While most businesses in the world are struggling, the Pirates held a press conference today after a leak had reportedly released financial statements to the AP. The meeting was to discuss just how healthy the organization really is. It was part damage control, part inevitable. Sooner or later, this day would come.
It’s a shame Nutting just didn’t organize the announcement long ago, so it wouldn’t have been forced. No matter how hard the Pirates try, it seems they are hiding something when situations like this occur. Their attempts to engender public trust in the past have failed. Now the organization is in reactionary mode.
It didn’t have to be this way.
The financial numbers for the Pirates organization are impressive for a ball club that just years ago, was struggling so badly the team needed to trade promising third baseman Aramis Ramirez because of debt ratio. Those days are long gone, kudos to the management team for putting the club on solid, but not spectacular, financial footing.
In 2009, the Pirates eeked out a profit of $5,409,087.
In 2008, the profit was $14,408,249.
In 2007, the profit was $15,008,032.
As a business owner, my hat is off to Bob Nutting. He has found a cash cow. Its what everyone knew, the Pirates are healthy on the books, but not even close on the field or in the win column. The figures also pale in comparision to what local reporters spout on various radio shows and in newspaper columns.
Now that we know just how well the Pirates are performing, let’s see if the organization puts their money where Nuttings mouth is, when the young talent becomes arbitration eligible.
That is the real test for me.
Post Gazette+ was the source of the financial numbers. Dejan also had these quotes from Bob Nutting:
“This is, frankly, a little difficult to do, because I’m not sure exactly what we’re responding to. I wanted to make sure we opened up a dialogue before that blows up. I’m sure that any numbers can be pulled out of context and blown up and greatly misrepresent the financial picture of the club, and I think that would be a great disservice to the club.”—Bob Nutting
“The club should be, needs to be, and is in strong financial shape. That’s what’s allowed us to make the kind of investments we’ve made. And it’s important that the team not be in the kind of shape it was in 2004, when we were making bad decisions purely driven by financial constraints. We’re not going to apologize for making the right moves, the right investments to take steps forward.”—-Bob Nutting
“As I’ve said before, I’m not taking a salary, I’m not taking a management fee. And the presumed implication that anyone in the ownership group is lining their pockets is inappropriate. It’s not happening.”—-Bob Nutting