Friday, March 30, 2012

Nutting to Make 2012 Pirates All-Spectator Team by Ron Placone

Inspired by a recent episode of the popular television show, “Portlandia,” Pittsburgh Pirates owner, Bob Nutting, has decided to make the Pirates the first all-spectator team in major-league baseball. Starting in April, anybody who shows up to the game will have the opportunity to play, though Mr. Nutting is hoping to get some regulars.

“In Portlandia, they have these try-outs for the baseball team and people from town show up, and I thought, hey, Pittsburgh can do this.”

Under this new model the salary cap restrictions are lifted, since all of the players will be on a volunteer basis. Although some are wary that this is just a ploy for the franchise to save money, Nutting’s camp assures that it is not. Requests for an exclusive interview were denied as Mr. Nutting had prior engagements monitoring the installation of his new Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Many Pirates’ fans are worried this will not make their team competitive, though after 20 losing seasons, the majority of critics openly admit that a spectator-team may be worth a try.

Additionally, some residents, including Matt Cliff of Oakland, are excited about this new model as they feel their opportunity to play professional baseball has finally arrived. Parker, 31, sees this as the break he has been waiting for: “I was an awesome baseball player in high school, had a full-ride to Pitt, well, not a full-ride, they told me I could be a walk-on, but then I got injured and well, I’m healed now, and I think I still got what it takes to play pro ball, I’m ready to serve Pittsburgh and the Pirate organization.” Cliff’s passion for the game is apparent as he can be seen often on a Saturday night in the Southside sporting his North Allegheny Senior Letter-jacket.

Jay Sizeman of Mt. Lebanon shares Parker’s enthusiasm, as he has already changed his Facebook employment status from “Unemployed” to “Professional Baseball player.” This can be found directly under his interests which include “Skoal chew and chasing bitches.” “I’m excited for this opportunity,” Sizeman, 32, says, “we’re not getting paid, we’re just here for love of the game, and we’ve got something to prove. Look out MLB, there’s a new spectator-team in town!” 

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