Surely Bob Nutting realized that the 2012 season didn’t end well for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Surely Bob Nutting understood when he used the word investigation following yet another collapse by the baseball club he owns, that fans would pay attention. Investigation. That’s a strong word. A word typically used following a murder.
It’s hard to imagine just what happened at PirateFest last evening. The Pittsburgh Pirates biggest financial supporters were gathered at the Convention Center for the 23rd annual celebration of all things black and yellow.
We arrived after 6pm to find the Convention Center Parking lots full. After being turned away by one of the ahem, fine attendants outside the largest meeting facility in Pittsburgh, we saw the streets filled with Buccos fans heading toward the festivities. Pirates fever was in the air.
Yet, trying to explain to my wife why this baseball event happens in December was a bit difficult. When she asked if it really was about sales and promotion, I said definently. We are talking about Bob Nutting.
But it’s also baseball. Once inside the event, it all comes rushing back. Familar faces from PNC Park, friends, fellow bloggers, if you’ve been there you understand. The Q&A session was filled with the usual banter. Pirates President Frank Coonelly stated that the Pirates will invest somewhere in the $70 million dollar range for payroll in 2013. Neal Huntington stated reasons why Jeff Karstens was non-tendered, he also mentioned pursuing Karstens on a contract lower than $4 million dollars. The dollar signs were mentioned every few minutes, typical PirateFest.
But there was one thing we expected to be different. We truly anticipated after such a wild off season that the owner would be on hand to answer questions this year. We should have known better.
Edit: Let me add this, Nutting was definently at PirateFest, just not on mainstage, thanks to everyone’s reports on twitter and a special hat tip to SteelReign here is a pic:
Skipper Clint Hurdle talked about bubblegum, and also announced the two new Pirates coaches. After giving Neal Huntington a glance and nod on the Q&A stage, Hurdle announced that Jeff Branson will be the assistant hitting coach. When answering questions about the poor Pirates baserunning, Hurdle mentioned that new first base coach Rick Sofield will work on improving the Pirates horrendous baserunning abilities. Sofield was also mentioned as being able to help Andrew McCutchen become a better centerfielder, a position that Huntington said we can expect to see Cutch man for at least the near future.
The only person missing was the owner. Let’s not kid ourselves, Nutting knows what he is doing. The guy is a genius.
The man used the word investigation after the 2012 collapse.
Think about that word.
Investigation. Who the hell died Bob? It’s baseball. Sure it’s the worst collapse in history of the game, but investigation??? Anyway, apparently the investigation is over. Bob Nutting had other things to do last night than get on stage.
The same guy that has preached accountability was nowhere to found to be held accountable. That was left up to the staff. Yeh, just another PirateFest for Bob Nutting we guess. So last night, everyone had returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since the ‘crime’ of another losing season was committed, well, everyone except the man who signs the checks. Yeh, it all makes sense right?
Bob Nutting will have a great excuse for not being on the stage in front of his most valuable clients. There is plenty of blame to go around over the past twenty years. It’s just blatantly obvious to us that nobody in this town that gets paid by the Post Gazette or Tribune Review is going to point the finger this year at the man at the top. That would be career suicide.
Nutting’s glaring absence was explained by his favorite reporter:
He’s usually at Fest on Sundays….. Hilarious.
Look, here’s the bottom line. We’ve seen Nutting at PirateFest all weekend in the past. We think he owed it to a few people to jump on stage last night.
Bob Nutting will make time in his schedule to be at PirateFest next year, ‘usuallly’ on Sundays.
What isn’t a definite is if the men on the PirateFest main stage last night will be there next year.