The front office staff of the Pittsburgh Pirates would like to thank the 39,000-plus fools who attended Thursday’s home opener. Your continued support will allow the Pirates to keep offering bad baseball in Pittsburgh.
Here we are, entering our 19th consecutive year of bad professional baseball on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
The embarrassing on-field performances shouldn’t solely be based on the players. The team members who have made up the roster over that time have done exactly what they’ve been hired to do — play baseball.
We’ve read the stories detailing profits made by front office staff at the Pirates. We’ve painstakingly watched 18 years of bad baseball.
And still, people continue to show up on opening day — and throughout the season. But why?
Many of the comments I heard today centered around this: “It was a great day spent with friends.”
Oh yeah? So you paid at least $20 to get into a ballpark, at least $7 for each beer and about $6 for nachos just to have a good time with friends? Call me crazy, but there are cheaper (and more entertaining ways) to spend time with friends.
But let’s look even deeper at this issue. Those who continue to be complacent are not able to see beyond their statement of it being a nice day with friends. They refuse to accept reality.
If these people truly enjoyed baseball the way they claim to, they’d divert their money and efforts to other forms of sporting entertainment. For instance, the Washington Wild Things have offered excellent, victorious seasons surpassing that of the Pirates. The Altoona Curve, Erie SeaWolves and Mahoning Valley Scrappers also offer great, competitive baseball — things you don’t get from the Pirates.
Yes, PNC Park offers a great view of the city, but think about how much more fun you’d be having if the team actually was good. Now THAT would be a lot of fun — to go to a game, cheer for a great team and leave knowing you saw a competitive team, to cheer for winners and get to see playoffs and experience that playoff atmosphere that you so often get with the Steelers and Penguins.
I love baseball. It was the only sport I truly enjoyed playing growing up. It is the only sport I truly enjoy watching in person in a stadium. Working for a baseball team was one of the most rewarding jobs I ever had. And I love the underdog — being from Pittsburgh makes me love underdogs.
But the Pirates are no underdogs. To be an underdog, you have to be competitive.
Supporting the Pirates is like supporting an alcoholic. You know it’s not going to end well, but you keep doing it.
There is a myriad of Pittsburghers, like myself, who love the Penguins, Steelers and Pirates. But as a Pittsburgher who loves sports and loves black and gold. Sometimes, the best love is tough love.