Why the Pittsburgh Pirates Keep Losing

Explore the issues plaguing the Pittsburgh Pirates and their struggles to compete in the MLB.


Lack of Investment and Budgeting

A former front-office employee revealed that the Pirates' owner, Bob Nutting, is notorious for his frugality. Despite being a billionaire, Nutting has consistently asked his management team to do more with less. This has resulted in a limited budget for scouting, player development, and salaries, hindering the team's ability to compete.

The Pirates' payroll has consistently ranked among the lowest in the league, and the team has rarely made significant investments in free agency. Nutting's reluctance to spend money has been a major obstacle for the organization.

Issues in Player Development

The Pirates have struggled in several areas of player development, leading to a lack of impact players on the roster. The team has had years of misses in the draft and the amateur international market, failing to find consistent contributors. Additionally, conflicts between traditional and analytical coaching philosophies have created a divide in the coaching ranks.

There has also been a lack of trust among some players in the development process. Last season, third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes sought help from a Double-A hitting coach without the team's knowledge, highlighting a breakdown in communication and trust within the organization.

Mixed Messages and Confusion

The Pirates' emphasis on data and technology has created tension and confusion among players and coaches. While some players embraced the new approach, others felt that the team had lost sight of the human element of the game. The blending of old-school and new-school philosophies led to mixed messages and disrupted progress for many players.

The organization's transition to a more analytically-driven approach also resulted in a lack of veteran presence and accountability within the clubhouse. This has led to on-field incidents and a sense of disorganization within the team.