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Neal, Neal, Neal

Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington was on the Rocco DeMaro show on the Pirates Radio Network last night during the rain delay.  (The game was eventually cancelled three hours later.  The Lastings Milledge homer, along with the Pirates 3-0 lead on the scoreboard are forever erased.)

In the interview, Neal said he wouldn’t give a number on projected payroll for 2010 because  “to put a number out there and not reach it, well… everyone is going to say the Pirates are cheap again.”

Neal said he would be less candid in the coming year.  We were crucified for some of our comment by people.  In his defense, he mentioned his draft strategy might have came back to bite him in negotiations.

Neal said he had “stong assurances” from Sano’s agent Rob Plummer that “he would call us when ready to negotiate.”   (pssst…just pick up the phone next time, it’s freaking magical.  Sigh.)

I would like to focus on the “everyone is going to say” comment. 

With all seriousness Neal, it doesn’t matter what any of us say.  The Pirates were entirely rebuilt by you, Frank, and your staff in an agressive and bold series of moves. 

I beg of you, please don’t start worrying about what we think. 

Not one blogger is privy to the information you have.

Not one fan is privy to the information you have.

Be bold.  Be strong. Continue your lifes work.  Create a winner.

Neal, wear ear muffs, don’t ever read what Rum Bunter writes, don’t read the PG, hell, don’t read anything.  Please, continue to work with Frank and improve this team. 

The offseason is crucial.  Don’t look back.

Don’t worry about what we say.  Rebuild our Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Listen to the season ticket holders, but understand this fact, if your entirely focused on making every move possible to make the Pirates winners, I promise you this….

The instant this team shows sustained improvement, fans will flock back to PNC. 

Don’t be fooled.  Pittsburgh fans love one thing. 

Winning.

A sold out PNC Park awaits.

As you mentioned in your kick-off luncheon, a championship parade awaits.

We will have our chairs in the street, people overcrowding the parking garages and office buildings, smiles all around and of course we will be saying a lot of nice things about you. 

Listen to us on that day.

For now, please get back to making that parade a reality.  We will pretend you never read this.

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Rocco is a great interviewer.  The Master of the less ok format, he drew some serious input from Neal Huntington.  He drew some serious input from John Russell.  We highly recommend that you check out the podcasts Rocco has put together on his site.  Every game and every interview is located on the site.  Enjoy.  If you can, a long cold winter is coming…

Rocco asked Neal what changes would you have made in your tenure if you could go back and change things? 

Neil spoke about Salomon Torres being traded at his lowest value.  That was the experience he learned the most from because he said the team didn’t have enough information at the time.  On the move Neal said, “the decision was a horrible one.”

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Tags: Neil Huntington Rocco DeMaro

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