Penalty Shouts: The Pirates once again tear down their team
This is Penalty Shouts, The Tartan’s sports column inspired by the The New Yorker’s column Daily Shouts. This satire-fueled column will focus on anything and everything funny in the sports world that is deserving of our comedic attention.
Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that, in an extraordinary move, the Pittsburgh Pirates cut every single player on their 28-player roster.
In a recent press conference, a beaming Rob Manfred hailed the cost-cutting move, calling it “a true innovation and a real testament to the Pirates Front Office.” Nutting himself also (mis)spoke, saying, “It’s a real enriching — I mean winning move.”
In response, the MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) swiftly decried the move and threatened a strike. “It’s an insult to the sport,” said Tony Clark, the MLBPA head. The MLBPA announced that they were exploring options regarding collective action against the MLB. Manfred’s office shot back that such a move was unprecedented and dangerous. An anonymous source close to Manfred said that the MLB was considering preemptively locking out the players. According to this source, Manfred sees this possibility as a "defensive lockout."
As another shutdown looms, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made short work of fielding a new team. As of Monday morning, they had filled almost half of their roster. Highlights include the returning Chris Archer, who the Pirates obtained in exchange for their dignity; Air Bud, the basketball-phenom turned slugger; and a man calling himself “Joe Baseball.”
When asked by The Tartan about his credentials, Baseball shrugged. “I mean, I had on my resume that I played Little League, and the hiring managers were really impressed,” Baseball explained matter-of-factly. He continued, “You see, I was applying for concessions. But it turns out that Dippin’ Dots needs people on the field, or else customers won’t come.”
TMZ also obtained a phone recording of forsaken Pirates star Ke’Bryan Hayes confronting Nutting in PNC Park. Hayes can be heard saying, “You think you can steal from us and just walk away?” Nutting replied, “Yeah.”
In other news, a spokesperson for Nutting confirmed that the Pirates’ MLB-issued money printer was still working. There had been cause for concern after the Pirates stopped investing their money in paper.
“I mean, it’s incredible. This thing hasn’t been serviced since 2015 when we laid off the IT department,” the spokesperson said. Still, they explained, “the MLB’s paper-sharing system really came through. I mean, I don’t even know a paper company. So it’s a real godsend.”
In the same press conference, Professional Game-Canceller Manfred also announced that all of the Pirates’ games will be canceled for the next week as the new-look Pirates learn to play baseball. “Me and the owners all care about competitive balance. It just wasn’t fair to put them up against big-market teams,” Manfred said.
One of the reasons for the 2022 lockout was owners’ worries of competitive balance. The small teams just couldn’t spend enough to beat the big teams, the owners reasoned. Now, the Pirates roster is stuffed with players on the league-minimum salary — except Baseball, who is earning the federal minimum wage as a Dippin’ Dots employee.
The canceled games will go into the “L” column for the Pirates.