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Petition aims to have MLB force Bob Nutting to sell Pirates

January 17, 2018 GMT

Pirates fans have had enough.

It’s a feeling that always simmering, but days after the Pirates traded the cornerstone of the franchise and the ace pitcher, the feeling has boiled over.

A Change.org petition aimed at having MLB force owner Bob Nutting to sell the Pirates began Tuesday, and already had almost 16,000 signatures and rising this morning.“Pittsburgh is a baseball town that is being destroyed by a greedy owner,” the petition reads. “There are so many loyal fans who truly care and support this team through thick and thin. We deserve better.”

The Pirates on Monday traded Andrew McCutchen, the former MVP and five-time All-Star, to the San Francisco Giants. Coming back? Right-handed reliever Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 worth of international pool space.

On Saturday, pitcher Gerrit Cole was shipped off to World Series champion Houston. The Pirates acquired pitcher Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, reliever Michael Feliz and minor league outfielder Jason Martin.

And then Tuesday afternoon, Josh Harrison requested he be traded if the Pirates don’t plan on competing in the next two years, which, let’s be honest, is likely not the case when you dump the face of the franchise and your best pitcher.

That series of events — coupled with back-to-back underperforming seasons that followed three straight playoff appearances — has stirred the fanbase.

“There needs to be change from the top of the organization down,” the petition reads. “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!”

Those who signed the petition left reasons for doing so in the comments section. A sampling of their reasons:

• Enough is enough with Bob Nutting. He clearly doesn’t care about the team or the fans.

• Andrew McCutchen IS the pirates! You ruin every team we have and I’m sick of you.

• I can barely remember the last World Series we won and cannot stand greedy owners out for their own interests.

• I am refusing to support the pirates and give them any money as long as he is there. We never want to contend for a championship, he just wants to make money

• I’m tired of buying a ticket plan, investing hard earned money, and sacrificing for an organization that just constantly rips my heart out and steals my joy.

Whether this petition actually generates change remains to be seen (it’s unlikely), but it has offered a landing spot for Pirates fans to commiserate and express their frustration. Will a drop ticket sales, TV ratings and general support follow?