Sunday, September 07, 2003

Pirates Trade Parrot To Detroit

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded their Parrot mascot yesterday to the Detroit Tigers of the American League. In exchange for their mascot, the Pirates received Muddy, the mascot of the Tigers’ AAA minor league affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens.

“The Pirate Parrot has been an integral part of this baseball club for decades,” Pirate GM Dave Littlefield reported. “But now it’s time to forge ahead into a new era of Pirate baseball. We wanted to go with a mascot who exuded youthfulness and one who we could build a game day entertainment crew around. We feel that Muddy has just the fresh face and zany antics which Pittsburgh will eat up like… well not mud, of course, but something which tastes better than mud.”

The move also had financial implications as the Pirate Parrot was making $14 dollars an hour, while Muddy's hourly wage is currently $7.25 an hour. The move will save the Pirates front office over $8,000 a year. The Parrot was also eligible for bonuses totalling $485 if he got 75% of trivia contestants to choose the “Mystery Box” option in “Pirates Trivia” (sponsored by PNC Bank).

Pittsburgh Pirates radio and television announcer Lanny Frattare has reported that while the transaction may have been made for its financial benefits, he believes the move is still the right one for the Pirates future.

“The Parrot was consistently error- filled in his repertoire,” said Frattare. “He regularly botched T-shirt tosses and has jammed the hot dog gun for an all-time major league mascot high of nine times this season. In addition, his pierogie race intervention is getting a little stale. This is a major league ball-park and it needs a major league caliber mascot, which Muddy is on the verge of becoming.”

Though many are praising the move, others see it as just another attempt by the Pirates to cut corners and save a few dollars.

“It doesn’t make sense to bring an inexperienced mascot onto center stage,” argued life-long Pirate fan and Brookline resident Matt Lawler. “If the Pirates were going to make a move in the mascot department they should have gone after a more experienced veteran like the androgenous Youppi! from the Montreal Expos or an up and coming talent like Dinger the Dinosaur of the Colorado Rockies. Those guys are bona fide studs.”

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