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Old 04-11-2006, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default "Batman" Let's Pirates Have It

Keaton Rips Buc's for being cheap.

Associated Press
Posted: 13 hours ago PITTSBURGH (AP) - Despite being an invited guest of the ballclub, Batman didn't hesitate to take a few swings at the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Pirates' home opener Monday, actor Michael Keaton criticized the team's owners for not spending enough money to field a competitive team.
The Pirates' payroll of $46.87 million represents a jump of about $14 million from last season, yet was the fourth lowest in the majors on opening day. The Pirates, coming off 13 consecutive losing seasons, are 1-7 following an 8-3 loss to the Dodgers on Monday.
Michael Keaton threw out the first pitch at the Pirates-Dodgers game Monday, but not before taking a few shots at Pittsburgh ownership. ( / Associated Press)
"Look, I'd do it, too, if I were a businessman," said Keaton, a suburban Pittsburgh native known for his role as Batman. "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."
Keaton compared the Pirates to the Los Angeles Clippers, often cited as the worst team in pro sports during a long streak of terrible seasons that dates to the 1980s. But the Clippers have begun keeping key players, including Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, and adding veterans such as Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley and now have a contending team in the NBA Western Conference.
"I fear they will take advantage of the good will of the people who continue to show up," Keaton said of the Pirates. "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." Keaton also tweaked the Pirates with his apparel. Rather than wearing a Pirates cap to the ballpark, he wore a No. 86 hat in honor of Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward of the Steelers. The Pirates have been owned since 1996 by a group headed by managing general partner Kevin McClatchy. His main investor is Wheeling, W.Va., newspaper publisher G. Ogden Nutting and his family.
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