I meant to write something yesterday, but as you probably know by now, Kevin McClatchy has sold his final shares of the Pittsburgh Pirates and gave up his spot on the board, meaning that he’s officially as affiliated with the team as you or I now (unless you’re Bob Nutting, in which case, “Hi”).
As you might expect there’s been some nasty things being written about McClatchy since the news was announced yesterday, but he never actually struck me as a bad guy. He seemed like someone that was trying, but was in over his head when it came to day-to-day baseball operations. His biggest mistake, and it was a huge one, was hiring and sticking with Dave Littlefield far after it became obvious that Littlefield was not a good general manager. But someone had to put a group of owners together in 1996 to keep the team from leaving, and McClatchy was the one that did that. And someone had to get the ball rolling to get PNC Park built and McClatchy was the one that did that.
His baseball management was terrible and that’s the main reason the team is as bad today as they are, but he’s also the main reason that they’re able to be terrible in Pittsburgh and not Portland or St. Petersburg. This might sound like a backhanded compliment, and maybe it is a little bit, but thank you, Kevin, for not being Jeffrey Loria.