I don’t really think the whole clay pigeon-gate controversy is news. Dejan Kovacevic wrote today about how the Pirates held a charity event on Thursday in which ten players attended. The event came right after a 20 day road trip and a redeye flight from San Diego. The players arrived at the airport at 3:30 AM, and were then shuttled to Seven Springs for the event, which was held from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM.
Kovacevic raised issue with the priorities of the team, scheduling this following a long road trip in a pennant race. I’m sure this was scheduled long before that was known, but it’s irrelevant, since the players had the option to move the event to September 6th, which wasn’t a travel day, and would have been easier.
This has raised a lot of controversy, mostly due to the schedule over the last few weeks. The team played 20 games in 20 days, then flew back on a redeye flight, and ten players had to go to a charity event the next day, rather than sitting at home catching up on Burn Notice on Netflix.
I’ve received information that out of the ten players who attended the event, only one was in the starting lineup on Friday. And while this has been painted as a picture that every player involved hated the event, that’s not the case. One player who went is planning on going back during the next off-day. Another player actually bought a shot gun and plans on taking up the hobby.
This all seemed like much ado about nothing when you consider that the players had the power to change the date and didn’t. They also had a choice to attend a charity golf event earlier in the summer, rather than this event. And while the team has played 20 games in a row, there’s no player who has played 20 games in a row, despite the suggestion that every player on the roster desperately needed a day off. Considering that only one of those ten players who attended the event started on Friday, the other nine got their days off anyway.
As I mentioned on Twitter this morning, this probably wouldn’t even be an issue if the Pirates were winning, rather than coming off a rough stretch of games.