My last post chronicled how the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team with EIGHTEEN STRAIGHT losing seasons, were forced through arbitration to give pitcher Ross Ohlendorf a nearly 400 percent raise even though he was often hurt and only compiled a 1 win versus 11 loss season. In Pittsburgh the Steelers’ season is over so football, the city’s favorite sport, until the NFL draft. The Penguins are limping so badly with injuries that their season is on the brink of collapse. They still enjoy strong fan support and are exciting to watch in anticipation of Sidney Crosby’s return (hopefully). Other than college basketball, hoops is not a big sport in the town.
You would think that this would be a prime time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to build some positive press. Training camp is not too far away and it is the only time of year that the Pirates are equal to all of the other major league teams. The picture accompanying this post is of a Pirates’ advertisement in today’s paper. Conspicuous about the advertisement is the fact that it doesn’t feature what should be their main product…baseball players. No picture of their $2,000,000.00 man Ross Ohlendorf or even their best player, Andrew McCutchen. The two photographs and most of the ad is trying to attract “fans” to more favorable components, namely bands like Train (that one may actually get me to go to a game) and the annual appearance by The Steve Miller Band. Another big attraction, though not mentioned in the advertisement, is fireworks. Living close to America’s premiere fireworks artists the Zambellis, Pittsburghers are in love with the fiery displays.
I am not sure how I would feel if I were a Pirate player and my team featured off-the-field activities to attract fans. I guess as long as the players and owner are making loads of money none of them really care.