over two million fans attended games at PNC Park last year, their second best attendance mark since moving to the new ballpark in 2001.
Nutting told Dan Zangrilli the passion of the fans, “raises the level of responsibility that I have, to show not only is our heart in the right place, but our effort and every move we’re making is aligned with those fans interest of how do we get this team to play every single day at PNC Park at the highest level they can.”
The team has made improvements in their Spring Training, minor league and Dominican Republic facilities over the last few years.
They have also had winning records halfway through the last two seasons before finishing below .500.
“We’re committed to building an organization with sustainable success. What we have resisted is the temptation to have a little bit of a blip,” Nutting said. “I think it’s important for me to view myself and to act as a long-term steward of this franchise. We’ve been here since 1887 and whether it’s me or whoever is in this role, I believe the responsibility is to have those fundamental building blocks solid and in place for this franchise for a long, long time going forward.”
Listen to the interview here: