Pirates President Ready To Earn Back Fans’ Trust

Strong season start follows tumultuous offseason

Pirates Fans

Joe DeStio

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – It’s been a tough offseason for Pirates fans and management alike. 

The decision to trade outfielder Andrew McCutchen and pitcher Gerrit Cole in January came as a shock to many fans and the backlash was quick from the Pirate faithful.

Many accused the Pirates management of being more concerned with profit over winning baseball games.

With Cutch now with San Francisco and Cole in Houston, the team faces criticism even after a strong start to the 2018 season.

One fan tells KDKA Radio he has been to everyday Opening Day for the past 15 years says he is disappointed in the team’s offseason moves.  “McCutchen, he was Pittsburgh. He’s my favorite player and he still is right now. I have a San Francisco hat. I followed Cutch, I still will.”

Another fan says owner Bob Nutting is to blame and the rest of the management is doing the best they can. “We do fully back the Pirates. I think [General Manager Neal] Huntington and [Pirates President Frank] Coonelly are doing [the] Yeomen’s work as is [Manager] Clint Hurdle.”

Coonelly tells the KDKA Radio Morning News he’s heard the fans’ concerns, and he’s ready to answer any questions and move forward with the team.

“We’ve heard from our fans all off-season and that’s the wonderful thing about our fans. They care. They’re passionate. They really care about the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said Coonelly. “We understand the awesome responsibility it is to protect the community treasure known as the Pittsburgh Pirates.”

In response to the backlash and accusations Pirates management has encountered since January, Coonelly assured fans his loyalty is to the Pirates organization.

“Even though some of the decisions are tough ones that every decision we make for this organization is made in the best interest of the organization. We think we’re a stronger organization today than we were this time last year,” Coonelly said. “We look forward to … demonstrating that and earning the trust of any fan that may have questioned some of the decisions we made.”

Listen to the KDKA Radio Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on Newsradio 1020 KDKA.