Huntington: 'We need to make decisions for the right reasons'
Frank Coonelly has quickly tapped into the psyche of Pittsburgh Pirates fans in his five months as team president. He knows that Bucco backers cherish their memories of Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski, and reflect fondly on the days when Jim Leyland was churning up a nicotine cloud in the dugout runway while Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla and Andy Van Slyke patrolled the outfield.In Pittsburgh, anything is an upgrade over the more recent past. We are, after all, looking at 15 straight losing seasons, during which the Pirates have posted an aggregate record of 1,037 wins and 1,324 losses. From Moon Township to Squirrel Hill, Pirates ticket buyers are understandably running short on patience. But they've resisted the temptation to put their hearts in cold storage. Coonelly gleaned that much when the fans shared their frustration at PirateFest and the team's winter caravan. He was like Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, listening to health care tales of woe at a New Hampshire diner in December.
The vast majority of people are upset by what they perceive as a lack of direction or a plan that management was willing to implement and stick to. Among our fans, there's also a perceived lack of 100 percent effort -- particularly last year. They thought they saw a lack of respect for the game and a lack of caring by some players on the field.
-- Frank Coonelly, Pirates team president