Posts Tagged ‘Pirates’

The Pirates and hope

I don’t really follow baseball.  I mean, I root for the Pirates, I wouldn’t think of rooting for another team.  But hockey is my sport, so I don’t know much about the roster, stats or anything else, really (same with football, I know, a sin here in Pittsburgh).

So I have cautious optimism while we’re doing so well.  Fool me 20 times, shame on you.  Fool me 21 times, shame on me.

The Good Men Project took a look at the Pirates.  Does this resonate?  Is it missing something?  Let me know, and maybe I’ll see you at the double header later today!

Let’s go Bucs!

McClatchy, influence and the future

A few weeks ago, news broke that McClatchy, former owner of the Pirates, came out after being away from the organization (and I think the city) for years.

The New York Times has an extensive story on the subject, and it includes this bit:

And pro sports offers a frontier on which there’s considerable good to be done

While that is true (the sentence is referencing the generally homophobic culture of sports, albeit one that is slowly changing), I think lately we’ve seen a big shift in the thinking, or at least public face, or sports.  Homophobia seems to be disappearing (with some kicking and screaming), but I’m not convinced that a retired owner of the Pirates is really going to do that much good in that arena.

That being said, apparently McClatchy and his family own the third largest newspaper corporation in the country, and combined with other connections, there is real possibility to do real good.

“So I’m curious to see how the public, particularly in Pittsburgh, responds,” Zeigler said, wondering aloud if they’ll blame McClatchy’s private burdens for his team’s performance.

Again, I’m not a huge baseball follower, no doubt in part of being exposed to the Pirates and their now epic fall clinching them 20 losing seasons in a row.  But from what I saw on Facebook when this broke, was it pretty much was well known anyway, and people find all kinds of things to blame the Pirates losing streak on, usually the owners and management, but not because of who they love, instead it is them doing a crappy job running a professional sports team that got us into this mess.

Does this change much?  I don’t really think so.  The Pirates are still in the midst of the longest streak of professional sports losses, and doing so in a spectacular fashion.  Pittsburghers don’t need to hear much more than that, and that is a credit to them.

To see the amazing new video from Benstonium about the epic 20-season streak, click here.

The Pirates join the It Gets Better Campaign

The Pirates are the first of the three main sports teams in Pittsburgh to make an “It Gets Better” Video, which aired in PNC Park before a recent game.   Check out the video here.

The Pirates are also working on programs to support local LGBT organizations, and President Frank Coonelly had this to say:

We feel it is important to get the message out that there is no place in our society for bullying anyone for any reason,” he said. “The organization is pleased to utilize our resources to help call attention to this subject and to encourage those that have been a victim of bullying to come forward and seek help.

Pittsburgh City Paper covers the story here, and my favorite comment comes from YouTube, looking at the irony of the most-loosing professional sports team saying that “It Gets Better.”


Bucs vs Reds

Already got fireworks for the two run homer, and more coming up after the game.

PATransit Tuesday: North Shore Connector

Over the weekend, I headed to the Pirates game (the one they lost) and on the way back, was able to take the North Shore Connector from the North Shore station to Steel Plaza.

My only complaint is that the steps were messing with my eyes a little bit, but I think my glasses hadn’t gone all the way back to clear from sunglasses at the time, so I’ll chalk it up to that.

We ended up waiting about five minutes with a pretty large group.  We all got on, and smoothly headed across to downtown.  It has been years since I’ve ridden the T, and I forgot how smooth it was.  I ended up helping a very nice couple who was unsure of the order of stops, but were also getting off at Steel Plaza, so it made it convenient for them to just follow me.

I’m a little confused as to what the “Area of Refuge” signs are for.  First I was thinking it was for lost children, but then I realized young kids would not understand the word “refuge.”  Then I thought maybe in inclement weather, the T station can be used a storm shelter, or maybe it is a warming station for the homeless.  If you know, please sound off in the comments, I’m interested!

Since it was free, I took the T, although I think I probably would have ridden even if I had to pay for the convenience, I just don’t know how I would have shown the operator my pass, but I guess since I rarely ride the T my ignorance can be forgiven, at least this once.

Check out the rest of the pictures from the North Shore station (and pictures from the game) in the gallery here.

Don’t lose faith

As Ginny’s Bandwagon finds itself with more and more seats, the Pirates continue their losing streak.  But don’t lose faith, instead, watch this awesome video from Benstonium (which I”m not sure if it will show up embedded below):



Happiness and Sorrow

Today’s sports news brings both happiness and sorrow, although chances are you’ve already heard both items by now.

First, go outside right now, head to Oakland and burn a couch, the Pirates are over .500!  As of this writing, the game being played now has no score, so we can still celebrate this fleeting whiff of mediocrity!

Second, sadly, the Cotton Candy Man has passed away.  Ken Geidel, who also sold Lemonade at Pirates Games, was a Pittsburgh staple.  And, in a very classy move, the Penguins put up a news story about it.  How many cities professional sports teams care like that?  Read the Pen’s article here, and go to WTAE’s coverage here, which includes two videos of Geidel in action.

Slate covers The Pirates

New York, D.C. and New Haven-based Slate magazine is covering The Pirates this morning.  Some favorite quotes:

The Pirates’ operating income in 2008 was $22 million. If they had spent that entire amount on free-agent players in 2009, they’d have added about four wins for the season—ending up 66-95 instead of 62-99. That is, they still would have been terrible—not exactly what the fans have in mind when they ask the owner to empty his wallet.

So, which is it? If we assume that Pirates ownership is at least somewhat rational in trying to maximize its profits, we have to conclude that each extra win brings in less than the $5 million it costs—otherwise, it would have already spent the extra money. But how much less?

It would be nice for the fans if the Pirates were willing to lose millions of dollars in order to bring a competitive team to their loyal supporters. But even superrich owners are looking for some kind of return on their investment. In the end, the Pirates can spend a lot of money on player salaries, or they can turn a profit. They can’t do both.

The article mainly looks at the detailed finanical documents obtained by Deadspin, and compares Pittsburgh with Tampa Bay.  The article is a great read, and even better when paired with That’s Church’s demise of the Pirate’s Bandwagon.

We are good at losing

City of Champions


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