Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Playoffs? You wanna talk about playoffs?

Timing is everything, folks.  Coming off of a six game (and counting) losing streak that have had had a crushing impact on the Buccos playoff chances, the Pirates released playoff ticket information.

The team was kind enough to inform fans that along with a 35% ticket increase from last season, season ticket holders were no longer guaranteed a chance at playoff tickets.  In fact, us lowly 20 game package folks aren't even guaranteed seats for next year.  Unless, of course, we upgrade to a full or half season plan right this instant - in which case, we can have whatever our hearts desire.

I guess what I really need here is a reality check.  I've been fortunate enough to have some kind of ticket package - fluctuating between ten games and half a season - since PNC Park opened in 2001.  The chance to basically watch major league baseball whenever my heart desires live and in person is something that I'm sure millions of baseball fans across the country would love to have.  Heck, countless folks probably don't even have minor league ball near them.  So in that regard, I realize I'm spoiled.

But a big part of my decision to renew my package for this year and increase the number of seats was to be able to get playoff tickets, should the season break in the Buccos favor.  The team didn't guarantee as much in so many words, but this latest development feels like a pretty major bait and switch.

I think this seals the deal for me.  I've been tiring of the Pirates handling of the roster, free agency, the trade deadline, and just about every other opportunity to either a) improve the on field product  or b) treat loyal STH's well.  They have failed to do either over the past 12 months.  Coupled with a general losing of interest in the current team, it might be time to cut down to just a handful of games for next year.

But I'd love to hear from anyone else who lives in a major league city.  Obviously the Buccos have been pretty terrible for most of my lifetime.  Maybe I've just become too used to watching a team that had to go out of its way to appease the few fans it had.   But I definitely feel very jaded by the way the club has treated its season ticket holders.  Is this par for the course for winning teams?  Anybody else out there a season ticket holder for your respective team?


  1. I make it to 7-12 games a year, but use Stubhub for my tickets. You would hope that they would at least cater to people who had tickets all the way through the dark period. I bet if you raised your voice a little to someone in sales you could at least get a better expectation. You should have first crack over someone who just got a 20 game plan last year to get playoff tickets.

    I'm not as down on the roster as you, but I see where you are coming from. We are paying the price for having to rely on guys like Michael Martinez and Jason Nix. Neil Walker gets hurt every year and we never have a reasonable replacement for him. Couple that with Pedro not being able to throw to first base and you have some issues.

    The core players are some of the most exciting in baseball, but we need to complement them better. Scrap heap guys can only get you so far.