Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! BEETLEJUICE!!!

Seriously, I've been meaning to address this at some point today (or now, yesterday), but apparently before Michael Keaton threw out the first pitch today he had some, umm, not so kind words for the Pirates ownership.

"I fear they will take advantage of the good will of the people who continue to show up," he continued. "For my money, that's disrespectful. At some point, you either have to write the check or do something and not assume, well, we're OK and, ultimately, the franchise is valuable, anyway, like Donald Sterling did with the Los Angeles Clippers."
Seriously, there's not a worse thing you can say about an owner. Donald Sterling is the patron saint of "My money first, second and third" owners. And yet, I can't think of a better comparison for this group of owners than Donald Sterling. I'll admit, it was a low blow for Keaton to do this after being invited to throw the first pitch, and you know what, I don't care. There's no group of people that deserves it more than the Pirates owners. This is something that people have been trying to say for years without much success. It's true, we're too gracious. Every single time I go to a Pirates game like the one today I honestly feel bad about it because I know that by paying to see it, it's virtually the same as my vote of approval for what the owners are doing. Still, it's not like I'm going to stop going any time soon, and I don't know anyone else that is either. Because of that, there's no real timetable to turn things around. Sure, it'd be an added bonus if they did it soon, but that's all it would be, a bonus. It's simply not currently imperative to the business of the Pittsburgh Pirates to win baseball games. It's more important (and cheaper, both in terms of time and money) to foster the illusion of competition than it is to compete. And in that manner, they're more or less exploiting the "graciousness," as Keaton put it, of the fans that keep showing up at the games. Kudos to Keaton for calling them out on it, especially knowing that he had a stage to be noticed for saying it (because seriously, if Michael Keaton says that in March or July does anyone care?). And I hope he enjoyed the last Pirates game he'll ever be invited to by the McClatchy/Nutting ownership. I swear that when I own the team, he'll be back as an honored guest.

In a somewhat related topic (I forgot this in my game recap below), Keaton's first pitch was awesome. He threw an awful pitch to Doumit, ran off the mound, demanded the ball back, got back on the mound, and threw a strike. Just an all around hilarious moment to watch unfold.