Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Bob Nutting comments on a variety of topics in an interview in the Post-Gazette. On finishing .500:
"If that had been the goal, honestly, [general manager] Neal [Huntington] would have gone about his work the last five years very differently," Nutting said. "We could have patched pieces together for a short-term blip to pop us over .500. I'm glad we didn't do it because I think what we did was the responsible and correct things for the long term of the franchise."
Elsewhere, Nutting says he doesn't think the Pirates are "best served by a build-up and break-down mentality," presumably along the lines of the Marlins. You can say, if you want, that it would be great if the Pirates could be the Marlins, and who wouldn't want two World Series wins in the past 20 years? But Nutting has it right -- the Bucs' best strategy is to build through the farm system and to depend on that talent, rather than rentals and other short-term players acquired from the outside.
Nutting also discusses the importance of starting the season well:
"We're in a position now, we've got to take a run, we've got to push the chips in early in the season, and we've got to get a team on the field to compete as [close] to Day 1 of the season as we possibly can."
This is, I think, an important point, for more reasons than Nutting lets on. If the Pirates have an ugly start to the season, Neal Huntington and perhaps Clint Hurdle will likely be dismissed, and a new chapter in Pirates baseball will begin. So the first two months of the season will be crucial.