Yesterday my colleague Doug put up a post highlighting many of the reasons that Bob Nutting is a bad owner. Most of us fans realize that his frugal ways are a problem, but Doug points out that the issues run much deeper. I recommend reading the entire thing. I only bring this up because yesterday I became aware of one of the simplest things that the Pirates organization managed to bungle in a big way.
That is the 2024 calendar and if you take a close look at the picture you’ll quickly notice that there is not a single person on it that is still a member of the organization. You’ll see Tucupita Marcano, Rodolfo Castro, Ben Gamel, Greg Allen, Michael Chavis, and on the very far left who I believe to be Bligh Madris. This is a photo from the 2022 team. They’re celebrating so it likely is from one of their 62 wins that season.
You would think that for a 2024 calendar, you would want the cover to picture some of your current star players who will actually be a part of the 2024 season. Were there no photos available of Bryan Reynolds, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Mitch Keller, Andrew McCutchen, or David Bednar? You know… the guys that fans actually come out to the ballpark to see.
Now I’m not saying that the blame for this lies squarely on Bob Nutting’s shoulders. I highly doubt that he’s such a control freak that he requires final approval of something as small as a team calendar. But it does highlight the team’s inability to get even the small things right. If you can’t be bothered to get the little things right, how are we supposed to have any confidence that you can get the important things right?
We’ve been told for quite a while now that 2024 was the beginning of the Pirates’ window of competing. Ben Cherington has spoken about being aggressive with trades and free agency to put the team into a good position this coming season. Sending out a calendar with that picture on the front doesn’t inspire much confidence in any of that happening. It makes it look like you don’t care. Even a little.
As a Pirates fan with a fair bit of mileage on the ol’ tires, I’ve grown accustomed to this organization disappointing me with the product that they put on the field. I’ve accepted it and still support them with the entirety of my cold heart. It would be nice if they stopped disappointing the fans with these easy things, though. Do better, guys. A team calendar filled with players who are no longer on the team is hardly an Instagrammable moment.
A previous version of this post had said that Bligh Madris was pictured on the far right of the calendar when he is on the far left. We apologize for this error and the post has been corrected for accuracy. The author of the post has been sent to a local Kindergarten class for a refresher on telling his right from his left. We expect him to return this week assuming he completes the requisite coursework.