The Pittsburgh Pirates new General Manager, Ben Cherington, met with members of the media over the weekend. He discussed the team’s payroll and potential payroll going forward.
The hot topic that will always surround the Pittsburgh Pirates is payroll. The team currently owns the lowest payroll in baseball and has been trending in that direction over the last few years. Right now, the team’s payroll is projected to be around $50 million for the 2020 season. Even with a new front office and coaching staff, things have not changed in terms of money spent.
If it was not clear before then it has been made even more clear now that General Manager Ben Cherington and team President Travis Willaims do not necessarily have a lot of control over the payroll. The previous regime of Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington were often the front men to be blamed for the Pittsburgh Pirates lackluster payroll, yet a new regime remains handcuffed.
Obviously, the owner is the one at fault and this is something that Pittsburgh Pirates fans have started to really understand more and more over the last few years. It does not matter who is running the team’s Front Office or making the personnel decisions, what it comes down to is the owner Bob Nutting. Nutting continues to short change Pittsburgh Pirates fans and it just continues to look worse and worse.
What is even worse is the fact that Bob Nutting does not make many public statements on the payroll. Instead, he leaves it up to the members of the Front Office to do so and they become the easy targets by the local media and fans. This was seen with former GM Neal Huntington, who would consistently come out and make awkward, sideways comments about why payroll is not increasing or why it is decreasing.
It seems that once again Bob Nutting is setting his new Front Office up in a similar situation. Beyond the embarrassingly low payroll, Ben Cherington also has made comments during his media session about why payroll is so low. It sounds awfully similar to the words that Neal Huntington once uttered:
This quote seems all too familiar with what the previous regime would say. There was always this line floated that the team needs to start producing on-field and show they are competitive before the organization starts to spend money. Meanwhile, it is easy to point out that the team’s lack of spending often holds them back from taking that next step forward.
Then, of course, there is the no promises part of the quote. If the team does not respond and start to play more competitive baseball then there will not be any spending in the near term future. This follows up with how the previous regime would often blame the fans for not coming out and supporting the team and how that would hold the organization back from spending because revenue was down.
It is all the same. No matter who the Pittsburgh Pirates President, General Manager, Manager, or whoever is. It does not matter. The Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans will continue to be short-changed by Bob Nutting and he will continue to troop out his employees to try to explain why the team is operating the way it does. Unfortunately for Mr. Nutting, fans are starting to understand that he is the sole problem of the organization and not the staff that he too often hangs out to dry.