Gregory Polanco Debut Not Sold Out Is Easy To Understand


Sep 22, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting on the field before the Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Gregory Polanco debut at PNC Park was not sold out.  Shame. Shame.

Pittsburgh Pirates fans are some of the smartest in the game of baseball.  Believe it or not, a lot of them don’t live in Pittsburgh.  We’ve been to games all over the planet and have always enjoyed talking with fans from all over the greatest nation in the world.  But the Pirates are a confusing team.  The team created the 2013 success by getting hot as hell early in the season, loading up on some veterans and coasting to their first winning season and post season berth in what seemed like an eternity.

The 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates season was supposed to be even more exciting.  But nothing but bad news has hit the fans until today.  The call-up of Gregory Polanco is an insanely exciting time for the Pirates.  But apparently it wasn’t as exciting as some in town expected.

I find it amusing that Gregory Polanco making his debut is defined by the best writer in town as an “issue.”  Isn’t that word used by the government when discussing something in a far away country, taxes, hell, anything but baseball.   It’s funny.  This issue?

Any guesses on how a word like issue becomes involved in something as exciting as Gregory Polanco making his debut?

Let’s face it, as long as Bob Nutting is in the ownership seat, talented players being over seasoned in the minors will continue to happen.  Will continue to be an “issue” if you will.  But Nutting will continue to get positive, mostly glowing narrative from DK.  Even when Nutting does what well…owners of business actually do…you know,….act like they care about the business and get everyone in the same room and look each other in the eye.  Hilarious.  Aren’t business owners supposed to know what’s actually…well, happening with their business?  But even so, it’s hard to argue with it at its’ core.  Especially when looking at the revenues flowing into Federal Street and the product on the field despite key injuries in 2014.

Just look what Nutting has done as the majority owner of the Bucs. Seriously. Take a long look at what has finally been created on Federal Street, the six Miracle Fields around Western PA,  the Academy where Polanco spent some time, and even the transformation in Bradenton.    Bob Nutting will be here long after Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington are gone.  Face it, ripping Nutting isn’t good for business.  We know what happens when we do it,  but we choose to live with the consequences.  We just couldn’t do it any other way.

I believe most agree, the Pirates off season was disappointing.  A.J. Burnett wasn’t made a qualifying offer.  Key free agents were made offers, but all went elsewhere. Jameson Taillon elected for Tommy John.  Gerrit Cole has shoulder fatigue.  The team that was not improved in the offseason has vastly under performed.  Pitching has been pathetic.  Runners are stranded night after night.  The defense is horrid.  It’s absolutely sucked to be a Pirates fan since the majestic sun set on the 2013 season.  So the refusal to bring Polanco up to a club that needed production from right field was simply icing on the frustration feast.

But I think fans are expected to ignore all of those facts and just fast forward to this glorious evening. Flood the gates, get frisked, overpay for beer and then wait in ridiculous lines to relieve themselves, suffer through poor wi fi when trying to make purchases, watch another short outing from a Pirates starter, and heh…you wanted Polanco why aren’t you just going to #PackPNC like puppets?

Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco (62) at bat against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

But wait…the game was not sold out.  And somehow…. that’s baffling?  Somehow Polanco wasn’t so exciting after all as DK wisely pointed out.

Or maybe reading between the lines, the fans just wanted to bitch about Bob Nutting?  They really weren’t going to come on 18 hours notice to actually see him.  Maybe, just maybe that’s what DK is saying.  It’s how I read it anyway.

Simply because the Pirates finally decided to make the Polanco call-up doesn’t mean that I am going to head to the ballpark.  It just doesn’t work that way for me, despite watching some really terrible Pirates teams, some hilarious debuts, and missing innings as I stand in line to relieve the craft beer from my body.

Before the game Frank Coonelly said the team still had 8,000 tickets to sell.  Guess what Frank?  People don’t like being sold.  But they love to buy.  The Pirates did nothing this off season to make them want to buy.  It’s like this.  The whole “issue” reeks of this for us:  heh Pirates fans….  The best players are finally at PNC Park Pittsburgh, where the hell yinz at?

Warning:  Don’t Take a drink before reading this sentence.

Back in September of 2012, DK said the Pirates don’t belong to Nutting, they belong to the city.

Seriously?  Come on, that’s ridiculous.  Nutting will run the Pirates the way he wants to run them.  It’s what he does.  He’s the owner, he can do whatever the hell he wants to do.   He’s obviously very successful at what he does.  That’s how sports business works.  That’s how Nutting works–just ask homeowners at Hidden Valley and Seven Springs.

But it doesn’t mean everyone has to like what the, as DK says, the ‘caretaker or the steward’ of “our” Pirates franchise does with it.  It also doesn’t mean Pirates fans aren’t excited about Gregory Polanco.  The fact is the Pirates just aren’t a good team right now–and another injury, this one to Francisco Liriano, won’t help matters.

Pirates fans were really excited to see Polanco get his first Major League hit.  Also, those same fans weren’t surprised to see him make an error in right field—no matter where they watched the debut.

UPDATE:  Dejan does a much better job explaining his position on the hype of Polanco wasn’t matched at PNC Park.  I like the callers point about Pirates fans being smarter and DK response about a less than positive vibe.