Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Positives and Negatives of the Pirates' Success

On consecutive Wednesdays, I went to see the Pirates play at PNC Park.  On Wednesday, August 8th, I went to see the Pirates play the D-Backs with my friend Steve.  This past Wednesday, I went with DB~ to see the Pirates play the Dodgers.

On both nights, I was heartened to see attendance above 25,000 for a mid-week game.  That's completely due to the Pirates being in the heart of a playoff chase.  But that increase of fans has led to a new strain of casual fans attending the games.  Some would call them bandwagon fans, but I think that term is more pejorative than necessary.  Extra fans mean extra money.  A recent study showed that an average fan contributes $29.30 per game.  That revenue allows the kind of moves such as adding Wandy Rodriguez mid-season and will lead to an increased payroll for 2013.

However, these casual fans are by and large idiots when it comes to baseball etiquette.  During the August 8th Diamondbacks game, Steve and I were in Section 108 behind 1B.  More times than we could count, groups of people would wander aimlessly up and down the aisles while the game was going on -- looking for their seats, getting up for food, coming back from food, waving to friends, etc.  The worst situation was when the Pirates had the bases loaded and two drunken Jersey Shore washouts strolled through the aisles looking for their seats, highlighted by them sitting in seats only to be kicked out 2 minutes later by the rightful owners.

With DB~ last Wednesday, we were in Section 142 in the Clemente Wall.  I always prefer to sit out in the OF because of vantage point, access to the Clemente Bridge, and the fact that it's isolated out there.  The people at the food stands are fans in the OF.  There's no cross-flow from other fans for the most part.  The concourses aren't as jammed.  We had much less occurrence of people standing up at the wrong times during the game, but there were fans that didn't really know much about the Pirates aside from "McCutchen is really good" and "Boo Pedro Alvarez every time he doesn't hit a HR".  The level of short-sightedness with Alvarez is at epidemic levels at PNC.

There are still people at PNC just looking to meet other people/ogle other people.  As Wandy Rodriguez and company were blowing the game for the Pirates against the Dodgers, DB~ and I went to the Budweiser Bow Tie bar for a beer.  While there these two meatheads were lamenting the fact that they "thought this bar would have a ton of hot girls".  Going to PNC to pick up young girls seems counter-intuitive to me; most colleges are done the first week of May and don't come back until late August.  In April, the weather is bad and most students are doing finals.  In September, students are getting adjusted to their new classes and in more of a football mindset.  It will be interesting to see if college students, especially Point Park and Duquesne, attend games in September now that the Pirates are in contention.  Imagine being a Point Park student and having a 10-12 minute walk to PNC Park?  If they were smart, Point Park officials should buy a block of tickets and sell them at reduced prices to their students.

Things are different at PNC Park this year.  Even though there are a lot more casual fans, just grit your teeth and remember that those fans will help the payroll go up in 2013.  But stop booing Pedro, or any other Pirate, for anything other than being lazy.


  1. Gotta say I never understood, and still really don't understand, why people get so cheesed when people "stand up at the wrong time" at a baseball game. It's a baseball game, not the Queen's coronation or your cousin's bris.

    I get that you shouldn't be prancing in the aisles half a dozen times each inning/etc, buuuut......if I've gotta poop, I'm going to poop. I'm not holding off biology because you might miss Clint Barmes striking out with the bases loaded for the 3rd time that day. I can either get up and use the proper facilities, obscuring your view for a nanosecond, or I can stay in my chair and make a deposit in your cheese fries. You make the call(See what I did there? Worked Mel Allen into a post about pooping).

  2. I agree to a certain extent that we're not performing brain surgery when watching a game. But it's the lack of respect for others/self-awareness that makes 95% of these stand-ups think they are more important than the others around them.

    Yeah...if I had some bad jalapenos and have to drop a deuce tuit suite, I would knock over toddlers to get there. But most of these people want to get a hot dog or beer and don't realize "maybe I should wait until the Pirates don't have the bases loaded in a tie game".

    It's really more a commentary about how people don't respect other people. Like the Pirates are playing just for them. They think they're in their house watching the game on ROOT and can get up whenever they want, just like at home.