Pirates Fans Start Petition To Get MLB To Force Owner To Sell Team
A "petition drive is under way" with the hope of lobbying MLB to force Pirates Owner Bob Nutting to "sell the team," according to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. The drive on Change.org was "initially seeking 25,000 signatures but bumped that goal up to 50,000 by Wednesday night." More than 40,000 had "signed on" as of Thursday morning. The petition was "started a day after the Pirates announced they would trade" CF Andrew McCutchen to the Giants. Pirates VP/Communications & Broadcasting Brian Warecki said, "We appreciate the passion of our fans and respect their desire to express that passion both in good times and bad" (POST-GAZETTE.com, 1/17). In Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel noted Astros P Gerrit Cole, who was traded from the Pirates last week, is "eager to get going with his new club" and took a "parting shot at the Pirates" during his introductory press conference. Cole said, "It's refreshing to come to an environment where the team is willing to continually put resources into the club and continue to move forward and try to provide the best possible product for its fans" (TRIBLIVE.com, 1/17).
HELPING BRIDGE THE GAP: THE ATHLETIC's Phil Taylor wrote McCutchen "isn't just the Giants' new outfielder, he's their only African-American player." The Giants acquired McCutchen to "inject some badly needed power and speed into their feeble outfield, not to be a bridge to the black community, but there's no reason he can't do both." Once the franchise of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, of Barry Bonds and Dusty Baker, the Giants have become a "prime example of the dwindling participation of African-Americans in baseball over the last 15 years." The Giants since '10 have had "only two black players ... spend at least one full season on their roster." McCutchen is "by far the most prominent African-American player the franchise has had" since Bonds retired in '07. Having a player like McCutchen in a larger market like S.F. can "only help the popularity of baseball in general and the Giants in particular among African-American fans, as well as the sport's attractiveness to young black athletes" (THEATHLETIC.com, 1/18).