ShareThis Page

Despite trades, Pirates tickets still selling

| Friday, July 31, 2009

The ticket window outside PNC Park was buzzing, surprisingly, Thursday during lunch hour.

Apparently, the nine people waiting in line at 12:38 p.m. weren't turned off by middle infielders and fan-favorites Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson being traded the day before.

From noon until 1 p.m., there was a steady line that was at least four-deep.

The catch• Not many of them were loyal Pirates fans. Those are hard to come by these days.

"Quite honestly, I haven't followed them like I did as a kid because they (stink)," 36-year-old Brandie Mack said. "I don't even know who's gonna be playing."

These days, it's not so much the product on the field that is drawing these ticket-buyers to PNC Park.

Mack, of Bethel Park, grudgingly bought tickets to a game next Thursday as a birthday present for her father and sister, who lives out of town.

"I don't think we should be spending money to go and see them," said Mack, who hasn't been to a Pirates game since 2003. "It's a shame. We have to send some sort of message to the management, but I'm over here buying tickets so I feel kind of stupid saying that."

Mack said she made plans to attend the game with her father and sister before "half the team was traded away."

Paul Kolich, 53, of McKeesport purchased tickets for his children for Saturday's game. The main attraction: the post-game Jo Dee Messina concert.

"If it wasn't for the concert ... my kids haven't wanted to go in a couple years," Kolich said.

Kolich can see the big picture that Pirates management is preaching, but he's not that big of a fan to get worked up over the recent trades. In fact, the high turnover rate is what makes the Pirates so hard to follow for Pittsburghers such as Kolich. Only one starter — catcher Ryan Doumit — remains from the starting lineup this time last year.

"It's like you need to have Velcro on a shirt if you want to buy a shirt, as to whose name is gonna go on it," Kolich said.

Harold Sarver, of Hampton, bought three tickets so he could take two of his grandsons to a game simply because it's a place they can "eat and have a good time."

Sarver used to be a more avid Pirates fan, but his interest has waned given the 16 — soon to be 17 — consecutive losing seasons. He's tried to see the big picture, but it's hard when the plan never comes to fruition.

"They're building for the future," Sarver said. "It's a sacrifice now. Hopefully, it'll pay off in the future. The problem is, do they really have a plan, and will it really work• We've been hearing this for the past 15 years that we're building for the future. And unfortunately with my grandkids, they like to see the Wilsons and so on. They're gonna see nobody."

Rob Speer, 46, of Sarver, will attend his first Pirates game of the season tonight. He hasn't invested much time or passion into the Pirates, so he doesn't have strong feelings regarding the rebuilding project.

"We obviously weren't winning, so what's the point in keeping them?" he said. "Get something for them while you can, and let's try a different approach. Kind of blowing the whole team up and starting again is what was needed."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me