Wednesday, August 19, 2009

#128: Got Us By the Nuttings

---PNC Park Crowds a Non-Factor---

I've been tagging the end of my Pirate-related posts of late with - "Don't go to the games."

After reading this article from the New York Daily News, the problem is even worse than I had observed.

Of note, this passage:

The Pirates had about $75 million in the bank, offset by their $48 million payroll, which means they had a profit of $35 million before they sold one ticket. And this doesn't even include what these teams additionally reap from their local TV and radio rights packages and in-house concessions, advertising, signage, parking, etc.

I guess this means we'll be seeing a new lift and/or series of new trails at Seven Springs this year.

And maybe a bathroom down at the new Dominican Republic facility.

It is apparent that unless a salary cap comes to be, Pirate fans are going to be subject to the reign of the current ownership 'til they die.

Or until Major League Baseball contracts the team.

Does anyone know how to stage a corporate coup?

While some would argue vehemently that no one has any business telling anyone how to run their company, they have to recognize one key difference between a sports team and a butcher shop.

This point has been made at least twice on WMBS' "Saturday Morning Sports Talk" with Dutch Wydo (9:15AM-10AM): The team is not called the "Bob Nutting Pirates".

I doubt anyone here would go to PNC Park to watch a team by that name (though maybe the team should be called that).

As the "Pittsburgh Pirates", they are representative of a city. Their stadium was subsidized, nay, paid for by taxpayer dollars with the spoken agreement that a winning ballpark would allow and encourage management to build a winning team.

The team is no closer to a winning season now than it was then. And the people are too willing to forget promises made eight years ago (or more), choosing to focus on the current media spin.

In the scope of "The Big Picture", if we knew in 2000 (as PNC Park was being built) that the team would still be a motley bunch of young guys just happy to be on the major league level mixed with a few guys who might be legitimate nearly a decade later... we can only imagine.

Do we appeal en masse to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to see if there's anything up that alley?

Or perhaps to baseball's owners...or even the players association?

Could anyone do anything to force their hand? Promise to buy neighboring Hidden Valley Resort (other side of the mountain from Seven Springs) if they sell the team to an MLB-approved entity?

I try not to criticize too harshly unless I have a plan of my own, but the brains have to start storming now unless we want to see another 5-year plan begin in 2013.

Perhaps contraction would be the best option.


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