Sunday, July 01, 2007

Protest is small, Bucs roll

Pirate fans took part in a walkout at tonight's game against the Nationals - AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The number of participants in tonight's planned walkout was small, with an estimated 1,000 people leaving their seats after the third inning. Organizers were hoping for and expecting many more to leave, but I would not call it a failure. The protest was reported by the national media, and while the attempt was said to have "fizzled," it still made news. The important lesson to be learned from this is that change will not occur immediately. This walkout must only be the beginning. If every single person left the game tonight, leaving the Pirates and Nationals to play in an empty park, it would have been described as a huge success. But it would not have changed anything. Regardless of how large or small the participation was tonight, efforts must be continued for any significant change to occur. Changes happen because a small vocal minority decide that those changes are necessary, and that minority does not give up until they become the majority. That is what must happen in this situation. We must look to the next step and keep pushing.

While the protest was the big story tonight, the players kept their focus on the task at hand. Jack Wilson's single in the second inning scored two runs. When Freddy Sanchez's foul pop-up was dropped later in the inning, the Pirates capitalized by scoring four more runs. Tom Gorzelanny shut down the Nats, Adam LaRoche added a solo home run, and Masumi Kuwata finished off the 7-2 victory. It is difficult not to like Kuwata right now, as he obviously is thrilled to be pitching for the Pirates and is doing a solid job. The Pirates will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon, as Paul Maholm goes against Mike Bacsik. Game time is at 1:35 PM.

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