Pac-Man and the Pirates

Some computer buffs might argue that video games are well on their way to replacing baseball as the national pastime. Warner Communications Inc., whose Atari unit has reaped a fortune on such electronic diversions as Pac-Man and Asteroids, apparently thinks that there is still money to be made from real-life action on a dusty playing field. Warner announced last week that it will buy a 48% share in the Pittsburgh Pirates from the team's longtime owners, the John W. Galbreath family of Pittsburgh, for an undisclosed price.

At best, Warner's investment appears risky. Since 1971 the Pirates have lost perhaps $10...

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