The Filibuster

Selig and the owners finally had enough of McCourt and took action, but
what about the franchises that are still technically solvent but just
suck?  Why hasn’t the commish done something about the Pirates?

Ferndale, MI

friendly pirates.jpgAhhhh yes… once again, the revolving doors of ineptitude bring us back to…

The Pirates.

why shouldn’t they?  In all of professional sports, one would have quite a
difficult time finding a more moribund team than the lowly Buccos. 
While all of the big four US American sports thrive by having a healthy,
parity-laden cycle of teams going from the top of the ranks to the
bottom and everywhere in between, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been stuck
at bad.  For 18, long, terrible, horrible, awful, green-pea-spew inducing years.

In a row.

So, indeed, Mr. Dan, you bring up an excellent question: How is it that MLB sees no issue intervening with financially strapped clubs like the current Dodgers or the late Expos de Montréal (pouring out some liquor for my boy, Youppi yo!) but meanwhile sits back and says nothing as the Pirates organization embarrasses itself year after year after year, alienating the five or so fans left in western Pennsylvania in doing so? 

That’s easy, Dan.  One word:


The Pirates may have more issues than Lindsay Lohan on $5 Jaegerbomb night, but, when all is done, the Pirates still MAKE MONEY

obama money.gif
Haven’t you noticed?  To the suits picking each other’s noses up in the luxury boxes, it’s not about winning.  It’s not about getting better.  It’s not about keeping score or the waft of freshly roasted peanuts or the soothing effects of finely cut green grass on the old eyeballs. 

It’s about making bank.

And as long as they line their pockets with plenty of paper, MLB ain’t gonna say jack.

Like my loquacious and oft contorted colleague, Mr. Krause recently pointed out, sometimes MLB gets it right.  King Bud could not sit back and let one of the league’s most storied franchises fail because of atrocious financial mismanagement.  And other times, MLB gets it way wrong… like they did in intervening with the Florida Marlins (a very successful organization in regards to winning) and the way they chose to spend profit sharing funds trickling down from the top*.

But one thing is certain: MLB is a business.  MLB is about being a profitable business. As much as romanticized baseball super-nerd-dorks like Mr. Krause and I would like to believe that a certain utopian joy for the game and its purity is at the core of Major League Baseball’s business philosophy, the truth is: it ain’t.

If it were, the Expos would still be alive.  The Dodgers would have never left Brooklyn.  And someone would have intervened in the gargantuan atrocity also known as the Pirates’ front office.

Hate me.  Fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.


*For an excellent read on just how wrong MLB was in their handling of the Marlins, check out this article from the Prince of New York.

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just peeling back the layers of Mr. Krause’s feminine wardrobe

Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing or by commenting below


  1. raysrenegade

    There are so many underlying reasons why this happened to McCourt, but MLB finally saw a magnificent display of stupidity and had to put the golden hammer to McCourt’s private parts. Still not sure what sane reasoning got into his peanut brain to think that mortaging his Fox FSN package by getting a 10 year advance in his funding would keep his team above the surface?
    Sure the $3 million dollars/yen, pecos might keep the life preserver on for a few seasons, but his thought process must have beenon the short term as in 5 years he would again be manning a sinking ship….Guess pride and ego have no partners when it comes to trying to save yourself from yourself within the MLB jungles.
    Can I get a Tarazan yell?

    Rays Renegade

  2. redstatebluestate

    Jane — Rumor has it Magic Johnson is in the running!
    RR — AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHA (does that translate?)
    Mike — Indeed. Fans need to stop going to the games. That’s the only way to show ’em who’s boss.

  3. blithescribe

    Eh, I like the romanticized baseball super-nerd-dork take on things – one of the reasons you and Allen (and now Johanna) became a daily read for me. But I do think that a lot of MLB decisions are based as much on image as on money. The Dodgers aren’t just losing money, the McCourts are creating a gross public spectacle. A perpetually losing team isn’t bad for baseball’s image. There have always been hard luck teams and when they finally do win they become some of the game’s most treasured stories. But a team with funds so badly mismanaged that they have to publically take out a loan to cover payroll in spite of attendance many teams would kill for? That’s even worse for the image than for the bottom line.
    By the way, Steve Garvey is also supposedly putting together a team with financial backing in an effort to buy the Dodgers.
    – Kristen
    This is a very simple game…

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