The Atlanta Braves signed OF B.J. Upton to a 5-year deal worth $75m.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly crowed about upgrading the scoreboard at PNC Park.
The Braves paid too much for Upton. The Pirates don't pay enough, period.
Bob Nutting is MLB's tenth-richest owner. Nutting could spend more. He won't.
Nutting really gets his money's worth from the Bucs' marketing department, though.
The Pirates lose all the time. Most of the players stink. But PNC Park can't lose. PNC Park is AWESOME. Upgrade PNC Park, and the fans will LOVE IT.
When that new scoreboard debuts, it will be the lead story on Channels 2, 4 and 11. That new scoreboard will make Sally Wiggin squeal in ecstacy.
A new player will strike out. That new scoreboard will NEVER strike out.
The Pirates don't know baseball. But they're experts at marketing and PR.
Well, not always.
Every off-season, major-league teams trade fringe players to see if they can find treasure in another team's junk. Yesterday, the Pirates got a pitcher with a 22.25 ERA and a pitcher who gave up 14 earned runs in 2-1/3 innings. Those moves are EASILY RIDICULED.
If either of those guys turn out, I'll eat my words.
But they won't. They never do.
Coonelly once promised that if the fans invested by attending, the Pirates would invest in payroll. The Pirates had their second-best attendance ever last year, their fourth-best in 2011. Now Coonelly says payroll won't go up, but the club will spend in other areas.
For example, A NEW SCOREBOARD.
The Pirates' marketing slogan should be HOW STUPID ARE YOU?
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