Pirates President Defends McCutchen Trade, Chides Fans For "Personal Attacks" On Nutting
Pirates President Frank Coonelly yesterday "defended the decision" to trade CF Andrew McCutchen, the "face of the franchise and one of the club's 'iconic players,'" to the Giants last week, according to Kevin Gorman of TRIBLIVE.com. Coonelly, appearing on Pittsburgh-based KDKA-AM, said, “The decision was made for all the right reasons and it was made in order to build a winner. ... One of the ways to get better is to trade iconic players for multiple players." Coonelly: “That's the reality of baseball.” Coonelly also "admonished fans for taking out their 'frustration or anger' with 'personal attacks on [Pirates Owner] Bob Nutting,' calling it 'wrong.'" He added Nutting was “the last one to get on board” with the trade (TRIBLIVE.com, 1/22). TRIBLIVE.com's Gorman wrote now the "face of this franchise is not a fresh-faced prospect with the promise of becoming the Pirates' next All-Star but rather a bespectacled 55-year-old newspaper heir and resort owner from Wheeling, W.Va., who is more interested in making money than spending it." Fans "can't force Nutting to sell" the team, but they should "demand he put his money where his mouth is." If the Pirates "want to field a championship-caliber team, Bottom-Line Bob must start spending" (TRIBLIVE.com, 1/20). Gorman noted an online petition to force Nutting to sell the Pirates on Saturday had "more than 53,000 signatures." Pirates season-ticket holder Jason Kauffman "plans to take his protest a step further" as he and a group of Pirates fans "plan to boycott the home opener" (TRIBLIVE.com, 1/20).