The comeback of the Pittsburgh Pirates

William Zytnick, Staff Writer

In recent years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have done what many people in Major League Baseball considered to be absolutely unthinkable.

That being, to become a playoff team eager to compete for that taste of glory they haven’t tasted since they last won the World Series way back in 1979.

In 2013, the Pirates shocked the world and ended a 21-year postseason drought by playing host to the National League Wild Card Game against the Cincinnati Reds.

The scene at beautiful the PNC Park was electric.

As I watched the game, it undoubtably felt like being at one of those massive European soccer games.

Back in 2015, an entire four years ago, was the last year to date the Pittsburgh Pirates made the postseason.

During this time, when the team was not contending, upper management insisted that they had heard the fans frustration.

They stressed that they were fully committed to bringing a winning team to the city of Pittsburgh.

But those promises made by the likes of team owner Bob Nutting, Team President Frank Coonelly and General Manager Neal Huntington never came to fruition.

I am a firm believer, as many others are, that these promises, though well-intentioned, would never have come true if things had stayed the way they were.

The fans demanded change and just recently they would get their long-desired wish as the longtime manager Clint Hurdle was relieved of his duties.

Even though he was assured to be back for next season, Frank Coonelly parted ways with the team.

In the words of the legendary movie, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail:” there was much rejoicing.

Frank was then immediately replaced by former chief operating officer of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Travis Williams.

In my opinion, Frank had a solid track record up to that point, making him a good pick.

Finally, the last person to go was general manager Neal Huntington.

He was relieved of his duties even though he had two years remaining on his current contract.

In sports language, this means they really, really wanted to be done with this guy.

They didn’t even wait another few years for his contract to expire.

At the end of the day, owner Bob Nutting finally did what needed to be done many years ago.

He delivered justice to the fans who have stuck by this team through thick and thin by completely cleaning house of the old management and bringing about new changes to the organization.

This is what I, and countless other Pirates fans, have wanted for many years.

Now is the time for Bob Nutting to make sure that the new team president Travis Williams hires the correct people for this job.

He needs to hire people who truly and deeply understand the modern approach to the great game of baseball.

He needs to make sure that he is signing players for a reasonable amount.

He has to try and put the best players on the field, to bolster Pittsburgh’s ranks with the cream of the crop.

He has to hire the right manager to show the players the way to a championship and finally fulfilling the promise that these great fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates deserve.

He needs to deliver a long-awaited and long-desired World Series title.

If ownership does these things correctly this glimmer of light which is slowly forming could hopefully become something magical.

It could become an amazing season for both present and future fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates to enjoy for years to come.