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Pirates owner 'too rational' to build a winner

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08:12 AM ET 04.08 | Among the minority owners to sell his stake in the Pirates after Bob Nutting assumed control in 2007, Jay Lustig has an interesting take on the hands it's in now. Lustig told Trib Total Media's Jeff Oliver last week that he ran out of patience with the way Nutting runs the club. "Bob is too rational a businessman to ever spend more money to build a winner," Lustig said, adding that he often urged Nutting to sell the team to someone with deeper pockets. In an email to Oliver, Nutting said he appreciated Lustig's involvement with the ownership group and "looks forward to seeing him at many games this season." ... Lustig, like many Pirates fans, believes baseball's economic playing field is too uneven for the Pirates.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Andrew McCutchen, Icon Sports Andrew McCutchen, Icon Sports
April 8, 2013  08:45 AM ET

Sounds like a nice way to say he's a cheap ****.

April 8, 2013  08:50 AM ET

It is not about money, it is about what the owner decides to do with the profits. Put it back in to the business or keep it. And yes there are owners with so much outside revenue it does not matter. Nutting owns a MLB team but has chosen to run it like a successful small business and not go big.

April 8, 2013  08:50 AM ET

While I understand baseball is a business and an owner has the right (maybe, in fact even a duty) to earn a profit it still needs to produce a marketable commodity on the field to earn that profit and not just go through the motions and then collect money from MLB's revenue sharing system as well as other businesses of MLB, i.e. MLB.com, league media contracts, etc...)

April 8, 2013  08:55 AM ET

Will we ever see a Pirate team be champions again with that kind of ownership?

April 8, 2013  09:13 AM ET

Rational owner = cheap.

April 8, 2013  09:23 AM ET

.....says he he will do the rational thing and sell to local guy mark cuban within two years....and then cuban will do irrational things so the pirates can raise the flag....they are closer right now than you think....

April 8, 2013  09:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Rational owner = cheap.

This ^^^

April 8, 2013  09:55 AM ET

it really is not about small market/big market any more. It is about how wealthy the owner is from outside ventures. That is the issue going forward.

April 8, 2013  10:04 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It is not about money, it is about what the owner decides to do with the profits. Put it back in to the business or keep it. And yes there are owners with so much outside revenue it does not matter. Nutting owns a MLB team but has chosen to run it like a successful small business and not go big.

They'er not sucessfull on the field at all. On Nutting's ledger book they're profitable but that can't last if they don't start winning soon!!!

April 8, 2013  10:25 AM ET

That'll go over really well with the fan base......Sorry fans, I know you've endured years of pain and suffering since the Pirates of yesteryear were winning, but we don't expect to win anytime soon either because our owner is just too rational.

April 8, 2013  10:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

They'er not sucessfull on the field at all. On Nutting's ledger book they're profitable but that can't last if they don't start winning soon!!!

But, it was revealed a few years ago they were making money in those years they were arguably the worst team in MLB. Shared revenue, luxury tax money, you can only lose money if you really try to.

April 8, 2013  10:49 AM ET

In other words, as long as the team turns a profit, he doesn't care if they win or lose.

Comment #13 has been removed
April 8, 2013  12:24 PM ET

Nutting makes money, people come out to the games. What does he care ?

April 8, 2013  12:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

You couldn't be more wrong.

How so? There are no small market teams really. Revenue is shared. Get it. only local tv deals make a difference. That is why the Pirates have turned a profit all these years.

The point is this: An owner like the tigers owner does not care if he loses $50 million some year because he is a billionaire outside of baseball. He spends that much on houses he does not live in and boats he does not use and jets he rarely uses, just maintaining them.

I am right, prove me wrong. You cannot because NO owner will open his books to you. And for good reason. A team is incorporated and is the greatest write off any businessman can have. Heck, you deduct each year for every player you have like he was a piece of equipment so that at the end he often is more in depreciation than you ever paid him.


Owning a professional team is an accountants playground. Why do you think the wealthy keep buying them and the cost keeps going up?

Prove me wrong, put some thought into it for petes sake. And maybe just a little research.

April 8, 2013  12:41 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

You couldn't be more wrong.

Thin about it Lucy! Like comment #6 said, and it is true: If Marc Cuban owned that team it would be completely different and money would go into the team to bring in outstanding free agents.

You know that is true and the "small" market factor does not change at all. It is the same market. And there you go, so as you see, you could not be more wrong if you tried.

April 8, 2013  12:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

You couldn't be more wrong.

I will assist you a bit in the learning process: Yo see, even local revenue from those "big" market teams is shared.

all teams pay in 31 percent of their local revenues and that pot is split evenly among all 30 teams. In addition, a chunk of MLB???s Central Fund ??? made up of revenues from sources like national broadcast contracts ??? is disproportionately allocated to teams based on their relative revenues, so lower-revenue teams get a bigger piece of the pie.

Example #2 for your better understanding of how it works:from 2002 to 2006, the Royals??? revenue-sharing dollars doubled to $32 million, while their player costs increased only 6 percent. Likewise, in 2006 and 2007, the Florida Marlins reportedly received more than $60 million in revenue sharing, according to The Hardball Times, but the team had opening day payrolls totaling $45.5 million.


Now you get it?

April 8, 2013  12:58 PM ET

Nutting is using the Pirates to cover for his newspaper and magazine empire. Printed media is not exactly the wave of the future and it's present is not to bright either. And there you have it.

April 8, 2013  01:00 PM ET

In Nutting's world the Pirates are Peter and his newspapaer conglomerate is Paul, and we all know who got robbed to pay whom.

outta here. I feel better.

 
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