i'm very happy that this has gained a lot more momentum than expected. bob nutting released a stupic statement before the game today saying that he 'shared our frustrations' and that he remains 'committed to winning' games (as proof that he's either lying or a moron of epic proportions, dave littlefield is still the GM). also, the pirates have forbade the broadcast team of making any mention of the protest on the air, have been very swift to remove any mention of it from the pirates mlb.com message board and ban members who post about it, and have also convinced FSN pittsburgh to not show any live footage of the walkout, which the exec producer agreed to do 'in a difficult decision' because, despite it being a news story, in a way they are 'different than the local news'http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07179/797796-63.stm
the plan is to meet outside the stadium two hours before gametime for the protest, which will feature a member of the '71 WS team (rumored to be dock ellis). i have to say that, as a life-long pirates fan, this is huge for me. as of right now, most baseball fans just know the pirates as perennial doormats -- hopefully this will get some attention and more and more baseball fans, media types, whoever will realize that a lack of resources (ie just because we are a 'small market') is not really at the heart of the problem in the pirates case, but rather a lack of committment to anything but turning a profit from the current ownership grouphttp://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/33/07m ... peed=10000
according to forbes, the yanks (thanks to their payroll) were the only team to take a loss last season, with the marlins and pirates (two of the lowest payrolls in baseball) turning among the biggest profits in the league (thanks to MLB's welfare system). that, my friend, is the true problem with the pirates -- ownership sees it only as a business. they couldn't care less about the history of the team, the legendary players to wear the uniform, or the great memories that many in western pennsylvania have from generations of following the buccos. all they see is the bottom line.
things are already in place to help change the disparity in payroll across the league -- i'm not going to argue that it's not 'enough', but it's something. clearly, when the top of the heap in profit are the teams investing the least in the on-the-field product, something is amiss, and it ain't that they don't have some money to work with. the pirates, for instance, have been using revenue sharing money to pay down the debt that the club (read: the club's current ownership group) owes, which in turn increases the 'value' of the franchise itself. yep, in lieu of winning freaking baseball games, the nutting family and kevin mclatchy's aim is to increase their own bank accounts. as long as these people remain in place, people who have made it abundantly clear with their actions that they don't care about fielding a winning team for pirates fans, then as a fan i literally have no hope