Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ogden sighting at the ASG

Zeke and I were in our seats in Section 114, Row A last night, wearing our official Irate Fans t-shirts--more on that later--when I noticed a bent-spined little old man in the middle of the Hoi Polloi section in front of us who was being treated with a deference befitting royalty. I realized in a flash that it was the Great Man himself, the mysterious, reclusive Mr. Ogden Nutting. His son Bob was in the same section, both last night and during the Home Run Derby, and was in the stands for much of the night, but Ogden appeared in public only briefly during the National Anthem last night before disappearing into his lair beneath the stadium.

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.

4 Comments:

Blogger Charlie said...

You know what's funny? My dad, who is the one who told me that he saw a bunch of people in Irate Fans shirts, was sitting in section 114. He probably saw you guys.

You were apparently sitting very close to Dave Winfield, too, just so you know.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Bern1 said...

This nugget is from today's Beaver County Times ...

"Littlefield celebrates his fifth year anniversary on the job today. He took over a team midway through the 2001 season that lost 100 games that year and now oversees a team on pace to lose 108 in 2006 as they are 30-60."

Congratulations!

4:49 PM  
Anonymous billscat said...

Billy,

Did you see this quote from Brad Lincoln? During a BA chat he was asked about his hitting:

A: Brad Lincoln: I won't be able to hit until AA. I've been told by my coaches that I'll be fined if they find me with a bat in my hand before then.

Why oh why? Who exactly are these people, and why are they messing with our beloved Buccos?

7:58 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

You know what's funny? My dad, who is the one who told me that he saw a bunch of people in Irate Fans shirts, was sitting in section 114. He probably saw you guys.

Ha! That's hilarious.

8:40 PM  

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