June 21, 2010

Racing Pierogi Gets Its Walking Papers

I may not be the biggest sports fan around, but I'm always happy to cheer on my hometown teams from Pittsburgh. While the Steelers and Penguins have had very successful seasons in the last few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates just can't seem to catch a break. I mean, I can't remember them being a good team since I used to go with my Dad in the late 80s and early 90s.

Apparently I'm not the only one who is tired of the Pirates stinking, but the comments on the team have cost someone on the Pirates payroll their job. No, not one of the players... Not one of the coaches... but a pierogi.

During every home game there is a pierogi race (yep, pierogies) after the fifth inning where four flavorful mascots run a race around the stadium. It's a crown favorite and honestly, is one of the few actually enjoyable moments of watching a Pirates game in person.

Unfortunately, one of the dudes inside of the pierogi costume -- Mike Kurtz, 24, of New Brighton, PA -- expressed his displeasure with the Pirates on his Facebook page and was let go of his potato-stuff duties. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Like many people, Mr. Kurtz, who described himself as a lifelong, die-hard Pirates fan, has a Facebook page, where he occasionally would bemoan the team's misfortunes. But he never named names before.

Thursday, at 4:30 p.m., he posted a message aimed at team president Frank Coonelly, general manager Neal Huntington and manager John Russell. It read: "Coonelly extended the contracts of Russell and Huntington through the 2011 season. That means a 19-straight losing streak. Way to go Pirates."

Within four hours, he received a call from Dan Millar, the Pirates' mascot coordinator.

"He called as the game was going on," Mr. Kurtz said. "He wanted to know what was up with my Facebook message. I told him I didn't mean anything by it, and he was like, 'Well, why'd you put it up?' I said, it was just an opinion. But he took it negative and talked to his boss. And then they wanted me to turn my uniform in."

A pierogi's uniform consists of black Spandex pants and a shirt, which Mr. Kurtz turned in Friday.

"I apologized and asked for a second chance, but he did not take my apology," Mr. Kurtz said. "He was like, 'Nah, it's too late.' "
Such a bummer! Now the joke in the 'burgh is the fact that while the Pirates have lost nearly two dozen games in a row the coach is still employed, but they fired the pierogi. You can read the full story here.

I know they say that you have to be careful about what you post about your employer on Facebook, but this seems a little extreme, no?