Few fans appear to walk out of Pirates-Nats game in protest

PITTSBURGH -- Despite a much-publicized effort to display
fan discontent during the Pittsburgh Pirates' 15th consecutive
losing season, only a few thousand fans at most in the crowd of
26,959 left their seats in protest following the third inning of
Saturday night's game against Washington.

Only about 100 fans were seen leaving the ballpark immediately
following the third, and it appeared that many of the fans who
vacated their seats returned not long after leaving.

Organizers who staged a pre-game rally outside PNC Park wanted
fans displeased with the Pirates' low-spending ownership to walk
out of the ballpark -- fittingly, on a night the club gave away
bobblehead dolls honoring former Pirates pitcher Bob Walk.

While the anti-ownership effort was the most organized of any
during the Pirates' run of losing seasons, which began under
previous owners in 1993, it wasn't very successful. Fans unhappy
with the club were asked to wear green shirts, but many who did
stayed in their seats.

Efforts by some spectators to start a derisive chant about the
Pirates' ownership failed, and some fans booed those green-shirted
fans who left their seats.

"I totally understand the fans' frustration," Pirates
principal owner Bob Nutting told Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh during
its game telecast. "I respect the people who are trying to make a

Nutting also said he appreciated the support of the fans who
stayed in their seats.

The protest effort may have been harmed by an unlikely source --
the Pirates' offense. One of the majors' lowest-scoring teams
scored six runs in the second inning to take a 6-1 lead only an
inning before the walkout fizzled out. The Pirates went on to win