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Morning Java: A.J. sees ‘lots of empty seats’ and people are mad?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Pirates went down quietly again to the Padres, and they did so in front of 22,520. That’s a wonderful Tuesday crowd in any other year, but this isn’t any other year, so A.J. Burnett took to Twitter to share this …

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Good for him.

Some people, not surprisingly, took exception to this. Went right after him on his account.

Here’s how I feel: The next time I suggest to anyone how to spend their money will be the first, but Burnett is the leader of the Pirates’ clubhouse and, as such, is their most vocal, visible presence. When a football player waves both arms from the sideline to get the fans pumped up or on their feet, no one takes exception. When any athlete does those offseason promotional tours and says they hope to see you at the field or the rink or the court, no one takes exception.

But man, breathe one syllable about baseball attendance in this town, and tempers flare.

Which is ridiculous.

If you don’t think the leader of the Pirates has the right to challenge the city to create the best possible atmosphere at this particular point in this extraordinary season, there’s no reasoning with you.

If you’re small-minded enough to think that’s — grumble, grumble — some multimillionaire trying to take from my wallet — grumble, grumble — then you’ve been listening to too much overnight talk radio.

And, wow, if you think he was blaming the fans for dropping a couple to the Padres … then never mind all of this, drape on a white jacket with long sleeves and call it a life.

Burnett is a pitcher on a baseball team trying to help his team win, in this case by seeking support.

That’s it.

Spare everyone the whining about 20 years of losing or the Nuttings or school nights or whatever other excuses cover the long, long lists that some Pirates fans have extended even into the final couple weeks of pursuing a division title, playoff berth and maybe more. The complaints are stale, most of them no longer apply and besides, they’re so, so, so great-grandpa in tone. This is, as the song goes, a new generation.

If you like what A.J. said, go buy a ticket.

If you don’t like what he said, don’t. Nobody’s forcing anything.

And, by all means, if circumstances don’t allow you to come, don’t sweat it. I’m sure his remark had nothing whatsoever to do with you in the first place.

It’s a pennant race. Maybe everyone should start acting like they belong.

Anyway, this was Clint Hurdle last night on the latest offensive egg …

Here’s our full Pirates coverage. by Rob Biertempfel, Travis Sawchik and Karen Price.

Here’s Padres news from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from


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Don’t give up on them yet, columnist Joe Starkey writes.

Here’s the latest on the Bears from the Chicago Tribune.

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Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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