SBD/October 7, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Bob Nutting Lauded For Pirates' Turnaround

Nutting is credited with turning around the Pirates since taking over in '07
In Pittsburgh, Biertempfel & Cohn noted former Pirates Owner Kevin McClatchy "threw out the ceremonial first pitch" prior to yesterday's NLDS Game 3 against the Cardinals at PNC Park. After current Owner Bob Nutting "took control of the team in January 2007, McClatchy agreed to stay in the background." McClatchy said, "I felt like I was a little estranged from the team, but it was mostly my doing. I didn't want to get in people's way. But this feels like coming home." Nutting "asked McClatchy to throw out the first pitch" (TRIBLIVE.com, 10/6). Also in Pittsburgh, Dejan Kovacevic wrote of the Pirates making the playoffs for the first time since '92, "Nutting did this. ... Nutting lit this flame." Nutting is "far more a delegator than dictator, but he knew what he had to do." A member of the Pirates' front office said Nutting “blew the doors and walls off the place" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/6).

STEP RIGHT UP: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wrote the Mets "are, for now, a middle-market franchise playing in New York." That is "what happens when a team’s owners have been fleeced by Bernard L. Madoff and have made some bad free-agent signings, and their ballpark grows emptier each season." But playing the "middle-market game is not wrong." Mets GM Sandy Alderson "understands that you can get by on a payroll" of less than $100M. But now he needs to "prove he can do it in Flushing, where big (and questionable) spending worked out badly." It "cannot be easy to be forced to play the role of a middle-market franchise in a marquee city" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/6).

MAN OF THE PEOPLE: In Cincinnati, John Fay wrote Reds President & CEO Bob Castellini "is a fans-first owner who is also a fan," which is a "big reason Dusty Baker will not be back as manager." Trying to keep fans happy "can also be the worst thing an owner can do" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/6).
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