I can no longer ignore tomorrow’s protest. I’ve held off as long as possible, waiting to make my stance known—but the time has come to say what I need to say.
I don’t think it’s enough.
By now you’ve likely heard the reasons behind the walkout organized by Andy Chomos and Sean Lucas, and you’ve heard how the Pirates plan to keep the damage to a minimum. If you’re a passionate fan (and a connoisseur of fine blogging), you’ve heard what Pat and Charlie have to say on the matter.
All good information, and well intentioned … but not enough.
From that first link, an interview in the Tribune-Review:
“We want to demonstrate that we’re not satisfied with the product on the field, with the general manager’s moves and ownership’s not committing to producing a winner,” [Chomos] said. …
“The goal is to give upset fans, fed-up fans, an outlet to voice their opinion publicly for the first time in 14 years of losing baseball,” said Lucas, 25, of the North Hills.
None of it is enough.
What you don’t hear are the concrete reasons why fans should be upset. The black and gold faithful have every right to be mad as hell—but do we know why? We’re angry that our team hasn’t won since 1992, but unless he’s looking for it, Joe Average can’t find an exhaustive list of what the Pirates have done wrong in that time to merit his indignation.
I’m well aware of how far an online community can reach: I see the number of readers that visit Pittsburgh Lumber Co. on a daily basis, and I know that our colleagues are experiencing the same traffic boom. Blogs are popping up left and right, and message boards are receiving new registrations. I appreciate just how passionate our fan base is.
But for every one of you reading a Pirates blog, there are 50, or 100, or 1,000 other fans who aren’t.
For every savvy protester at Saturday’s game, there will be a dozen fans who don’t know what’s going on.
Maybe they don’t fully understand why we’re angry. Maybe they’ll want to learn what they can do to help.
In my opinion, Saturday’s protest should only be the start of a continuing movement. The publicity the Fans for Change are receiving should only be the beginning—we need to take that momentum and work to cater to the average fan. Maybe the Pirates can ignore a few thousand voices—but could they ignore an entire city?
You have a right to think for yourself, and as a blogger, I feel I have a duty to ensure that you make an educated decision when you choose to support the Pittsburgh Pirates. But this needs to be so much larger than it is. This type of protest needs to reach so much farther than the Internet.
I’d like to organize an effort with the idea of bringing information to the average fan where he works, where he eats, where he shops. I’d like to team up with the best Pirate minds to put together a declaration of independence of sorts, to show how the Pirates have wronged us and what actions need to be taken to restore our confidence in the franchise. I’d like to make that document available at all of the local businesses who want to support a winning team—at the media outlets that can serve as advocates for a cause—at PNC Park to reach the average fan.
I’m envisioning a Pirate Revolution. Join me?