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June 19, 2010

The Truthful Pierogi and "Not About This Year"

Ah, the Pirates. For quite a while recently, they've been on the verge of pulling off one of the greatest public relations dodges in Pittsburgh sports history. Since 2009 they've gotten Pirates fans to repeat their koolaid: The difference now is they’re building for the future.

It's not about this year, it's about three years from now. What a great shovelful of nonsense. I want to be able to say, "Yes, I suck at my job. Yes, I'm the worst in the industry. No, it's not about this year - it's about my 2013 results. You wait and see". This is a better con job than the PAT bus authority blaming their fiscal problems on the bus drivers.

The "it's not about this year" meme, which is kind of funny in a business where they keep so many statistics on annual performance (first place, the World Series, personnel contracts, etc) was becoming widely accepted, it was often repeated, and it was on the verge of becoming an Accepted Truth.

"It's not about this year!" Don't you think that BP wishes that they'd said that to Congress? "Mr. Senator, we're not in this for the short haul; we're in this for the five-year plan. That's why we're not rushing into action, and we're not giving you any indication that we're accountable for this year's results."

Unfortunately the Pirates have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and offended the web 2.0 community. People may not care themselves about Blogging, Tweeting, and Texting, but they really do defend the notion that people should be permitted to do it. Fundamental American concept, and all that.

The Pirates have terminated an occasional employee who worked as an unknown, masked distraction from their actual performance.

Andrew Kurtz, 24 years old, of New Brighton, gets inside the costume of an overstuffed Pierogi for the staged "pierogi races" held at the new stadium the taxpayers bought to keep a world-class team in Pittsburgh. Mr. Kurtz is paid $25 for each of the occasional home games he works at, usually four per month, and is paid $50 for appearing at local publicity events. He's a runner who managed to find some small cash pursuing his hobby.

Mr. Kurtz had the unfortunate impulse to make a FaceBook post about Pirates team president Frank Coonelly's stealth decision to extend the contracts of GM Neal Huntington and manager John Russell. Mr. Coonelly did not see fit to announce the extension initially, presumably because it's in the future and after all, we're not about this year. (Coonelly's dissembling has been called LiarGate by Bob Smizik.)

Mr. Kurtz's Facebook entry read:
"Coonelly extended the contracts of Russell and Huntington through the 2011 season. That means a 19-straight losing streak. Way to go Pirates."
Four hours later he was fired.

The Pirates have unwittingly unleashed the Streisand Effect upon themselves, in which an unwise decision to try to control unwelcome web 2.0 content results in the unwelcome info getting more attention than it ever would have if they'd just left it alone. (Previously mentioned here.) Would any of us have heard of Mr. Kurtz or his Facebook page if the Pirates hadn't been silly enough to fire him?

Out of the mouth of a pierogi, we get the truth: The Emperor has no clothes. The Pirates can't control the ballgame, so they're trying to control the truth about the management team.

Even a pierogi from New Brighton (NTTAWWT) can see the corruption in that.

Mr. Kurtz's mother, who probably does not have a blog or a facebook, called a strike a strike:
"My son always was a big Pirates fan... He took pride in being a pierogi runner. Since when, in this country, are you not allowed to state an opinion? Well, here is my opinion: The Pirates came through again and let go one of their biggest fans and dedicated workers."


Wilver said...

Shame on the Pirates and anyone who spends their hard earned money on this farce of a major league baseball club.

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