davidmarver wrote:Where Mercer Boy on this one? I'd like to hear what a Pirates fan thinks of this.
I personally think baseball can use more big-name proven owners, such as Cuban.
Sorry...football's my main sport these days as I am a moderator at the Football Cafe.
There was news about this several months ago, but I figured nothing would ever come of it. This announcement just settles it. Funny how when the NBA starts up, it becomes news again...
I know that McClatchy means well with his ownership of the team, but there are tons of people in Pittsburgh that think he and the Nuttings (the newspaper people) are in it for personal gain and are just holding the team from growing/getting better in any way. I'm not in this camp the whole way, but I think it does happen to a degree. On higher spending teams, the goal is to pretty much spend as much money as they bring in. That's easier to do in a better TV market (NY, Boston, etc.). In a smaller market, you basically have to win in order to make enough money to spend that way.
The general sentiment is that the goal is to get enough people to come in and watch a poor team in order to make a profit. They use simple promotions like fireworks nights and bobbleheads to get some good attendance numbers on the weekends and for "big name" opponents. On top of that, some believe that whatever revenue sharing the Pirates get is actually put into the owners' pockets when they say it actually goes to helping the team improve. I don't think you can actually do that, but there have been investigations about it.
Cuban would obviously bring a different approach to the Pirates. I feel that he would want to get the team to "contender" status as quickly as possible, and the only way to do that at this point is to spend tons of money on talent (and probably overpay to get them there). Add to this the media hype and exposure the Pirates might get from him being there, and you possibly get some more people into the seats and some players thinking about coming to play.
Many people in the 'Burgh right now feel that McClatchy is not committed to winning at all. That feeling alone is enough to alienate tons of fans. Still, the Pirates do have a smaller core fan base that will stay with the team, and I'd be willing to bet a large number of them would welcome Cuban into the organization with open arms even knowing that he could/would be a "maverick" owner (pun intended).
Our payroll was $40 mil. last year, and supposedly it's to go up to around $50 mil. this year. In today's era of moneyball, that MIGHT buy us one player and probably only for a year. The problem is that they will need to use some of this money to lock up the good players they already have (Bay primarily). It just isn't enough to win unless you have talent on the pitching and offensives sides. We have some great pitching talent, but even it has been misused/abused in the past years. Many blame the coaching staff, and for all I know it could be. The point is that the team has never had enough offensive weapons to compete on a daily bases. Bay is a great player, but with that guy that can do it all you still need one or two guys that can protect him and really scare an opponent to make someone like Bay even more dangerous.
As the owner, I would have to assume that Cuban would realize this was the case and dole out the cash to some big bats. With the way Cuban does things, he'd be liable to give someone like Konerko $13 million to come play for us. I wish there would be a good 3B on the market he could entice too...
Sure, that would hinder the development of younger players, but we can't keep signing has-been talent to help out players that don't seem to be ready for the majors. Cuban would give our team the ability to get players still in their prime and help us win. McClatchy doesn't seem willing to do that.