When the Walkoff Walk crew heads to Pittsburgh for our annual field trip, we might not notice between the fifth and sixth inning that the racing pierogies will be missing an important member. The Pirates simply will not stand for dissent among costumed men and women running around their field, especially when one of the stuffed goodies takes to the FaceSpaces to criticize the organization:
Andrew Kurtz, 24, of New Brighton, one of the 18 men who take turns posing as pierogies in a crowd-pleasing race after the fifth inning of every game at PNC Park, was dismissed by the team Thursday because he posted disparaging remarks about the Pirates on his Facebook page.
Here's what the outspoken dumpling had to say on his Facebook wall:
"Coonelly extended the contracts of Russell and Huntington through the 2011 season. That means a 19-straight losing streak. Way to go Pirates."
Really, that's it? A weak dose of sarcasm gets a racing hot pocket fired? Jeez, at least that Philadelphia Eagles stadium worker who criticized the team on Facebook for letting a popular player sign with another team got his money's worth when he got let go for calling the Eagles "retarted" (sic). No passive-aggressiveness for that fella, no sir! He gets right to the point!
The boiled ethnic pastry race will go on without Kurtz. After all, kid was just a part-time racer and never did two consecutive races in the same costume. These races are more rigged than an postseason NBA game. But the Pirates have an interesting recent history of dismissing those employees who dared criticize the franchise. Last fall, Pirates beat writer John Perrotto was canned by Ogden Newspapers, a company owned by the same family that has controlling interest in the team.
Perrotto's entire oeuvre of contributions to the Pirates Report website was scrubbed clean. At least Kurtz can continue to post inane blather on his Facebook wall to his heart's content.