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Quotables: Nutting steps up to the plate

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates chairman Bob Nutting talks with general manager Neal Huntington during a visit to Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

Pirates owner Bob Nutting has come under considerable heat, inside and outside the team’s clubhouse, for trading MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen and ace pitcher Gerrit Cole. And Mr. Nutting acknowledged in a recent interview that critical views from some veteran players are “correct and fair.” But he also emphasized the importance of continuing the business model that led to three consecutive playoff berths from 2013-15. And he believes the team can catch that fire again if players build a championship culture. It shouldn’t take too long into the regular season to see if that “culture” takes root. Here are some of Nutting’s observations.

“What we need to focus on are the opportunities to optimize our chances to win. What’s been really important here over the last couple of days, what’s been important over the offseason, is seeing the coaching staff, the leadership team, and, I believe, the players more and more embracing that. That’s what’s going to drive wins in Pittsburgh.”

“I think the two pieces of that really are I really do try to listen to and respect and appreciate the fans and the anger and the concern. Never want to minimize that. I want to honor it, but I want to honor it by doing what we think is best to bring performance onto the field in Pittsburgh. I deeply believe that we are taking the effective steps to move us toward … a winning culture, winning talent and a winning team in Pittsburgh.”

“What we need to do this year is to earn those fans’ trust by performing on the field. We need to earn their support as we perform and as we go forward.”

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