BleuLineLady wrote:I don't live in Pittsburgh anymore, I live in Chicago actually and God knows, I know that spending money does not always equal success. The Cubs are one of the few teams in baseball that spend like crazy and still lose. With that said, the Nuttings are one of the few ownership groups that are making very good money on their team right now. Most baseball owners dont own teams to make money. They own the team to win and because its a passion for them. See Mark Cuban. The Nuttings are getting an increase in TV money this year, millions of dollars on top of the 10-20 M in profit they make every year. They have a payroll that ranks in the bottom half of the league. Just because they're spending a little bit more than in previous years does not say much to me.
They have a payroll in the bottom half of the league because they have revenues that are near the bottom half of the league. As attendance has increased, so has payroll. As the team has gotten better payroll has increased. They haven't really had players worth spending money on, though I'm sure we would have loved it if they lavished a huge contract on Lastings Milledge just to spend money. And the Nuttings don't make as much money on the team as everyone thinks they do. They opened their books back in 2010.http://www.piratesprospects.com/2010/08 ... rence.html
You'll notice that profits went down as Nutting took full control and the Pirates started spending money on draft picks (which is another thing fans have said the team had to do to show they were serious about winning and then ignored once the team actually did just that).
Mark Cuban spent a ton of money to win a title. Once the Mavericks won the title, he stopped spending money and dismantled the team that won a title because he didn't want to spend a lot of money on a team that wasn't all that good. He's now handing out contracts in panic mode because they missed out on the big free agents. I know this because I am a Mavericks fan and have watched in utter horror as they signed Monta Ellis who doesn't fit with this team at all. The Angels and Dodgers threw tons of cash around this offseason and it hasn't done them a ton of good.
Barmes and Barajas were not good signings nor good examples of the team spending money. In fact, considering they are paying Barmes 5 million dollars for what? Good defense? Again, not good signings. The Liriano signing was good by Huntington, but they spent a million. They took a chance on somebody nobody else wanted. It worked out, congrats to Huntington but what does that have to do with the Nuttings.
If Nutting didn't want to win, they wouldn't have spent any of this cash. Chase D'Arnaud would have been the short stop because he was in the system and cheap. They wouldn't have taken on Burnett's salary and baggage or taken a chance on Liriano (and they're going to owe him way more than a million, but since this is a fact-free post of yours, what's one more liberty with the facts?) These were moves made to improve the team's weaknesses from the 2011 season. Barajas didn't work and was jettisoned for a part that did work. Over the last few years the Pirates have tried a number of pieces and have junked the parts that didn't work for parts that did work. It's a fairly reasonable approach for a team with limited financial resources that can't afford to fix everything at once.
The Burnett trade was a good one and a nice move by Huntington, because the Yankees wanted to get rid of him. In both the Burnett and the Wandy trades they got both the Yankees and the Astros to pick up significant chunks of salary for the Pirates to accept those trades. Are Burnett and Wandy getting a good amount of money from the Pirates? Yes. But that's the cost for good pitchers. When push comes to shove next season, are they going to spend whats necessary to keep A.J? If they do, it will be a shocker. What do you think Cole and Locke are going to cost if they continue playing the way they are in a few years down the road? A lot more than what they are paying Burnett and Wandy. And when that time does come, are the Nuttings going to take some of the profit they are taking from the fans every year and make sure these players are retained? I have my doubts. Signing McCutchen to what he is making was more of McCutchen giving Pirates management a hometown discount more so than anything else. He could have easily earned alot more for the player he is.
So basically every good thing the Pirates have done has a caveat and doesn't count, and even though they've done everything a team that wants to win is supposed to do, those things shouldn't be counted because they worked and therefore there must be an excuse. The Nuttings don't really care, res ipsa loquitor
. Good to know.
Baseball is not a cap sport, meaning spending money does mean more than in other sports. The Pirates ownership group are one of the few owners who make big profits of off their teams.
If they are serious about winning, how about they put in another 10-20 M at the trade deadline. Not just to say they spent money, but to say that they see a potential playoff contender in this team right now and that this is our best chance in 20 years to maybe do something. The Pirates are for real and with 1 or 2 upgrades in players, they could be a serious contender. All they need to say is that if Huntington can find the right player(s) and the right trade to make, that they will support him financially in those decisions to upgrade this team. I dont know if trading for Alex Rios is the right trade to make (using an example). Depends what would cost to get him and how he can help this team, but his 13 million dollar salary should not be a part of the equation for why or why not they should get him.
They've always said they have sufficient resources. When Littlefield took Daniel Moskos over Wieters he didn't do it for financial reasons. Whenever NH has wanted to improve the team over the last two years the money has been there. I pointed out a number of examples and you crapped all over them but it's all true. There's ample reason to believe that if there is a player who can help them, they'll try and get him if the price is right.
Say what you want about the moves the Penguins made at the trade deadline to improve the team. They did not all work out.
So when the Pirates make a move and it doesn't work it's a sign they don't care, but when the Pens make a move and it doesn't work it's a sign they care? Does that make logic?
But nobody can question whether or not Penguins ownership did everything they could to win and they did that by showing the willingness to spend money and they continue to do so, by giving out these major contracts. Bob Nutting turned down Burkle and Mario's offer to buy the team in 2010. Is there any question in your mind that if they would have bought the team, that they would have done everything in their power to make this team a winner?
Mario would have done exactly what the Nuttings have done- tear the team down, lose cheaply, and get high draft picks and then spend money when the team was better. I know we as fans like to pretend 2001-2006 never happened, but it did, and that's exactly what Mario did. Fans at that time claimed Mario wasn't serious about winning a title and just wanted to make money. That's all been airbrushed from history now of course and Mario is a glorious owner who never once skimped on scouting or payroll and always was committed to building the best team in Pittsburgh and never made eyes at another city.
When it came down to spending money, they would have done so. There is no question about that. There are still questions to be had on whether or not Bob Nutting will do whats right for this team when push comes to shove. Baseball is a money game, he has to show me and I think many Pirate fans that he is not interested in just collecting the fan's money every year. They can afford to spend more, trust me, they can afford to spend a lot more than they do. The question is, whether or not they're willing to do it. I'm not sold yet and until that time, I will be skeptical of the Nuttings and I think you should be too given they have a pretty poor track record if you go back in time.
The only reason there are questions is because you want to have them. They aren't based in any sort of reality. Seriously, since 2007 when Nutting took over completely, they've done everything fans have screamed they needed to do, from signing a Boras client (taking Pedro over Posey), spending money in the draft (they spent so much that Boston screamed and the new CBA had to clamp down on their spending), investing in Latin America (Polanco, Heredia, Hanson), extending their best player (McCutchen, though you've already declared that doesn't count), and making moves twice to improve the team the last two deadlines and last two offseasons. They've actually got a pretty good record at running things since Nutting bought out McClatchy. If they didn't really care about winning they could lose a lot more cheaply. Now we're saying they have to give up the farm for Alex Rios to prove they care?
As I wrote before, the Pirates aren't going to sacrifice their long-term future for one season. They're following the Tampa model. For the last 5 years Tampa has had the prospects to get whoever they wanted at the deadline and haven't done so because their model is based on having young, cheap talent to replace players as they get older and more expensive. It's reasonable to argue that this isn't the best plan and they should be more willing to push their chips in to the middle of the table when they have the opportunity. It's unreasonable to say that not doing so is proof they don't care. It's actually denying reality.