Dear God, not Chesty McCheesy!

Isn’t that the name of one of the pierogies? Or maybe I’m thinking of the resident call-girl on Sesame Street.


Andrew Kurtz, 24, of New Brighton, one of the 18 men who take turns posing as pierogies in a crowd-pleasing race after the fifth inning of every game at PNC Park, was dismissed by the team Thursday because he posted disparaging remarks about the Pirates on his Facebook page.

What did he say on his Facebook page? This:

“Coonelly extended the contracts of Russell and Huntington through the 2011 season. That means a 19-straight losing streak. Way to go Pirates.”

There are pretty much two ways you can react to his firing:

1. Bemoan it as yet another infringement on the right to free speech.

2. Wonder why in the world he would take to facebook to insult his part-time employer, because that’s just asking for a “We don’t need your soft pasta pocket or cheesy potato insides anymore” letter.

Me, I honestly keep flip-flopping between 1 and 2.


On the other hand, as Dooce famously says regarding her being fired for blogging about her employers, “Be ye not so stupid.”

On one hand, it was one little facebook message to his friends. It wasn’t on any public forum all, “THE PIRATES ARE THE WORST MANAGED TEAM IN ALL OF SPORTS! MY NAME IS PIEROGI CHESTY MCCHEESY AND I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE!”

On the other hand, the country is full of such circumstances where people have been fired for this exact thing. I ought to know. It happened to me. While I never wrote about my employer, I did write negatively about “friends of the organization,” and that was a no-no. Bye-bye, paycheck. Hello, my face on CNN and other less-reputable websites.

On one hand, I value our freedom of speech and in a perfect world, it’d be nice to know we can really express a negative opinion without fear of firing.

On the other hand, I also value making smart choices, and if Andrew made disparaging comments about his employer knowing that his employer was his facebook friend, that is not a smart choice.

On the other hand, maybe Andrew was bit in the ass by Facebook’s ever-changing privacy settings. I mean, I’ve fiddled with my privacy settings enough that I either have it so the whole world can see embarrassing pictures of me, or only three Jupitonians on Jupiter can. Who can know?!

On one hand, the Pirates are the worst managed team in all of sports and if one little negative facebook message is enough for them to toss a pierogi in the trash, they SERIOUSLY have either a sensitivity issue and should take some Midol, or they have a denial issue, and should sell the team to Mario Lemieux.

If this is their reaction to a facebook status, could you imagine if my employer had been the Pirates when I outed myself and they found an entire blog partially dedicated to detailing the suck of the team and the ownership? I’d have been tied down and used as home plate for an entire week. And I’d have spent it punching every sucky player in the junk.

Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki on Friday night said, “While we cannot discuss the specifics of the dismissal, we can say that a part-time employee serving a suspension for a previous violation of company policy was terminated for committing yet another violation of company policy.”

On one hand, he apparently violated “company policy” twice. On the other hand, is “expressing an opinion” a violation of company policy?

But don’t worry about Andrew, he has apparently been offered the opportunity to be a racing hot dog for the Wild Things. No more pasta pockets with cheesy filling for this phallis-shaped pig byproduct!

Lucky guy! Also, I need a shirt that says, “I got fired for blogging and all I got was my face on an ad for a porn website.”

Which, true story.

And speaking of Jupitonians on Jupiter … LOL!


  1. bucdaddy
    June 21, 2010 11:07 am

    On one hand, the Pirates are the worst managed team in all of sports.

    Oh no, they’re not. They used to be, but they’re not now.

    I’d go on about the Maple Leafs and the Clippers and the Wizards and the Browns, but the Pirates are not even the worst-managed team in their own sport. That would be the Astros. Those aren’t exactly geniuses running the Mariners either.

  2. John
    June 21, 2010 11:13 am

    Here is a simple tip for all those who have jobs. I never thought it needed to be pointed out but I guess a few people haven’t figured it out. It is pretty simple so here it goes. ” Dont sh?t where you eat”

  3. CarolineFB
    June 21, 2010 11:14 am

    You must have lots of hands.

  4. bluzdude
    June 21, 2010 11:15 am

    The Orioles give the Pirates a run for their money. Which as we know, does not amount to much.

  5. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    June 21, 2010 11:23 am

    My brother works for the Pirates and he said no matter what job you take for the organization (i.e., that means YOU Ollie Onion), you sign a document that says you will not disparage the team or say ANYTHING negative about the Pirates ANYWHERE. He said it is a pretty clear document.

    That being said, I also read that the Washington WildThings called this kid to be their hot dog during the Bun Races between the second and third inning, so he should make out okay….

  6. Nate
    June 21, 2010 11:24 am

    This is not, in ANY way, about freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means that the government can’t stop you from expressing your views.

    C’mon, Ginny, you of all people should see this correctly – you lost your job for talking ill about “friends of the organization,” while he – who was already apparently not a model pierogie – said something disparaging about the highest of higher ups at his job.

    Don’t look at it as “the Pirates” – if a PNC employee went online and said something disparaging about James Rohr and how he ran the company, don’t you think there would be repercussions?

  7. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    June 21, 2010 11:24 am

    Duh…maybe I shouldn’t read so fast…You already said that about the hot dog. It’s monday, forgive me.

  8. spoon
    June 21, 2010 11:30 am

    1) If someone is paying you to do a job, no matter what it is, it is universally stupid to say anything negative about them in public and not expect a reaction. Kids need to learn this shit. If it angers you that much make an anon account and blog about it

    2) He friended his boss. ouch

    3) He did offer to remove it within a few hours after posting. Odds have it no one really saw it besides some close friends. Do the Pirates have a social media policy in place? good chance no because come on, its the Pirates. This should have been a warning or a write up. Not like he said “Hey Nutting, go fuck yourself in the Pirate ass you dickbucket”

    4) As if the Pirates needed any more bad press. you know someone in their PR dept. is rubbing their hands together going “muuwhahahaha but its creating buzz. who cares if its good or bad.”

  9. Kathy
    June 21, 2010 11:35 am

    enough with the pirates.

    where is the link to the ad Ginny? :~P

  10. bucdaddy
    June 21, 2010 11:38 am


    Yeah, forgot about the O’s. When the Pirates finally end the seasonal losing streak, the Orioles are next in line to break the record.

  11. empirechick
    June 21, 2010 11:40 am

    Agree with Nate and Spoon – not at all a free speech issue, and really, how dumb can you be?

    And I have to admit, this was the subject of the longest conversation I’ve had about the Pirates in a long time.

  12. BeauJacques
    June 21, 2010 11:43 am

    @BucDaddy- wake up and smell the coffee!!!

    the Pirates OWN the Crown of Shit in ALL categories!

    Nutting’s just trying to “discover” baseball carnival talent to sell
    to other teams!

  13. unsatisfied
    June 21, 2010 11:47 am

    this pierogie dude DOES have freedom of speech

    but, as is sometimes the case in expressing oneself, there are repercussions.

    it’s not like he was taken out into the street and shot.

    as for the teams named above as having worse management — do any of them own a current 17-straight-season losing streak?

  14. unsatisfied
    June 21, 2010 11:48 am

    word of the day = dickbucket.

  15. Jagoff
    June 21, 2010 11:49 am

    I always thought don’t shit where you eat meant you shouldn’t bang your co-workers.

    I have to admit that I am sarcastically shocked that the Pirates would fire someone for posting a negative opinion.

  16. BeauJacques
    June 21, 2010 11:54 am

    Every person who sets foot in PNC Park, I don’t care if the tickets were free, is supporting a scumbag, baby-raping,
    pigf**ker of the same ilk and caliber as Bernie Madoff!!!!!!

    If you take your kids there, you’re cursing them too!!

    F**k the pirogies!

  17. Monty
    June 21, 2010 12:03 pm

    Wow. That got out of hand in a hurry.

  18. lovesthenorthside
    June 21, 2010 12:04 pm

    pirates management/ownership, not satisfied with the level of succitude they have thus far attained, must be taking public relations advice from oj simpson (remember “i did it”?).

    it’s simple: “yes, we fired the pierogie because he signed a contract stipulating he can’t shit where he eats.”

  19. Jen
    June 21, 2010 12:11 pm

    The worst part about that story is this: “Mr. Kurtz’s mother contacted the news media to express her anger.”

    Not only did he do something stupid (shat where he ate, as the saying goes), but his mother alerted the media that he did something stupid.

    Mrs Kurtz, your precious little snowflake is 24 years old. At some point he needs to learn there are consequences for his actions.

  20. BeauJacques
    June 21, 2010 12:14 pm

    Here’s a thought-

    If we had a real baseball team we wouldn’t be talking about f’ing carnival clowns.

  21. Bitter
    June 21, 2010 12:35 pm

    timejim, you will be missed.

  22. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    June 21, 2010 12:37 pm

    Monty, I just laughed out loud.

  23. bucdaddy
    June 21, 2010 1:03 pm

    BeauJacques Says:
    June 21st, 2010 at 11:54 am

    But his worst crime of all is that his newspapers suck.

  24. John
    June 21, 2010 1:11 pm

    Jagoff,,,, that is ” don’t dip your pen in company ink”.

  25. Bill from Hanover
    June 21, 2010 1:12 pm

    Fact is the Pirtaes SUCK and they have SUCKED for YEARS, not just a few games here and there and the OWNERS and MANAGEMENT fail to do anything. Keep making promises to fans, one day your seats will be empty with the exception of Nasty Burgh Pigeons.



  26. Carpetbagger
    June 21, 2010 1:18 pm

    I think we keep misusing the term “Freedom of Speech.” Because of this handy-dandy little concept/precept/amendment we are “free” to state our opinions without fear of being thrown in prison. Thus, we are, you know, free.

    It does not mean you can say whatever you want and be free of consequence, reaction, criticism, or repercussion.

    I tire of people who spout off, get fired, and then ask “Don’t we have freedom of speech?” Yes, we do. Despite your unemployment, you are free to come and go as you please.

  27. PA Girl in VA
    June 21, 2010 1:18 pm

    I am SO hungry for pierogies right now…

  28. T
    June 21, 2010 2:09 pm

    I can’t believe they are only paid $25 per race!

  29. Jagoff
    June 21, 2010 2:12 pm

    I think they should at least get league minimum since they’re the most entertaining part of a Pirate’s game.

  30. houndogg
    June 21, 2010 2:20 pm

    “I can’t believe they are only paid $25 per race!”

    just out of pure curiosity, how much do you think they should get paid per race/game?

  31. Joe K.
    June 21, 2010 2:23 pm

    @ Jen #19: Totally agree. I can’t imagine that my parents would ever do something like that if it were me.

    And yes there’s free speech, but employers are also free to chose who they employ as well. People need to remember that their internet postings are kind of the same thing as a roadside billboard: everyone can read it.

  32. bucdaddy
    June 21, 2010 2:46 pm


    I seem to recall you took some “poet” to task a few years ago for reading what some might regard as obscene poetry in a bookstore, and the bookstore had the temerity to ask her to turn her microphone off or something. Remember that? Didn’t you side with the bookstore in that case?

  33. Elmer Palmer
    June 21, 2010 3:01 pm

    The fix is in

  34. Brad
    June 21, 2010 3:04 pm

    Isn’t it usually a good thing when a pierogi gets into hot water?

  35. Noelle
    June 21, 2010 3:09 pm

    Gross Brad, I don’t know how YOU eat your pierogis, but I’ve never heard of boiling them! ;)

  36. Summer
    June 21, 2010 3:53 pm

    @Bucdaddy No. 23:

    Now, that’s just not nice.

  37. T
    June 21, 2010 4:05 pm

    @ houndogg… I don’t know.. I don’t really have a price in mind. I just don’t think you could dress me up and make me race infront of thousands of people for just $25.. but that’s just me!

  38. PittinDC
    June 21, 2010 4:53 pm

    While I agree that it was stupid for the kid to post something to his Facebook page knowing that he had friended his employer… at the same time.. shouldn’t the management of the Pirates organization spend more time worrying about the suckiness of the baseball team as opposed to a stupid mistake of a pierogi? That’s what gets me most about the story. In the middle of a multi-game losing streak (I lost count) during the 18th losing season, instead of worrying about winning games, they are worrying about a pierogi kid saying that the team sucks.. which.. in fact.. is very true. It’s not even an opinion. It’s a fact.

  39. Nate
    June 21, 2010 4:55 pm

    I would like to publicly state that I would gladly take his place as Chester Cheese for the fair price of $22.50/game! Call me.

  40. VAgirl
    June 21, 2010 8:49 pm

    Oh, to err is human and so to be young and impulsive. I do hope the young man learned something and Mom does need to let him live his life. I complain about my employer all the time and I probably will until I retire. If only more companies were like Google and Patagonia but that is how you employ real talent.

  41. BeauJacques
    June 21, 2010 10:07 pm

    Confucius say:

    It was not the Emperor’s own tailor, or his hired pirogie who stated the obvious….

  42. Roxy
    June 22, 2010 12:08 am

    I do worry at times about some of what I blog about. I’ve complained about co workers in my blog without ever naming names or where I work, however they would know who they were if they ever became computer literate enough. Facebook on the other hand for me is on lockdown and I’ve said…. Well alot.

    I figure if I get fired for it, it was meant to be. They suck anyway :).

  43. Pa-pop
    June 22, 2010 12:11 am

    Re Jupitonians and your link to Physics Forums. I’m thinking of putting all things pewter on eBay to see what elf-like creatures I attract. Shipping will be a bitch, though…

  44. MM
    June 22, 2010 12:25 am

    And yet the Pirates become bigger jokes…amazing:)

  45. BeauJacques
    June 22, 2010 10:45 am

    Stuart Varney talking about Pirates and pirogie right now on Fox Business

  46. Jen
    June 22, 2010 6:36 pm

    Guess it’s in General Stanley McChrystal’s favor that he didn’t post what he really thought on Facebook ….

  47. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    June 23, 2010 9:37 am

    Breaking News! The Pierogi was hired back!! Film at 11….

    Pirates put pierogi back in race: