"The only time we hope to get to .500 is on our way past it," Huntington said. "It is not an end result. It is not a goal. If we have this club in place and we reach 82 wins en route to our higher destination, then so be it. But I will never be the general manager of a club that has a focus on winning 82 games."
He did allow for two exceptions.
One is if the team is in clear playoff contention. And, with how the Chicago Cubs are performing, that might mean monitoring the National League's wild-card race. The Pirates trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 7 1/2 games on that front...
The other exception would be if management determined, even if a playoff berth were out of the question, that the current group could improve. Given the general age of the group, though, that seems unlikely.
Glad to hear it. I can't believe Huntington is actually taking the Pirates' playoff hopes seriously--particularly after the last two games--and it's good to have some confidence that the Pirates will continue to pursue their long-term goals rather than pursue a .500 season with a team that isn't close to contending for the playoffs.