• RKR

    I’m a Pitt FB season ticket holder, and I feel the exact same way!!

    RKR

  • Ken

    Everyone who refers to baseball’s system as “working” or as a “success” is doing so only from a business and money standpoint.

    No one can make a rational argument suggesting that it’s good, from a competitive standpoint, to have teams that spend $200 million on payroll in the same league as teams than can’t spend even $70 million.

    And it is a sport. Or it’s supposed to be. There should be rules to insure competitve balance.

    Fehr and his minions will do their best to destroy the NHL next.

    Oh – and before someone raises this incredibly stupid argument – it’s not supporting socialism to say that teams should start on equal footing. The NFL is not socialism. It’s 32 separate businesses that compete on and off the field with varying degrees of success. But they have rules, including a salary cap, that govern their industry.

    And baseball doesn’t have competitive balance just because a lot of different have made the playoffs. That is not a measure of balance. A lot of different teams do contend. Temporarily. Then they drop back into oblivion. But some teams, we all know who they are, have a built-in advantage based solely on their location that makes it possible for them to contend every year and they never to have to sell off their best players because they can’t afford them. That isn’t balance.

  • Chipped Ham

    Suits and Sneakers is not invited to the annual JWTG Cookout at John’s cabin in Canada this year. He just talks too much.

    There is an annual JWTG Cookout in Canada at your place each year, John…right? Strange, musta missed the invite.

    Anxiously awaiting your opinion on how Barry’s top “accomplishment,” socialized medicine, is going to be declared ILLEGAL. How freaking hilarious is that!? Not just unpopular, or too expensive, or too hard to implement… FRKING ILLEGAL. You just can’t make this stuff up. The dude the country elected is trying to pass ILLEGAL legislation. Amazing.

  • imgreat95

    test

  • saneman

    Those blind loyal fans who keep giving money to the Pirates even after so much incompetence are encouraging future losing seasons as there is no incentive for the Nuttings to sell or change things to improve the club.

  • JimGott

    -Priceless!

  • KAYO

    Well said.

  • Suits and Sneakers

    Looks like it’s that time of year again when the guy who hates major league baseball and the Pirates so much can’t stop posting about major league baseball and the Pirates.

    I guess I don’t understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. Something doesn’t add up. As I’ve pointed out several times before, you seem to have a disproportionately annoyed reaction to the failings of baseball’s business model. In other words, why do you seem to care so much, or feel the need to point out so often, that the Pirates are “irrelevant” and baseball is an “insult to your intelligence?” It’s a sport, dude. A game. Get over it. I hope none of your readers believe it when you use the line about how the sport you loved so much was taken away from you and how that is the genesis for your continuous complaints about professional baseball. No one took the sport away from you. There’s still a group of 25 of the best baseball players in the world going between the lines in this city 81 times every summer. Baseball is right there in front of you. Until the team moves, no one can take that away from you. Unless, of course, you let them, which is what you did. Saying that the game was “stolen” from you is a cop out. If you really liked baseball that much you’d just watch the games. Isn’t that the name of your blog – “just watch the game?” Why don’t you just watch some baseball this summer and stop spitting out the same nonsense about a salary cap. I can’t comprehend how hard it is for anyone to understand that if you refuse to watch baseball until a salary cap is instituted, you don’t like baseball. It makes no sense. Unless you’re traveling around watching high school games and college games, you don’t like baseball. Instead, you like winning and popularity. If that’s the case, you’re essentially a mindless goon who waits until there are plenty of sheep in the herd to join. I see last summer you called the Pirates a source of “misery and embarrassment for the city.” What an absolute joke. If anyone is embarrassed because they are a fan of a baseball team that isn’t any good they really should take the time to realign their priorities and evaluate their self-esteem. It is a sad reality if people are actually embarrassed to associate themselves with the Pirates out of a fear that they will somehow be deemed a “loser” by extension. This is absurd. Only the previous management groups are responsible for the ridiculously inept drafting and scouting of the organization. If you’re a fan, you had nothing to do with this. I know what you say next – “by going to the games you keep the team afloat which allows them to sustain themselves in a flawed system.” If people stopped going to the ballpark, the team would leave the city. That would be worse than having a bad team that is still here. Although you probably don’t think so, which again, proves you’re not a baseball guy.

    You’re also inconsistent in your argument. By calling the Pirates, specifically, a joke, you are undoubtedly attacking the franchise, not the system. Then you turn around and say you want a salary cap. If the salary cap is the problem, then you really have no reason to lampoon the Pirates, right? If you think the Pirates are poorly run, or don’t spend enough money, you should just come out and say that. But you don’t. You have this incomprehensible hybrid approach wherein you talk about how professional baseball is ruined, but you conveniently take shots at a specific team in the same breath. I hope people reading this see through it.

    Your baseball grumblings should lead any sensible person to believe that you have a serious axe to grind.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

      It’s really not complicated. The Idiots Who Run Baseball ruined what used to be my favorite sport. Watching it just pisses me off. I’ll continue to crusade for change. It’s not easy being a voice in the wilderness. I feel I owe it to the human race to point out the idiocy that so many refuse to see. Some day they will thank me. A statue in front of PNC Park would be a good start.

      • Dr. Phibes

        As long as the statue is of a giant mustache and only a giant mustache.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          People might think it was Phil Garner.

          • GeeWhiz

            Or a car wash

          • RKR

            Not if I’m wearing my John Steigerwald “throwback” jersey…it that redundant??

            RKR

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            No idea what you’re talking about.

      • Tim

        You say the IWRB ruined the sport. They would say they improved the business. And billionaires aren’t usually known to be very sporting. The bankrupt Dodgers just sold for $2 billion. I’d imagine Bud Selig is smiling from ear to ear. today.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          They can say whatever they want and Bud can laugh himself silly. If I were entertained by watching someone else’s stock portfolio grow, I guess I’d like baseball more than ever. They ruined the sport. I don’t give a shit about their business. I think people should stop giving MLB THEIR business.

          • Tim

            I agree with you … but the fact is that we live in one of the bottom 6 MLB markets right now. People in Pittsburgh shouldn’t give MLB the time of day but as of now there is no reason for MLB to pay attention to or cater to the Pittsburgh market. they could survive fine with 24 markets. Or 20. Capitalism is a bitch sometimes.

          • Ryan

            I agree 100% with JS. Although I admit to being a hypocrite. A lifelong Pirates fan, I grew up near Toledo and am just as much a Tigers fan. It’s great to have an owner like Mike Ilitch who spends money and tries to win unlike Nutting. But the deck is stacked against small market teams through the radio/TV contracts. Heck, the Yankees make 200,000,000 before a single ticket is even sold….pretty fair huh? I’ve watched one world series in the past 20 years…2006 Tigers-Cards. If my team isn’t playing couldn’t care less.

          • Meathead

            They didn’t ruin anything. You’re just a starstruck hockey fan. Too bad you don’t live in St. Louis.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            Yeah. Nothing has changed in baseball. It makes as much sense now as it did in 1978. Thanks.

          • Meathead

            It’s the same game. There are far fewer bad teams in baseball than there are in any of the two other major sports or hockey.

            How are those small market Canadian teams doing in the NHL? Canadian teams have won as many World Series titles in the past twenty years as they have Stanley Cups.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            The NHL lockout was six years ago, so any 20 year comparison is invalid. Take a loof at the last 10 or 12 World Series and see how many did NOT include a team from a top 10 (or 5) TV market. Indianapolis, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and New Orleans have been to or won Super Bowls in the last five years. Pittsburgh is the largest TV market in the group at 23.

    • DormontDirtBag

      S and S,

      Mr. Steigerwald’s positions are nether inconsistent nor illogical.

      Without a salary cap, the system is stacked in favor of the Yankees and Red Sox of the baseball world. Mr. Steigerwald doesn’t like this. He therefore criticizes it.

      The Pirates’ owners are unwilling to spend the money necessary to buy the players needed to be competitive more than once every 20 years. Mr. Steigerwald and others have suggested that, given the owners’ disinclination to spend said money, the owners should sell the team, perhaps to a local hockey legend and a deep-pocketed grocery store magnate. The owners have refused. Why do they refuse? Because the owners know they can 1) field a team of ham and eggers, 2) lose for decades at a time, yet still 3) leverage a nice park and a legendary and revered brand (“Pirates”) to 4) make a nice return on their investment. Content with this arrangement, the Pirates owners make no waves to change the system and refuse to sell. Mr. Steigerwald doesn’t like what these owners are doing. He criticizes them.

      Not inconsistent. Not illogical. Not hard to understand.

      • saneman

        With a salary cap, then the Yankees get to bag a $150M profit without having to do a thing but the luck of being in a huge market. MLB should have allowed more clubs to enter the NY market at some point in the last 50 years since NY lost two clubs to the west coast. Cap should also accompany more revenue sharing though I do not think the NFL revenue sharing model is ideal. Clubs like the Pirates should be penalized on metrics like lack of improvement in winning seasons or TV ratings proportional to REGIONAL market size. Otherwise the Nuttings will operate like Mike Brown who gets to pay himself and his daughter millions for doing a bad job.

      • metalslam

        You Da Man

      • Suits and Sneakers

        Happy for you to share with me how the owners have “made a nice return on their investment.” When that Pirates’ employee leaked the financials a few years ago, I think it showed something like $5 million of net profit, all of which was funneled back into the team via the draft or latin america.

        But that’s besides the point. You’re still wrong because you’re saying that the Pirates owners should sell to someone or some group more willing to spend money. How would that change baseball’s structure of not having spending restrictions? You’re just saying you want owners that will make the team more competitive. That’s a wholly different issue than fixing baseball’s model. Which takes us back to my original point – you care more about having a team that wins than just watching baseball in general.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

          What’s wrong with wanting a team that is on an EQUAL FOOTING? It’s not about winning as much as it is about having an equal chance to win.

          • saneman

            I think equal is too much. You want comparable footing at best. Nothing wrong with the big markets having a slighter edge. Let’s face it. You want your big cities to get a slight edge in appearances because that is where a lot of people live. The NFL has it almost right. The steelers and GB dominate. But the Cowboys, Giantrs and Redskins popularity does help the NFL.

        • DormontDirtBag

          According to AP….

          “PITTSBURGH — Don’t feel too sorry for the cellar-dwelling Pittsburgh Pirates. Losing has been profitable.

          The Pirates made nearly $29.4 million in 2007 and 2008, according to team financial documents, years that were part of a streak of futility that has now reached 18 straight losing seasons. The team’s ownership also paid its partners $20.4 million in 2008.

          The documents offer a rare peek inside a team that made money by getting slightly less than half its income (about $70 million) from MLB sources — including revenue sharing, network TV, major league merchandise sales and MLB’s website. The team also held down costs, keeping player salaries near the bottom of the National League, shedding pricier talent and hoping that untested prospects would blossom.”

          Where did I ever say that having Nutting sell the team would fix MLB’s uncompetitive salary rules? All I’m saying to Nutting is this: you’re rich but not rich enough to compete. Sell to someone who is.

          And when I learn that Nutting refused a Lemieux / Burkle offer to buy the team and make it competitive, I conclude that Nutting not only lacks money and a burning desire to win, but that he is soulless technocrat with the heart of an accountant. A lesser gentleman would call him a money grubbing prick feasting off the decaying corpse (if Barack is reading, THIS is the word you should pronounce “korps”) of a once proud franchise.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            He only makes a profit because fans (actually PNC customers) keep giving him their money. The large market teams bought off the smaller market teams byu giving them just enough revenue sharing to make them profitable and shut them up but not profitable enough to seriously compete with them for the best players.

          • Suits and Sneakers

            The problem is that you can do well without having an astronomical payroll. This has been brought up a million times and I realize it, but Tampa made the playoffs last year with a lesser payroll than the Pirates and did so in a more difficult division. The Pirates’ problem was 15 some years of awful drafting, not an unwillingness to spend. I just feel like we wouldn’t be having this conversation in Pittsburgh if the Pirates were one of the franchises that did things on the cheap but at the same time took advantage of the draft and had some playoff appearances. The entire narrative would change. It wouldn’t be about how cheap Bob Nutting is, it would be about how crafty and shrewd the organization is. To me it just seems silly to give up on a sport because your team isn’t any good or because the league does not create an “equal footing” for all participants. It’s like quitting a team because you don’t like the coach – you are letting someone or something else take something from you. Baseball is something I personally enjoy and I’m not going to ignore it because of the league’s structure. Ken’s point below is a fair one – some people don’t have the patience for that and I suppose that is understandable (I just question if they are die-hard baseball people, that’s all).

            People also don’t realize that it’s unfair to look at the Pirates as a 20 year failure story. The ownership has changed during that time and the management has changed multiple times. It takes a long time to undo the damage of Cam Bonifay and Dave Littlefield. They signed Tabata last year, they signed McCutchen this year, and Neil Walker is next. It looks like Cole and Tallion should be top of the rotation horses. But again, this stuff takes time. What happened in 2003 has nothing to do with what’s going on now. As for the AP blurb you mention above, my understanding was that money was reinvested into the organization – that’s where the “payment to the partners” went.

            And as for the comment about the Pirates resembling a AAA team below, you pretty much lose all credibility when making a statement like that. It’s seriously not even close.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I don’t know about Dirtbag but, for me, it’s not about only liking it if my team is winning. Look at the video of the race. I look at MLB’s structure as being just as absurd. I’ve lived all my life with the understanding of what a league is supposed to be. I fully understand that teams have been able to overcome the ridiculous disparity and I fully understand that the Pirates have compounded the problem with bad management. That doesn’t matter to me. I just refuse to take seriously any “league” that gives several teams a chance to start running before the gun goes off.

          • Barrasso35

            First baseman Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds agreed Monday on the framework to a 10-year, $225 million extension, a source told ESPN.com.

            So the Reds can spend and the Pirates can’t?

            C’mon John, a cap isn’t going to make Nutting spend money.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            I never said a cap would make Nutting spend money. A cap will make him sell the team at a huge profit. That’s why he bought it.

    • Ken

      I like baseball, the game. But, the lack of a salary cap has driven me away from MLB.

      You’re suggesting that people should just view each game as a separate entity and not care that your team is part of a league that counts wins and losses and has a playoff system and champion. Just watch the game. That one game. In no relation to any other game.

      That doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t meant that I don’t like baseball. I hate MLB.

      There are people who think like you and that’s fine. I know someone who goes to nearly every Pirates game. He’d like to see them contend, but it doesn’t bother him that they don’t. He just watches each game for what it is, one separte game. He doesn’t care about fireworks or giveaways or the view from the park. He also watches games on TV from other teams by the dozen. That works for him. Not for me. And not for a lot of other fans.

    • a-dawg

      You can’t call MLB a sport. The teams aren’t on a level playing field. The competive advantage held by the big market teams is too much to overcome. Why anyone who WOULD call themsleves a baseball fan sit through 162 games where before the season even started – your team, due to the size of the market it plays in, will win no more than 75 games is beyond me.

      John doesn’t necessarily need the Pirates to be winning and popular to “love” baseball again…he is just seeking a level playing field for all the teams.

      Seems you simply have an axe to grind with Mr. Steigerwald.

    • Mike V

      25 of the best baseball players in the world 81 times a year. You do know the Pirates play in the NL Central?

      If the Pirates left Pittsburgh, I don’t think that many people would care. They could bring in a Class AAA team and have the same level of talent on the field.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

        A Triple “A” team makes much more sense. It would have virtually the same chance of winning a championship, tickets would be much cheaper, the food and the view would be the same. Crowds of 10 or 12,000 would mean a nice profit. Games could still be followed by fireworks and concerts. People who say that they just enjoy spending a night at the ball park could continue to go and pay less.

        • Mike V

          Only if the AAA team isn’t with the Pirates. If that was the case, then fans would actually be watching AA baseball.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com John Steigerwald

            They wouldn’t notice the difference. They would be there for the food and the view.

  • jwit

    The old joke when i lived there was if you called the cleveland indians ticket office and asked what time the game was the response was ” What time can you make it?”

  • Carl

    So topical these days. There are a lot better ways to spend our money like food and gas.

  • Chuck

    That’s pretty funny. The difference between the Pirates and the Browns fans is the season ticket holders only have to stomach twelve of the games, sometimes in freezing rain and snow, while the Pirates fans get to see their Minor, I mean Major league team a whopping 81 times YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Uncle Pappy

    Oh, come on… the Bucs won’t be that bad will they?

    Will they?

  • Cambot

    Perfect!