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271 More

That is the number of increased fans in attendance at this years three-day PiratesFest, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center this past weekend. We aren't talking about Avatar numbers here, but not bad at all. The additional 271 fans pushed the total attendance for the three days to an amazing 15,398. Who knew that there were this many fans still excited enough about the team, to brave the cold air and head to PiratesFest. I attended on Friday evening with my daughter Mya, and parents. It was nice to see team president Frank Coonelly parked up behind a table to the entrance, greeting fans and taking the time to answer questions. I must say, the new regime does "at least" appear to be concerned about what the fans think. They had the usual booths set up throughout the center, raffles, memorabilia, jerseys, games, autograph tables, and more. It was really good to see that many young kids interested in the Pirates. I mean with so many great players on other teams, it is good to know that the Pirates still have a strong youth fan-base.
As I have stated before, I am a believer in the new direction of the club, and I will support the ownership group until they prove otherwise. By this, I mean abandon the current model and start trading away the nucleus of the new team. I really don't think that owner Bob Nutting, Mr. Coonelly, and G.M. Neal Huntington have bad intentions. So far, they have been true to their word and are taking a smart approach to building a winning franchise, not just a winning team. Sure, they could spend a lot of free agent dollars and compete for a year, but how much more satisfying would it be to compete every year.
I am with all of you, when it comes to the growing pains, but come on, 17 years of losing! We can at least be patient for another year or two, so long as there is noticeable growth and improvement with the team.
Will the hype and excitement over the weekend, also came a different type of news. There were rumors that Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle (Owners of the Penguins), had made an offer to buy the Pirates. The Pirates have said repeatedly that they are not-for-sale, and there has been no word from the Penguins camp on this matter. It would make for an interesting scenario, but for the time being nothing is going to be happening. If the current ownership fails to produce a marketable product within the next two years, then I say, "sure sell the team," but until then let us give the current owners the benefit of the doubt. This spring will tell a lot about the talent and heart of the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates. There are many if's, and it will only take a few of those if's to start heading in the right direction.