Treasure Island's totally non-pirate ship docks at CHS Field

Treasure Island’s distancing itself from pirates like they’re George W. Bush during a Republican primary.

Treasure Island’s distancing itself from pirates like they’re George W. Bush during a Republican primary.

In the final days of the St. Paul Saints’ first season at CHS Field, Lowertown’s splashy new ballpark received a feather in its buccaneer’s cap. While the team was on the road, a 60-foot ship docked in right field, debuting last Saturday for the Saints’ final two postseason games.

Armed with two working cannons that will blast after home runs, the stationary vessel will be open next season for group rentals and can handle 125-150 best mateys or downsized Target employees. The ship was the brainchild of Treasure Island Resort & Casino, the marketing cash philanthropist that sponsors the private terrace area.

Knowing the Saints’ commitment to absurd promos, surely the newly christened ship will make 2016 the year of skull-and-crossbones ridiculousness.

“No, because they [Treasure Island] specifically do not want it to be a pirate ship,” says Sean Aronson, Saints broadcasting director and media guy. “It is just a ship. They don’t want any sort of pirate connotation or anything like that.”

Hold up. What’s so bad about pirates? Unattractive peg legs aside, the lovably Hollywoodized marauders don’t say dumb things about Mexicans or cheat on their pirate spouses in oddly public places. They kick it with parrots, and inspire lame, but easily executable Halloween costumes. Plus, “swashbuckler” is really fun to say.

So why has Minnesota’s most anti-pirate casino blacklisted the Blackbeards?


“Pirates steal people’s money,” explains Cindy Taube, Treasure Island’s public relations captain. “As a casino, sometimes people get upset or they feel like we’re taking their money, and so the concept of the pirates stealing people’s money or stealing their stuff, we try and stay away from that.”

OK, that sorta makes sense for “the brand.” But it still feels like they’re missing the dingy on horrible pirate puns, “booty for booty” twerk-offs, and eyepatch giveaways.

“Oh, god,” Taube laughs. “Captain Jack, there’s a zillion things. But the backlash from the negative stuff, you know how fast social media is today, trying to manage that because you could grab that and run with it in a heartbeat.”

Way to go, social media jackals. Your imminent snark dealt casino baseball pirates an early watery grave.