Thousands of Pirates fans sign petition urging owner to sell the team

Bob Nutting is facing ire from fans after dealing Andrew McCutchen. (AP Photo)

After decades of losing, Pittsburgh Pirates fans were finally excited to have a window of opportunity the past couple years. The team failed to capitalize on those competitive seasons, and admitted another rebuild was coming by dealing away two of the most prominent members of the club’s core.

That was the final straw for a number of Pirates fans. Over 25,000 of them, actually.

After the team traded away Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, a petition popped up on urging team owner Bob Nutting to sell the club.

It begins by saying Pirates fans deserve better than what they are currently getting:

“Pittsburgh is a baseball town that is being destroyed by a greedy owner.  There are so many loyal fans who truly care and support this team through thick and thin. We deserve better.”

And it ends with the fans telling Nutting to sell the club:

“We’ve had enough! There needs to be change from the top of the organization down.  Bob Nutting needs to sell this team, so that we can see a competitive baseball team year in and year out. It is obvious that he doesn’t want to spend the money to make that happen. We need an owner who has a competitive spirit and loves the game of baseball!”

When the petition was launched Tuesday, the person who wrote it — who goes by J K on the site — was asking for 25,000 signatures. It has already surpassed that number, and now J K is trying to get 35,000 fans to sign it.

It’s not just the fans who are angry, though. The players aren’t too happy either. Infielder Josh Harrison, who’s the most tenured member of the team, no one longer wants that distinction. He requested a trade Tuesday.

Reliever Felipe Rivero expressed shock and maybe a little regret on Twitter after the team traded McCutchen. He had good reason for that, as the team announced possibly the most ill-timed extension ever with him just moments after the McCutchen trade broke.

Nutting isn’t going to sell because fans are angry, though the petition does send a message to ownership.

Given some of the responses we’ve seen from fans, this is only the first part of the plan. The next step involves not supporting the team financially until change happens. That seems like it would be more effective.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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