Saturday, March 22, 2008

Please stay away

PNC Park is one of the nicest ballparks in the country. There, that pretty much sums up the reasons to attend a Pittsburgh Pirates game this season. When are baseball fans in Western Pennsylvania going to wake up and do their part to put an end to the worst string of baseball seasons any of us has ever seen? Last year, the Pirates completed their 15th consecutive losing season, finishing the year at 68-94. The response of the Nutting family, owners of the Pirates? They did virtually nothing. The Pirates actually lost valuable contributors in the bullpen and will have the same starting lineup as the one that came close to losing 100 games last year. They will have Matt Morris, who was signed last year to a massive contract that eats up a huge chunk of the Pirates' meager payroll, despite the fact that he gives every sign of being washed up. That act essentially was the farewell "up yours" from since-fired general manager Dave Littlefield. There's a good chance this year that the Pirates' new "brain trust" will be looking to unload the team's few valuable veterans - Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and Jack Wilson - as quickly as they can get a decent offer. My question is, what would management do if the Pirates somehow got off to a good start and remained in contention for at least a wild card spot as the trading deadline approached? Would they then decide to keep the three veterans and actually add another player that could help them down the stretch? I'd have to see it to believe it. In the meantime, until the Nuttings provide some tangible evidence that they are committed to putting a winner on the field, I beg good baseball fans to stay away in droves from PNC Park. There are other ways to spend your entertainment dollars. If you really love baseball, go to a Wild Things game. Go swimming. Take the family on a picnic. Go to Kennywood. But for God's sake, don't give your hard-earned dollars to people who are doing the equivalent of spitting in your face, year after year after year. Maybe, just maybe, if the Pirates play in front of a couple thousand fans every game, and the profits go down as the national embarrassment goes up, the Nuttings will sell the team to someone who would spend what it takes to put a winner on the field. Winning isn't everything, but winning once in a generation would be nice. My son is a grown man, and he's never known what a winning Pirates season is like. I just don't want to be saying the same thing when my grandchildren are adults.



Blogger Roger said...

I have never been to PNC Park, nor Hienz Field, and probably will never set foot in either place. My reasons have nothing to do with the teams, their successes or failures, or the costs of attending (that could be a good reason itself).

When Plan A for stadium funding was voted down many years ago, the message was loud and clear. No, one could argue the vote was not for stadium funding directly, it was masked through a RAD fund change I believe. But, the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of Mayor Murphy, and other politicians, the tax money was eventually procured for these projects. The politicians knew that if the voters turned down the support, they would merely take other avenues to get tax money.

Those devious actions forever turned me away from ever supporting anything in those two venues. I have had invitations of others to go to PNC Park, but said "no" and told them why. The arguments about how valuable these investments would be, how important they are to economic development -- all hogwash in my book.

Yes -- stay home!!

March 22, 2008 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

I think I even spelled the name of the Steelers wrong. It doesn't look right. Maybe yet another manifestation of a subconscious rejection of the stadium idea, don't know.

March 22, 2008 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They would still be profitable with little to no attendance thanks to MLB's revenue sharing system.

March 23, 2008 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Mike Jones said...

Yeah, MLB's revenue sharing bails Bob Nutting out no matter how many people stay away. And who would blame them for going when you get a bobble head and/or fireworks with admission?

Kidding aside, I will not be able to stay away because I enjoy the game too much, especially on a gorgeous summer evening. However, I promise you this: I will buy a $9 seat, move down to the third row by the fourth inning and not spend one dime on food or beer. I'd rather hit primanti's at market square before the game, anyway.

March 23, 2008 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

The Pirates may well make a very healthy profit through revenue sharing alone, but the fans don't have to help stuff the pockets of people who refuse to put a decent product on the field. It's just throwing good money after bad. In one of George Romero's more recent zombie movies, he poked fun at Pittsburghers' fascination with fireworks. Anytime people wanted to distract the zombies, they would set off fireworks, and the zombies would stare skyward like slack-jawed idiots. Kind of like Pirates fans.

March 23, 2008 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

At least the Pirates aren't running around beaing their wives and girlfriends. I forgot, they can't beat anybody. Nevermind.

March 24, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I meant to say beating. That was a good one too. I ruined it.

March 24, 2008 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Monique Ringling said...

Still funny!

March 24, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

I'll keep going back, regardless.

March 24, 2008 at 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nuttings refuse to spend any money hiring anyone approaching competent in any of their many business ventures.

Why would the pirates be any different?

March 25, 2008 at 8:12 AM  

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