Share This Page

Tired of losing, Pirates fans plot protest

Some angry Pirates fans are hoping a protest June 30 at PNC Park doesn't fall on deaf ears.

Andy Chomos and Sean Lucas are two of the organizers behind Fans for Change, a grass-roots campaign aimed at recent decisions by team management.

The protest will consist of a pregame rally and petition-signing on Federal Street from 5-7 p.m. During the game against the Washington Nationals, protesters will leave their seats after the third inning and will have the option of staying in the concourse until the fifth inning or leaving the ballpark.

Chomos, a 43-year-old business owner from Wexford, wants fans to wear green shirts, to symbolize money leaving the building.

"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," he said.

The movement started about 10 days ago when Lucas, a Master of Business Administration student at Duquesne, sent a letter to local media outlets. The letter was reported by a TV station and later made its way to the Internet. Through blogs and message boards, the idea for the protest gained shape.

"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.

A Pirates spokesman said the team has no comment on the protest.

Chomos said he's gotten 7,000 e-mail responses about the protest. Lucas said his group passed out flyers during the Pirates' most recent home series and talked to 1,500 fans.

"Ninety-nine percent loved the idea," Lucas said. "Whether they'll come, that's their decision. But people loved the idea."

Chomos has heard the skeptics who believe the protest will accomplish nothing. The sentiment there, he said, is that unhappy fans can best make their feelings known by not showing up at all.

"But the problem is we want to go," Chomos said. "We paid for (PNC Park), we want to go. We recognize that the beautiful ballpark, a ballpark paid for by the taxpayers, is a jewel and, frankly, there are enough casual baseball fans that people are going to continue to go. And people should not be denied the right to go to the game."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.