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Owner 'extremely pleased' with Bucs' progress

Pirates owner Bob Nutting on Thursday was delighted to speak at groundbreaking ceremonies for Sean Casey's Miracle Field project in Upper St. Clair, which is partly funded by Pirates Charities.

Buoyed by Wednesday night's extra-inning win over Arizona that evened his club's record at 30-30, Nutting was equally happy to cite the improvement so far from last season's 105-loss disaster.

"Better talent, better pitching and better leadership and support," he said, naming new manager Clint Hurdle in particular. "I'm obviously extremely pleased with the progress we've made. Tremendous improvement from last year. I'm very pleased where we are. And, I really believe that we're beginning to see the impact of the changes we've made in the organization over the last 3 12 years, and I really believe we're just getting started."

Nutting became the club's principal owner in 2007, assembling a new management team and making wholesale changes to the organization's infrastructure.

"Our goal has not been and will not be to get to .500," he said. "It's a critical milestone, it's an exciting milestone, but we're not going to stop when we cross over .500. We're building an organization to win a championship. ... We have a lot of work left to do to build a championship organization, and that's what we're focused on."

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