Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Escape from the ethical dilemma?

If they fire Littlefield, I could probably renew my tickets in good conscience without exposing my spinelessness to my son.

Perrotto, who floated the first rumor, is not relenting, despite many categorical refutations from Kovacevic (like this one). I consider Kovacevic to be more reliable than Perrotto (great guy, but a bit of a rumor monger). But hope springs eternal in the heart of a baseball fan.


Anonymous Bern1 said...

"... you can do much more good by sitting in your seat and engaging those around you in pertinent baseball discussion."

Amen. Keep your seats, Billy.

Power to the people. Peace.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

Oh, I recognize this: it's the old "change from within the system" vs. "the system is so corrupt that it can be changed only through violent revolution" argument.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous rogerodisio said...

>>If they fire Littlefield, I could probably renew my tickets in good conscience without exposing my spinelessness to my son.<<

No, you can't, Billy, because you know the problem is ownership, not DL. DL's incompetence has only sunk the team further below .500 than they otherwise would be under the McNutters. Nothing important will change with the McNutters in charge.

And your son won't be fooled either.

>>Oh, I recognize this: it's the old "change from within the system" vs. "the system is so corrupt that it can be changed only through violent revolution" argument.<<

Buying seats at the park and talking to those around doesn't put you "within the system", Billy. You still feed the beast; they still ignore the fans. Besides, what could you possibly say to these other fans that would be useful? Other than convincing them to give up their seats too, that is. Yeah, that would make sense if you thought you could pull it off.


12:22 PM  
Anonymous bucdaddy said...

I was ready to go along with the "change the system from within" thing, but I think RO's right ... I'd come up with an analogy that fell apart for just that reason.

I don't know your political persuasion, it doesn't matter anyway, but just to use as an example, here in W.Va. many whole counties and districts are so solidly Democratic that the GOP often can't even fill out a slate of candidates for jobs like dog catcher. So what should a Republican do? Rant, certainly, :-)but vote or not vote? (And yes, I know there are statewide and nationwide offices to consider, but just forget that for purposes of the illustration.)

That's where RO comes in.

If you don't like the political system, you can always take a stab at running for office yourself. Anyone can, theoretically, be the catalyst inside the system to work to effect change. Theoretically, anyone can become president.

But it's not like that with a private entity like a baseball team. Anyone cannot, theoretically, become a team owner. There's not even a board of directors for management to be held accountable to, much less the customers, and it's far more likely that you'd get elected to public office than it is you could foment a true revolution by raising $500 million to buy a baseball team -- if they'd even sell it to you.

You pretty much only get two choices: Pay up and shut up (because the people sitting around you will get pretty tired pretty fast of hearing you bitch about watching baseball on a nice summer night, which is what your efforts to "educate" them will inevitably come to sound like), or don't. Pretty bleak options, my friend, and they would be even if you didn't have an idealistic teenager calling you out on it and making it a moral issue.

I also don't think the people who go for the nice summer nights and the hot dogs and the fireworks are necessarily dupes and idiots. There may be something akin to Stockholm Syndrome going on there -- we're being held hostage, basically, only there are no police barricades around the ballpark and there are no hostage negotiators working to free us. So maybe a lot of people are just making the accommodation Bobby Knight once infamously suggested: If rape is inevitable, lay back and enjoy it.

That's not an argument for you to keep throwing good money after bad, but there's no way to fight back either, no eyes to gouge or foot to stomp on.

I'm just sayin'.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

BTW, just for the record, it was never my idea to harangue the people in the seats around me; that's been suggested by a few of my commenters.

That's not my style. I also don't attempt to stand up and lead the folks in my section in starting a wave.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous bucdaddy said...


I know it wasn't your idea and I sensed it's not your style. I was using "you" in the abstract. I just meant that even if it were your idea and style, most of the bobbleheads and fireworks crowd probably don't want to be educated, and any attempt, even a calm polite one, extended long enough would begin to sound (to them) like a bitch.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Despite the preponderance of evidence, the naysayer's argument against baseball management will always be at a disadvantage against that of the optimist. Baseball is supposed to be fun; you know, baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Who wants to listen to some cranky old man compare the owners of a damn baseball team to Pol Pot?

When people asked me what I thought of the trades this winter, I could see their faces fall as they listened and realized that I was still pissed off at Pirates management. As the winter begins to thaw, all of us instinctively want to believe that the team is going to treat us to a lot of fun afternoons and evenings during the summer.

Unlike most for-profit businesses, the McNuttings have been able to operate in an environment that is nearly free of accountability. In Pittsburgh, this ownership group can claim success just by virtue of the team still being here, without reference to its performance on the field.

They are reaching the limits of this free ride, of course, as their record of losing seasons approaches historical dimensions. But they're not nearly there yet.

9:25 PM  

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