Smizik: Investigate The Pirates

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blogger Bob Smizik might be a lifelong journalist, but in only a few short years, he's mastered the blogging techniques of recycling and sensationalism to drive interest in his site. Look no further than his recent obsession with comments made by Pirates president Frank Coonelly on the team's finances. He's already written about them not once, not twice, not thrice, but now four times, and reaction in today's post goes completely off the deep end.

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Isn't it about time someone or somebody investigated how this team is operated?

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Either Major League Baseball or the Pennsylvania Legislature or the Allegheny County Council or the Pittsburgh City Council needs to stand up and take action. Someone has got to put some pressure on this organization, which is playing in a taxpayer-funded stadium.

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Sure, the taxpayer built PNC Park, but it also signed a lease, a binding contract with the team to let it operate in the building for a set period of time. Unless one of those government bodies believes the Pirates are in violation of the contract, they have no right to investigate how the club, a private business, is operating. And since no team would ever sign a lease with stipulations on competitiveness, it's nonsense to even suggest a government would have reason to suspect a breach of contract. 

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If you read the 200+ comments on the post, though, it's clear why Smizik would write something so silly. A vast majority of those weighing in on the topic agree with him and his agenda with the Pirates. Smizik is simply pandering to his readers and the more sensationalist the headlines, the more satisfied they become.

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For that reason, if you've got an open mind about the team, pay that screed no mind.

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