After a long internal investigation of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Benstonium.com has concluded that owners and general managers concealed critical facts that their team had sucked for the past 19 years, failing to address the issue responsibly.
Despite having catastrophic seasons that should have hinted that there was a problem, General Managers Cam Bonifay, David Littlefield, and owner Kevin McClatchy made repeated attempts to hide the fact that the team had committed any wrongdoing. Instead, they excused the behavior as “rebuilding years” and moved on.
Throughout the 1990s, reported cases of former GM Cam Bonifay filling the roster with young, unproven prospects should have immediately thrown up red flags. “Why did no one else ask questions before it was too late? I repeatedly told my superiors that nobody could win with these guys!” said Jim L. (a Pirates manager who wishes to remain anonymous).
The first case in 1993 occurred when the Pirates dumped the large contracts of Doug Drabek and Barry Bonds for a much younger and inexperienced team. The new lineup consisted of mediocre first baseman Kevin Young and a 21 year-old rookie named Midre Cummings. Instead of admitting that the team was ultimately being cheap, Pirates GM Cam Bonifay aggressively stood behind Young, and fully supported Cummings.
Multiple reported cases of the team losing continued to surface through the late 90s and early 2000s. Instead of telling the authorities and sports reporters that the team had no chance of making the playoffs, the problem was again to be resolved internally. Owner Kevin McClatchy reassured them that the team just needed rehabilitation in the form of a new stadium.
When crowds began appearing at PNC Park to watch their not-so-good Pirates, the team’s embarrassing performance was at risk of finally becoming obvious to ticketholders. Complaints about the team diminished with the introduction of distracting spectacles such as fireworks, concerts, and anthropomorphic racing Pierogies. The investigation uncovered that behind the scenes, the Pirates continued to suck. At this point, McClatchy and new general manager David Littlefield were well aware of the situation.
In an email sent by Littlefield, in an obvious attempt to conceal the team’s on-field disgrace, “We can’t keep reminding the fans that winning is good. We gotta trade Giles!” The report states Littlefield was afraid that the talented players abilities could inspire others to play well, opening “Pandora’s Box”.
By continuing to pay high-salaries to players that remained quiet on the field, such as Derek Bell, Jeromy Burnitz, and Raul Mondesi, ownership was empowering these men to continue this streak of futility. The report claims that had Littlefield done his duty as general manager, Pirates fans’ hopes would not have been violated by the likes of Brian Bullington.
These accusations have surfaced in the past few months with the success of this year’s team. The report claims that the abuse that fans have received for 19-years could have been easily prevented had management taken the responsibility to admit their team sucked. To knowingly allow a sub-par team to take the field, while taking fans’ money, is disgraceful.
Although the victimization of Pirates fans is now in this proud city’s past, the pain is still present. “Being a Buccos fan all my life, I’ve gotten used to the losing. Team ownership repeatedly told us to bend over and take it.” said one “irate” fan. The team is finally standing up for themselves, and this suffering caused by Bonifay, Littlefield and McClatchy’s inaction will soon come to an end. Unfortunately, it’s 19-years too late.