Fed up Pirates fans petition MLB to force Pirates owner to sell after recent trades

Within the last week the Pittsburgh Pirates traded franchise player Andrew McCutchen to the Giants and staff ace Gerrit Cole to the Astros. Neither move came as a surprise. After all, McCutchen and Cole had been popping up in trade rumors for weeks.

Those rumors weren't enough to soften the blow for Pirates fans.

A Pirates fan recently started a petition on Change.org asking MLB to force Pirates owner Bob Nutting to sell the team, ostensibly to an owner more committed to winning. Here is the petition text:

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. I, like many others, endured so much pain watching a losing franchise from 1993 until 2013 when we saw playoff baseball return to Pittsburgh. You could see and hear the pain we kept inside all those years being released that October night.  If you have had a chance to witness that glorious night, you know Pittsburgh is a baseball town.  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! 

As of this writing the petition has nearly 42,000 signatures. The original goal was 35,000 signatures, but now they're aiming for 50,000. Seems like they have a good chance to get there by the end of business Thursday. Once they have the signatures, the petition will be sent to MLB.

The petition is a symbolic gesture, of course. MLB isn't going to force Nutting -- or any owner, for that matter -- to sell their franchise. If MLB didn't force Jeffrey Loria to sell the Marlins, they're not forcing any owner to sell a team. But still, this is one way for Pirates fans to express their displeasure with the team's direction.

Nutting took over as principle owner of the Pirates back in 2007. He called the McCutchen trade the most difficult decision of his time as owner.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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