Oct 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Fans arrive through the turnstiles before the National League wild card baseball playoff game between the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Attention Pittsburgh Pirate Apologists!!


What is a Pittsburgh Pirate Apologist?  Depends on who you ask I guess.  In this town there are two distinct sets of fans.   The apologist and the unrepentant.   Of course the vast majority lie in the middle, but always lean one way or another.

This is Pittsburgh’s version of baseball politics at its finest.

Mark Madden is an example of an unrepentant.  An individual who blasts the organization for the lack of spending, the lack of commitment, the amount of profit, and the unwillingness to go over budget.

They would classify the apologist as a sheep.  A rube.  Someone who is stupid enough to believe management propaganda about building a world-class team without spending world-class money.  They chastise fans for spending money at the games, watching on TV, buying the merchandise, etc.

They believe by doing so you are just enabling a Management who only wants one thing.  MONEY.  You see, what you apologists don’t understand is that if management keeps making money, then they’ll continue the policy of not spending, being very budget minded, and not paying market value for big time free agents.  As a result, the apologist is nothing but a mindless drone that is doing more damage then good.

That’s the argument at least.

The Apologist would say that they just enjoy baseball.  They believe that rebuilding a long running, sustainable winner requires internal investment versus external investment.  They don’t mind the lack of spending.  They just like to cheer for the team that is on the field and lend their support to the players that are on the roster and they can care less about the players that aren’t.

Who cares about management decisions?   If we’re winning we’re winning.  If we’re not, there’s always next year.  I’ll always love my Bucco’s no matter what and you can’t tell me not to.  That’s the apologist way.

So who’s right?  The answer of course isn’t quite that simple.

The fact is that if you lean more to the right (unrepentant) then hating ownership might actually prevent you from enjoying one heck of a baseball team currently.   It could blind you to the truth that you can win without spending and that the Pirates are living proof of that.  All of your years of frustration could have been alleviated last year if you just wouldn’t care about Nutting so much.

If you’re too far left, maybe the decades of failure has pacified your desire to win a championship.  Maybe your expectations are too low.  Maybe you’re happy hitting .500 and don’t really desire for anything more.  In that case, you will continue to enable if the team doesn’t win a championship.  Or at least compete for one on a regular basis.

Me?  Maybe I am an apologist.  We do have a winning team as of this moment and NH has won a free pass in my book due to the performance of his Frankenstein.  Even his offseason, as miserable as it was, will get swept under the rug because he’s shown he can win.  And I think that deserves my respect.  Not to mention I pretty much have agreed with the majority of the decisions that he’s made since he started running the team.

Until that changes, I’m happy just watching.  No apologies.

Catch the Big Tuna Show every Sunday on Blog Talk Radio and follow me @TheBigTuna for great Pirate insight all season long.

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  • JBubs

    Tony, from one Apologist to another:

    My heart has pumped black and gold since the day the Great Roberto met Honus, Babe, and Lou. And since that day I have been (to quote St. Paul), “always prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.” The respect is for the game that is always larger than anyone who plays it, Sorry Pete Rose apologists. The gentleness is especially apt for the wining times for, “Yea, though we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death for 20 years, we will fear no evil: for we have Andrew with us; Neil’s glove and Pedro’s bat they comfort us.”

    NH is right on schedule. Go Bucs.