User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Pirates owner frustrated but optimistic

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting understands why fans were upset about his team's epic late-season collapse.

Advertisement
Heck, Nutting was mad too. So mad, in fact, he needed a full month to cool off before deciding the best way forward.

In the end, when his blood pressure returned to normal, Nutting decided to use a scalpel instead of a hatchet.

``If you're angry, you count to 10,'' Nutting told reporters in an offseason roundtable discussion Tuesday. ``If you're really angry, you count to 100. If you're incredibly infuriated and frustrated, you wait four weeks.''

Ultimately, Nutting opted to maintain the status quo. Other than hiring former major leaguer Jay Bell as the team's hitting coach and reassigning first base coach Luis Silverio to senior Latin adviser for minor league operations, he settled on keeping management intact, manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington included.

Nutting pointed to the arc over the last few years - and not the swoon that sent the Pirates to a 20th straight losing season - as the reason to stay the course. The Pirates were 16 games over .500 in August but faded over the final six weeks to finish 79-83.

The end hurt, but Nutting believes the long view shows just how far the franchise has come.

``We considered all kinds of alternatives,'' Nutting said. ``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.''

The Pirates turned a reluctant fan base into believers, at least for awhile. Pittsburgh topped 2 million in fan attendance. Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen played at an MVP-level and won a Gold Glove. And pitcher A.J. Burnett became the team's definitive ace following his trade from the New York Yankees.

There were magical moments during the club's rise that Nutting thinks shouldn't be forgotten because of the fall.

``The failure of us to finish as strongly as we needed to cannot diminish the amount of success that the organization has shown over the past two years,'' he said. ``I've come away with a strong sense that we need to build on our strengths.''

Those strengths, however, do not include ``paramilitary'' training activities at the minor league level that came under scrutiny. Nutting noted his organization is building baseball players, not Navy Seals.

``Our primary focus is to develop baseball players to play championship baseball at PNC Park,'' he said. ``We should not be, will not be, are not a paramilitary organization.''

The goal for 2013 remains the goal that the team came so close to realizing this year: the postseason. Pittsburgh hasn't advanced to the playoffs since 1992. The Pirates came close this fall. There's only one more step remaining. Blowing it up now would be unwise according to the owner.

``We need and must continue to advance and push forward and make change, but we're making the necessary adjustments to get us there,'' he said. ``I feel much better than I did at the end of the season, and we are turning the page and looking toward how do ... build that (playoff) club for 2013.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
O's beat Rays to stretch division lead
Minor tosses gem, Braves top Mets
Giants take care of Rockies, 4-1
Hamilton, Reds cruise past Cubs 7-2
Tigers edge Yankees, 'under' connects
Mets put Murphy on DL with calf strain
Yankees' Tanaka throws simulated game
Royals claim Jayson Nix off waivers
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
5-2 L7, 18-6 Run, 24-9 G-Plays
21-10, +1,409 L31, +3,3670 TY
27-12 +2,108 Run, 16-5 G-Plays
7-3 L10 Guarantees, +8,355 TY
14-4 L18, 21-6 +1,665 This Month
10-5 +921 G-Plays, +3,057 TY
+2,030 Net Profits This Year
12-4 L16 G-Plays, 17-7 +1,157 Run
+2,233 Overall This Season
9-3 L12 Guaranteed Plays
7-3 L10 G-Plays, 15-8 L23 Picks
4-0 +425 L2 Days, 19-6 G-Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - MLB Playoffs
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 7666
Kevin Rogers + 3811
Doc's Sports + 3417
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 2343
Dave Cokin + 2094
Kevin Rogers + 2047
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2368
Tony Stoffo + 1760
Joe Williams + 853
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 2204
Kyle Hunter + 1760
Antony Dinero + 1410
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2398
Kevin Rogers + 1879
Doc's Sports + 1473
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 3078
Kevin Rogers + 1906
Doc's Sports + 1035
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!