It was odd to be no more than 5-10 feet away from the man who has been the source of so much of my animus this season, and the subject of the polemics emblazoned on the backs of both me and my son ("Best Park, Worst Owner"). Had one of us chosen to do the Michael Moore Roger & Me thing with Mr. Nutting, we could easily have done so, and he would certainly have heard us before we were whisked out of the stadium by his goons. It was like wearing a t-shirt that said, "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot" and then coming face to face with George Bush. It was positively surreal.
As Nutting headed for the exit directly in front of us, Zeke--younger and more prone to action than I--appeared to be about to say something. I leaned over and gently reminded him that we really didn't want to get thrown out of the All-Star Game. And so we weren't.
Unlike what Charlie reported in this comments thread, we did not see many Irate Fans t-shirts in or around the stadium: we saw one guy outside the stadium with a real one, and one guy inside the stadium with a knockoff. But it was amazing how many people noticed the shirts and commented on them favorably, including a lot of people from out of town. We got in about five fairly lengthy conversations with strangers over the course of the evening about the sorry state of the Pirates, including one with a couple from Sacramento who knew the McClatchy family and agreed that young Kevin had made a mess of things in Pittsburgh. The husband, an apparently well-heeled gent, assured me, as if he were revealing privileged insider information, that McClatchy was not the real power in the ownership group. He also counseled resignation: the owners, he said, "aren't going to be selling anytime soon."
The reason I'm so despondent about the Pirates lately, and the reason I haven't been able to bring myself to write a post in a week or so, is that I'm convinced he is right. I sit in helpless, impotent anticipation of the inevitable signing of Sean Casey--sitting with three home runs at the All-Star break--to a three-year, $18M contract, announced with great fanfare at a press conference at which McClatchy, Littlefield, and Tracy enthusiastically catalogue the many intangible assets that Casey will bring to the 2007-2009 Pirates.