Actor Keaton criticizes Pirates' owners before first pitch
Monday, April 10, 2006
By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Batman threw a few barbs the Pirates' way today, and they hit as hard as a batarang to the temple.
Actor Michael Keaton, the Coraopolis native who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, was bitingly critical of the franchise's ownership shortly before the home opener today at PNC Park, accusing the Pirates of not spending enough on players and of taking their fans for granted.
"Maybe they should let me throw this pitch first because they might not like what I have to say," Keaton said at a news conference.
"I fear they will take advantage of the good will of the people who continue to show up," he continued. "For my money, that's disrespectful. At some point, you either have to write the check or do something and not assume, well, we're OK and, ultimately, the franchise is valuable, anyway, like Donald Sterling did with the Los Angeles Clippers."
Sterling, the Clippers' famously frugal owner, finally is presiding over a winning team after 12 consecutive losing seasons.
"Look, I'd do it, too, if I were a businessman," Keaton said. "But, at some point, you've got to win. I think fans have been gracious. And maybe not vocal enough. Maybe not vociferous enough with their displeasure. That's my opinion."
The Pirates' payroll of $47.6 million -- up nearly $13 million from last season -- ranks 26th among the 30 teams in Major League Baseball