An Open Letter To Pirates Ownership
To Whom It May Concern:
As true fans of your beloved organization, we are concerned that with the team’s recent success, there is also the potential for a catastrophic downturn in gameday promotions. With playoff hopes high for the first time in two decades, and on-the-field performance attracting large crowds, the need for post-game concerts, bicentennial-grade firework shows, and running pierogies will decrease significantly.
For years, we have supported this team based largely on these giveaways and between inning spectacles. If you think you will retain our business by selling us a winning team and great ball players, but no promotions to back them up, you are wrong! We are Pirates fans, and you cannot buy our loyalty with flashy plays and home runs. We know they are just distractions from your lack of high-quality, high-priced gimmicks that are seen in the larger market venues around the league.
This letter is on behalf of all the die-hard Pirate fans out there. Those fans who work all week, spend their hard earned money on tickets, and expect a great night at the ballpark, a free t-shirt and at least a $3-off Eat n Park Scratch ‘N Win. Pirates ownership, you must gut this team now before a winning record removes everything that’s so special about this game. It’s “America’s past-time” for a reason, and that’s catching placeholder hotdogs shot at tremendous speeds from a cannon by an 8-foot tall Parrot.
Any true Pirate fan will agree, everything that is meaningful about this game happens between innings and in post-game concerts. You will be removing the childhood heroes from the fan experience. It’s not the MVP-contending centerfielder making that diving catch that the kids look up to, but the gentleman two rows down who catches that t-shirt from a slingshot. How are you going to explain to that little 10-year-old, whose dream was to be one of the first 14,000 fans and receive a kids jersey of his favorite All Star, that he will have to settle for merely watching his favorite All Star play great baseball.
And where’s the incentive for the 40-somethings who spend their entire off-season waiting to see who management will put on the field during post-game concerts. I’m not the only one who jumps for joy when that lineup card is released and Styx is yet again included in SkyBlast. Not since the glory days of “Blue Collar Man” and “Renegade” has a journeyman like Tommy Shaw had an opportunity to bring baseball crowds to their feet like at PNC Park. They’ll deliver the hits if you just give them a chance! But no, you’re going to throw away “Mr. Roboto” for a Mr. McCutchen. Shame on you, Pirates ownership!
Yes, Pirates ownership… you can sell off your contract with Zambelli to a team with a higher promotional payroll, but you will no longer have our support. Fireworks following home runs and wins are not nearly enough for the pyromaniac Pirate fan. We sacrificed 19 years, now we have to sacrifice armageddon-esque explosions for some shoddy All Stars and a pennant race?! Get real, Pirates ownership!
How can you expect those anthropomorphic pierogies to give it their all for a team that will probably just cut them in the off-season? They’re not only running to win the race, but they’re running for their careers, their lives. There is too much history and pride to give up on the great promotions that have made this organization so great. If you turn your back on promotional legends like the Pierogies by continuing to win baseball games, you may as well erase the legendary names that have made the Pirates so great. Clemente Kids Jersey, Honus Wagner Bobblehead, Mazeroski Collectible Coin. Apparently they mean nothing to you!
This coming off-season will bring many difficult decisions, but that’s what baseball is all about: making those crucial decisions in high-pressure situations. Do you stay with the status quo, continue winning, and turn your back on the promotions and your loyal fans? It’s time to decide Pirates ownership, do you settle for the jacket, or take your chances with the box of mystery?
-Concerned Bucco / Styx Fan