Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Yesterday was “Fan Appreciation Day” at PNC Park. I wonder if the 20K-plus allegedly on hand appreciated this gem: With the bases loaded, Pirates reliever Michael Feliz uncorks a pitch so wild that all three runners score.

Abner Doubleday, meet Benny Hill. Yikes.

It was a reminder that, despite marginally overachieving this season, the Pirates are still the Pirates.

Attendance at PNC Park has dropped by a million-plus since the Pirates won 98 games in 2015, and by over 400K from 2017. The Pirates drew 1.465m this year, the lowest figure in PNC Park’s history.

When the Pirates blew up that 98-win team by way of cutting payroll and maximizing profit, they lost the fans’ trust.

That trust won’t be easily regained.

The Pirates have a decent nucleus. They need to spend money this off-season. A few solid player acquisitions could buy back some trust.

But that’s won’t happen. Don’t forget, the Pirates were the only MLB team to not sign an MLB-level free agent last off-season. I bet the Pirates cut payroll.

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