Just hours after announcing the exit of Team President Frank Coonelly, the Pirates have reportedly identified new leadership. Travis Williams, former Chief Operating Officer for the crosstown Pittsburgh Penguins, will be named as Pittsburgh’s new prez within the next week, per a report from Jason Mackey of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (link).
Williams has been working as the President of Business Operations for the NHL’s New York Islanders since last November, following eleven years spent working in the Penguins organization (including eight as the club’s COO). According to the Penguins’ website, Williams was chiefly involved with the oversight of “day-to-day business and arena operations”; Mackey indicates that the Pirates organization might expect their new President to focus more on similarly business-centric concerns, which would mark something of a departure from Coonelly’s active hand in day-to-day baseball operations.
Interestingly, Williams’ professional profile with the Penguins also included work as the team’s liaison with building manager (and entertainment monolith) AEG. Williams’ strong background in arena development and event operations could have been viewed as an asset in the eyes of Pirates owner Bob Nutting, who was reportedly dissatisfied with declining attendance under Coonelly’s watch.
Before entering the professional sports industry, Williams was partner at global law firm Reed Smith LLP. The Indianapolis native holds degrees from both Penn State and Duquesne. Mackey suspects that the team will withhold an announcement on Williams’ hiring until Monday.
The Ghost of Bobby Bonilla
More to come…..we have now learned that Bob Nutting has asked Travis to cut payroll by 10% and to stop wasting so much money on soap and paper towels in the stadium bathrooms….
“…Bob Nutting, who, reportedly, was dissatisfied with…” that’s two unnecessary commas. A lot of these MLBTR writers (or their editors) have a big comma fetish.
Turns me on!
“I Need more commas!” — The Bruce Dickinson
More cowbells, more commas….what’s the diff?
If you are upset about commas on a mlb rumor site then I just feel sorry for you.
So now the GM is going to have more power!!??
Or is Nutting going to pull a
Either way it’s not good
Getting a baseball guy out of the front office for an entertainment guy makes one less front office guy worried about the actual accomplishments of the team on the field.
Just waiting for NH to be promoted to oversee baseball operations and then hire a puppet GM
This organization is a mess. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why attendance is down the last few years. When the organization can’t put a winning team on the field, no one wants to pay to watch them lose. Pirates need to get people in that organization that know how to build a winning club for longer than 2 years. In order to get people to build the organization up to what us fan expect (a winning team), Nutting needs to sell and have the new ownership shake down the front office. Get people who can evaluate talent throughout the league and nationally. What I have seen the last few years, is people who have no clue what they are doing. Players like Moran, Stallings, Archer, Chisenhill, and many others shouldn’t be in Pittsburgh or brought to Pittsburgh. The roster is filled with scrubs and there is very few bright spots on this roster.
I am just going to leave it at that. Good day everyone
So true. If you want higher attendance and more ad revenue, win some damn games!
This organization is becoming more and more “slapstick”!
Bob Nutting is not “cleaning house”; he’s “shaving salary”.
Does anybody have any ideas on this move? Why would you hire an NHL facilities manager to run your MLB team??
he is really good at organizing giveaways and events .Bobbleheads and fireworks aren’t drawing the crowds anymore!!
Mendoza Line 215
He is a local guy from his time with the Penguins.What did Connelly do anyway?There may have been more to the story of letting him go that will not be coming out.
The organization needed some changes and the firing of Hurdle was the most important one.That should have happened a year earlier but they had a winning record in 2018.They have fired a couple of minor league managers I believe because of the lack of good fundamentals coaching.The coaches will be let go with the hiring of a new manager although the hitting coaches should stay.
Progress will be determined by free agent pitching signings and the success of the new manager.
Looks like the owner is blaming the president not the GM for the team’s sorry performance last year.
Let’s go Pens.
Why so they can replace PNC park?
Bob- nothing is going to change unless you change your out look on spending. People are not going to come to a triple a team. Neil has already taken the same stance as last year. By low and hope big. That does not work. Hint hint. You need to look at Houston Astros and deployed their model. Evidently, your is not working period.
Moving to Vegas will be a “change”.
Am I the only one that saw Travis Williams and thought “Bob Nutting hired his f’cking son” ????