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Pirates President Frank Coonelly: “Only Thing That’s Acceptable Is The NL Central Crown”

Frank Coonelly

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Pirates president Frank Coonelly joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to discuss the start of the second half of the season, which begins tonight in Cincinnati. Here is some of what he had to say:

On the goals that the Pirates set before the season:

“We certainly set a very lofty objective as an organization. Obviously, Clint went on your show in spring training in the morning and put a number out there that raised some eyebrows, but, you know, the objective was to win our division, and this year, it looks like we may be in the toughest division in baseball, and that may require those 95 wins.

On what the team is planning to do as the trade deadline approaches:

“Still too early to tell, but Neal Huntington and his staff have definitely been on the phone, making calls, and certainly looking for every avenue to improve the team. On the same token, however, we understand the value of the chemistry of the players that we have in that clubhouse. I know that they believe that they can finish this.”

On how much player input will affect the team’s decision making at the trade deadline:

“We are constantly — and I think for good reason, particularly based on some feelings from last year — constantly getting a feel of the clubhouse, in terms of their view of the team, where we are, where we need to be. And we’ll continue to do that. There won’t be specific going to the leadership council or going to the team as a whole, ‘Is this a trade that you would like? Is this a trade that you wouldn’t like?’ You know, that’s the job of the general manger. But certainly getting the general sense of the team in terms of where we are, and how we can move forward is something that we’ll continue to do.”

On Reds closer Aroldis Chapman’s tendency to throw at the Pirates’ hitters:

“I’d much prefer 100 mile per hour fastballs down below the belt, for sure. And somewhere approximate to the plate.”

On what counts as a successful season:

“The only thing that’s acceptable is the National League Central crown.”

On whether a Wild Card berth would also be alright by him:

“We’d be disappointed, but we’d go in there and fight like heck to win that game, and then move on.”

The interview can be heard here: