PITTSBURGH, PA - James Hattefield, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania is suing the Pittsburgh Pirates for a prorated refund of his 2009 season tickets.
On Wednesday, Jul. 29, Hattefield fell off a ladder in his garage and struck his head on a paint can lying on the floor. After a brief stint in the hospital, Hattefield is back at full health, except for one peculiarity—His memory of the last four months has been erased.
When Hattefield awoke at Forbes Regional Hospital, he was under the assumption that the date was April 8, nearly four months before the date of his fall. Doctors are unsure of whether or not Hattefield's memories will return, but for now he is learning to cope with the loss.
Hattefield returned home on Jul. 30 and quickly returned to his daily life. That is, until he read about the trade deadline transactions of his favorite sports team; the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Hattefield furiously dug through his personal effects until he found the scorecard from the last game he remembered attending, a 9-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Apr. 7.
Perusing the box score, Hattefield quickly found that all but two have been traded away this year.
Here is the lineup that James Hattefield remembers, with their current teams in parentheses:
C - Ryan Doumit
1B - Adam LaRoche (Atlanta Braves)
2B - Freddy Sanchez (San Francisco Giants)
3B - Andy LaRoche
SS - Jack Wilson (Seattle Mariners)
LF - Nate McLouth (Atlanta Braves)
CF - Nyjer Morgan (Washington Nationals)
RF - Eric Hinske (New York Yankees)
SP - Ian Snell (Seattle Mariners)
"He was livid," James' wife Dottie Hattefield recalls. "He kept asking me about how it happened and when it happened, but all I could tell him is, 'You already know, we've had this conversation before!'"
Hattefield met with an attorney on Thursday and promptly filed suit against the Pittsburgh Pirates to reclaim what's left of his season ticket payments. Why? Because according to James Hattefield, this isn't the team that he paid to see.
"It's egregious!" Hattefield told the Monroeville Times Express, "I paid thousands of dollars for these seats at a beautiful ballpark and now I get to watch some Pop Warner ballclub throw a group of 20-year olds onto the field each week."
In a 22 page brief, Hattefield's attorney outlined his client's main points of contention.
First, Hattefield claims that the Pittsburgh Pirates tradition of losing is detrimental to his health. Having just been checked out of the hospital, Hattefield claims that to subject himself to Pirates baseball on a regular basis would cause him extreme emotional hardship, which could cause his mental problems to relapse.
Second, Hattefield claims that he deserves a refund because he cannot fully appreciate the tickets he has paid for to date. He contends that, while he may have attended most of the home games in 2009, he does not remember a single one past Apr. 7, and therefore should be entitled to some partial refund.
Third, and most importantly, Hattefield argues that the Pittsburgh Pirates' current roster in no way reflects the roster that he paid to see this season.
Here is the Pittsburgh Pirates starting lineup per their team depth chart:
C - Ryan Doumit
1B - Steve Pearce
2B - Luis Cruz
3B - Andy LaRoche
SS - Ronny Cedeno
LF - Lastings Milledge
CF - Andrew McCutchen
RF - Garrett Jones
SP - Paul Maholm
"Who the hell are those guys?" Hattefield responded when provided with the current starting lineup for Pittsburgh. "I recognize Ryan [Doumit], Andy [LaRoche], and Paul [Maholm], but past that this looks like a Triple-A All-Star team."
"I know this much—Ronny Cedeno sucks." Hattefield continued, " I got a couple friends that are Cubs fans and I've heard all about that joker. As for the rest, the whole lot of them can go ahead and cut me a check for my season tickets, cause I'm not paying to see that [expletive]."
Pittsburgh Pirates Director of Ticketing Operations Todd LaFave said that the matter could be resolved peacefully.
"Mr. Hattefield is in a very tough spot right now, as he is still recovering from severe mental trauma." LaFave told reporters on Friday. "The Pittsburgh Pirates organization will be happy to discuss additional packages we can provide to him, but I doubt that a refund is in order."
"[Expletive] that." Hattefield responded. "I want my money back and that's that!"
When asked about the possibility of going to a Pirates game in the near future, Hattefield responded, "Yeah, if I'm forced there against my will. I have not and will not support that pack of no-talent ass-clowns, I don't care if they claim to be professional or not."
Hattefield did offer one potential compromise that could get him back in the Pirates stadium "Go get me Aramis Ramirez, or Jason Bay, or Xavier Nady, and bring them back here, then I'll think about going out to the ballpark."
There is no word from the courts concerning Hattefield's lawsuit, but a decision is expected next week.
Note: In case you hadn't caught on, this piece is fictional. It's characters and events are fabricated, and it is meant only to mock the disparity between the Pittsburgh Pirates roster in April and the current Pirates lineup.
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