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Ex-Bucs owner McClatchy says he is gay

Rob Biertempfel
| Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, 6:00 p.m.

HOUSTON - Five years after relinquishing principal ownership of the Pirates, Kevin McClatchy has revealed he is gay.

"It wasn't easy, but it was the right time to do it," McClatchy told the Tribune-Review on Saturday by phone from his home in Ligonier. "It's not a great existence to be scared about who you are and afraid to talk about it. I hope kids will know that if you want to play sports, as long as you love the game, that's enough. You don't have to hide your life."

McClatchy, 49, said he hid details about his private life because he worried they would hinder his chances of buying the Pirates. McClatchy was 33 years old in 1996 when he became the youngest owner in Major League Baseball.

His decision to go public is the subject of an op-ed item in Sunday's New York Times . The story runs only days after Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended three games for wearing an anti-gay slur written in Spanish on his eye black.

"The timing is coincidental," said McClatchy, who gave the commissioner's office advance word about his story in the Times.

Karstens still in pen

Hurdle decided to keep right-hander Jeff Karstens (5-4, 3.86 ERA) in the bullpen next week for the series against the New York Mets. Rookies Kyle McPherson (0-1, 2.25) and Jeff Locke (0-2, 5.47) are slated to pitch Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

Hurdle said he hopes to get Karstens a start before the season is over.

"I want to make sure I honor every opportunity to find a way back for him," Hurdle said.

Karstens has not started a game since Aug. 31, when he allowed four runs in one-third of an inning against the Brewers. Karstens left that game with a sore hip pointer. He tossed three innings out of the bullpen Wednesday against the Brewers and allowed one run on two hits.

Karstens is making $3.1 million this season and has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining. He could be a non-tender candidate this offseason, given his fast-rising salary and lack of durability the past few seasons.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for •Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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