A few years ago, we asked Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly if the team could eventually afford a $70-80 M payroll. He answered that the team could afford that payroll after attendance increased. That led to a series of expectations.

1. The Pirates would eventually become competitive.

2. The attendance would increase due to the Pirates winning.

3. The payroll would go up.

Number three on that list has always been the focus of Pirates fans. The Pirates increasing payroll has always been seen as the part where they hold up their end of the bargain. Personally, if I'm looking for one thing out of a team, it's winning, rather than spending. It seems there is too much focus on the size of the payroll and not the quality of the team, which looks to be a contender once again...

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