Mixed Results from Pirate Fans for Change Protest

The Pirates announced a crowd of 26,959 on Saturday. But more than 27,000 fans had a keen eye on this game—a protest of Pirate management and ownership by the “Fans for Change,” led by Andy Chomos, drew local and national attention.
I wasn’t in attendance, but I’ll do my best to point you in the direction of solid coverage:

From the AP:

PITTSBURGH – Despite a much-publicized effort to display fan discontent during the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 15th consecutive losing season, only a few thousand fans at most left their seats in protest following the third inning of Saturday night’s game against Washington.
Only about 100 fans were seen leaving the ballpark immediately following the third, and it appeared that many of the fans who vacated their seats returned not long after leaving.

From the WTAE story, a photo of the shirts the Fans for Change were wearing:

From KDKA, the protesters’ theme song:

Contrary to statements released earlier in the week, FSN Pittsburgh did not ignore the protest. Marshall Harris interviewed Bob Nutting on air, Greg Brown and Bob Walk discussed the protest, and cameras panned the stands during the early innings to show the fluorescent green shirts. When the fourth inning started, a video shot during the inning break from the center field camera was played. Both Nutting and Kevin McClatchy were seated behind home plate throughout the game.
In the comments section of the game thread, Tony Ferrante of The Confluence of the Three Rivers and The Steel Tradition pointed out that the MASN2 and ESPN broadcasts reported that the walkout was a bit more successful than other outlets did.
I’ll try to capture a few audio clips from MLB.TV and post the results here as soon as possible.
EDIT, 10:15 p.m.

I captured an mp3 recording of the audio from the second inning of the Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh Broadcast. Harris interviews Nutting, and Brown and Walk discuss the number of green shirts in the crowd. The clip is about three minutes long; to open it, follow the link and click the “download file” button directly above the ads. You’ll be prompted to open the mp3 in your favorite media player:

At the end of the day, the Fans for Change made some noise—and that’s all they hoped to do, I think. I’m still of the belief that for anything to come of their efforts, more needs to be done. From the reports I’ve read, it seems that a few fans booed those who walked out. Show me a fan that supports the Pirates’ ownership, and I’ll show you an individual that doesn’t fully understand how this franchise has been run into the ground.
EDIT, 10:40 p.m.
The blogosphere’s reaction:

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Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

Game #80 vs. Nationals; Protesting the Pirates

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Game #81 vs. Nationals

  • http://mvn.com/nhl-penguins Tony Ferrante

    Yeah, but after reading most of the reviews tonight Cory, I’d say that estimate by the WTAE reporter was quite overblown… I’d say it was definitely more than the 100 that the AP stated, and defintely less than the 7000 that WTAE was saying….
    The most interesting aspect that I’ve read tonight is on the Pirates official boards on this thread;
    In it it’s mentioned that the fans that weren’t participating in the walkout were booing the fans that were walking out…
    Now I ask you, just what are they booing ???
    I agree with a lot of people, the walkout was only going to get marginal success to begin with, but to boo people that are protesting the way that the team is being managed, are they booing to say that they’re content ??
    So now that the walkout is over, now what ??
    Well, in my opinion, the focus needs to applied in proving where the money is getting spent. I originally sent this in an email to Stan Savran a few weeks back, and also sent it to Andy this morning…. Cory, if you’d like to use any portion of this in future posts, be my guest bro;
    The futility of the on-field product aside, I find myself keep going back to a comparison article that Dejan wrote back on April 19th (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07109/779299-63.stm) describing the differences between the Pirates and Brewers. One of the reasons that Dejan speculated on was that the Pirates’ ownership was “not spending all it could”, and that the Pirates were under no legal obligation to open their books. We’ve heard that for years now.
    But that’s where the differences end. When the Brewers’ fans made enough noise, Bud Selig and his daughter proved it to the fans and opened their books. The link to the article is http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=227495.
    In my view, complaining about the failures of the players, while of course valid, should be only half of the issues that the press and fans should be vocal about.
    There needs to be public pressure put on the Pirates’ ownership, similar to what occurred in Milwaukee, to open the books and prove where the money is going. As you know, the revenue sharing money, combined with the TV revenues, nearly pay for the Pirates’ payroll before they even sell a ticket.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    One of the fans who participated in the walk out called into the postgame show on FM NewsTalk 104.7. He said that “about 2%” of the stadium headed to the concourse after the third inning—that’d represent about 550 individuals, many of whom would’ve left normally to purchase hot dogs, beer, etc.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    Thanks for the comment, Tony—originally you were caught by our spam filter.

  • http://www.financecoachllc.com Travis

    Yeah, what is going on when you don’t have transparency is what usually goes on, the Nuttings are fleecing the fans. This is unacceptable given the fact that taxpayers subsidized the stadium. If they built the stadium with their own cash, I wouldn’t have a problem with the closed books.

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