Big Lead Sports Bar

10/04/2010

Pirates Relieve John Russell of Managing the Pirates



At long last, the John Russell Era is finally complete. The final numbers: 186 wins, 299 losses, a .384 winning percentage, and three straight last-place finishes. 

In 2010, the Pirates were last in the National League in offense (.242 batting average), pitching (5.00 ERA) and defense (.979 fielding percentage), also known as the Triple Crown of Ineptitude. They finished the season 57-105 while getting outscored 866-587, and endured eight losing streaks of five games or more. Their 64 road losses were the second-highest total in baseball's modern era. 

Good luck to the next poor sap who inherits this job, for which a new-hire search begins "immediately," according to GM Neal Huntington, who appears to have dodged the unemployment line while building this powerhouse of losing. 

Maybe they can hire that Altoona manager that Pirate fans went to bat for so passionately last week? I hear he needs a job above the Double-A level.

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc): twitter.com/mondesishouse
Email: mondesishouse@gmail.com

28 comments:

Real McCoy said...

It's a shame they couldn't have lost one more game. 300 losses sounds so much better than 299. If Clemente had only reached 2,999 hits it would not be quite the same.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

So is there any chance in hell Neal Huntington names HIMSELF the field manager?

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Now, all kidding aside, I never was a fan of Russell as a choice for manager.

In his defense, he obviously did not have much to work with, but I think he was just a placeholder to be the next fall guy. He was not a great decision maker in my less-than-expert opinion, so I think this is pretty much the correct move for all concerned parties.

He's out of his misery, NH is in the clear, and the fans (self included) don't have "Russell's sleeping on the bench again" jokes to throw around.

Scott said...

the pirates only played 161 games in 2009 or JR would have 300 loses

JW said...

I will be interested in seeing what TYPE of manager they bring in-- they've pretty much run the gamut from fiery (Lloyd) to folksy old-school (Tracy) to... well, whatever word you'd use to describe Russell. Cyborg-ish?

78Deville said...

What's nice is that they have a really good manager in Altoona waiting in the wi.....

nevermind.

rrr said...

OK, time to hire Dr. Phil. He probably yells enough to make the average yinzr happy. Or maybe Lou Holtz. Yeah, that'd be good.

Nate said...

"So is there any chance in hell Neal Huntington names HIMSELF the field manager?"

That would be so awesome. Honestly, I'd have expected Billy Beane to try that by now.

Bar Keep said...

TONY PENA!!!

Nate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate said...

Also, queue "But the Pirates had him under contract until 2011!!!! That means they lied!!!!! BAD PR! BAD PR!!!!111!!11!!!!1!!one!!1!!"

BURGH08 said...

Maybe "Tike Redmond" will get an interview.

Dominic Errico said...

Nate,

How would it be bad PR to fire an awful manager like John Russell?

It's about time this organization did the right thing.

Some interesting candidates out there include former Pirates Andy Van Slyke, Tony Pena, Pittsburgh guy Ken Macha (Who has failed everywhere he went), and Freddi Gonzalez who led the Marlins to the playoffs and got canned. Oh and of course...Matt Walbeck :-)

Koz said...

I think they should try letting some average joe manage the team like Whoopi Goldberg coached the Knicks in that movie "Eddie."

Nate said...

My mis-spelling of Tike Redman's name is no worse than the thousands of Pirates fans who still pine for "Nate McClouth" and can't even spell his name right.

I'd love to see Andy Van Slyke get a chance to be a manager, and why not here? Other than that, I don't really care who they hire.

Corey said...

@Nate, i knew you'd show your rediculous head - ISN'T IT CLEAR THAT NATE WORKS FOR THE PIRATES?!

@everybody else, If he doesn't work for the pirates, then WTH? At least get a paycheck for your efforts dude!! Because you are clearly are either crazy or on the payroll...

Next nate comment..."the pirates are a wonderful organization that focuses on winning and providing the city of pittsburgh with an honorable sports franchise focused on being competitive and winning a championship".

Steve said...

@Corey - You forgot to include: "and the Pirates have the single-best management team in all of baseball, maybe in all of sports."

I can wait to see the next excuse for a manger they hire. I mean, you can't get more of a company guy that Russell. For three years he took the losing knowing there was really nothing he could do about it while never rocking the baot and for that alone he deserves some credit as his management skills were about as important to this team winning as whether or not there were fireworks after the game.

I think the next guy will have to be nothing less than the secret bastard love child of Coonelly and Nutting for them to get anything close to a better hire for this awesome baseball club.

Steve said...

@Corey - You forgot to include: "and the Pirates have the single-best management team in all of baseball, maybe in all of sports."

I can wait to see the next excuse for a manger they hire. I mean, you can't get more of a company guy that Russell. For three years he took the losing knowing there was really nothing he could do about it while never rocking the baot and for that alone he deserves some credit as his management skills were about as important to this team winning as whether or not there were fireworks after the game.

I think the next guy will have to be nothing less than the secret bastard love child of Coonelly and Nutting for them to get anything close to a better hire for this awesome baseball club.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

@ Corey - you forgot to spell ridiculous properly.

@ all wanting the AA manager - ALL of the pirates best prospects are currently at that level, they should've had more talent than most in AA.

@ scott - GOOD CALL!

Bring in AVS!!! Why the heck not?

Nate said...

Yes, I work for the Pirates because I think despite John Russell being fired they're going to have a losing season in 2011 anyway because they just don't have that many talented players. Good call, everyone. You outed me.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Yeah, they'll lose again in 2011 & 2012 as homegrown starting pitching isn't expected to arrive until 2013 or so.

brian said...

Rudy Owens should be up by June next year, and Bryan Morris could be a September call-up. Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson are sleepers that could be here by 2012. Locke seems more hittable but rarely walks anyone and Wilson is the opposite with high walk rates but also K's a few more batters.

Nate said...

Owens and Morris will be cool to have in the Majors, but I don't think they're enough to make a difference. Owens is a #3-#4 starter to me, and honestly I'm not too high on Morris.

brian said...

Yeah, I'm not expecting either to be an ace or transform the fortunes of the club but rather solid, middle of the rotation types which isn't bad and better than replacement level arms filling out the rotaion.

I've only seen Owens pitch, but I like what I see with his fastball/curevball combo and control.

Nate said...

Well, that's true. When the pitchers you're replacing are a hodgepodge of Brian Burres/Jeff Karstens/Daniel McCutchen and (presumably) Zach Duke, you don't exactly have to win the Cy Young to be a big improvement.

Dee said...

Bob Nutting always walks through the back doors at PNC Park....Or as he likes to call it....The VIO Gate (as in Very Important Owner).
Today is wrap up day in the meeting room.
The final get together of the regular season for the "best front office in all of sports."
Nutting quickly sharpens all of his pencils, grabs his ever-present can of Dr. Pepper out of the ice box and walks into the room.
The only one sitting there is GM Neal Huntington.

Huntington: Hi Mr. Nutting....Ahhh....Where is everyone?
Nutting: Well Neal....As you know JR is no longer with us, and Coonelly has been over in some island off of Spain since late July.
He'll communicate via speaker phone.
Huntington: Oh....I see....*phew*....I got scared for a moment.
Nutting: No need to worry Neal....Your job is safe here. As you know, I had to let JR go because he broke the only rule for a manager of mine.
DO NOT secure that #1 pick in the draft. At some point....There has to be some good accounting here.
Huntington: Do you mean accounting?....Or accountability?
Nutting: Ummmmm......Same damn thing as far as I'm concerned Neal.
***Ring!***
Nutting: That must be Coonelly. One of these days I'll have to get one of these modern phones. I hear they even tell you the phone number when it calls in.
Coonelly is that you?!
Coonelly: Hola Boss!....Greetings from the island of Majorca....Just off the coast of Spain! They say there are about 2400 restaurants & bars here, and I could swear I've been to half of them since July.
I can't tell you how festive it is here. It's barely past the mid-day siesta, and I've already had two glasses of sparkling wine, and three salsa dances with the local senoritas.
Life is beautiful when living like a president.
Hey.....Before I forget....Gentleman....How did the El Pirates do this year?
Nutting: It was a great year Coonelly.....Concerts, fireworks, 105 losses......But the best is yet to come with the revenue sharing check in November.
Unfortunately..... I had to let JR go the other day. He went and lost enough games to get that #1 pick next year.
Coonelly: Ohhhh......No Good....No good. Poor JR.....How'd he take the news?
Huntington: Neal here....Actuallly, I broke it to him gently. He didn't seem to be too upset. Said he was awful weary of filling out the lineup card & taking it to home plate every day.
It's taken a toll on him and he's looking forward to a rest.
Coonelly: Well...I can always use a good man like him in the office. My days are few & far between in the 'Burgh now. I'm an international man.
I could even have him answer the chats that I "supposedly" do instead of the janitor... or errand boy.
In fact....He could do them right from his couch. Speaking of those pesky chats, I finally got that jack rabbit cut down to eight questions. No need to spend any more time than usual with these so-called fans...HaHa!
Nutting: Isn't that the truth?! I've always said Coonelly....You're one cool customer. Looks like we'll be adding a new member to the best front office in all of sports.
To be continued....

Dee said...

Now about a new manager. Neal....Where are we at with that?
Huntington: Yesterday I interviewed Eric Wedge....An old colleague of mine. However, I think he might actually want to be paid like a MLB manager, and he might want to over-ride my nifty suggestions.
Nutting: Hell with that....With this #1 bull turkey pick, we're going to have to cut down on expenses....Not add. Payroll was too high this year as far as me and the accounting department are concerned.
Coonelly: Let me see if I can get Mr. Selig to change the rule on trading picks. If so.....We'll sell that #1 pickaruuuu off to the Yankees for din-din and desert at some NYC bistro.
Nutting: Wow!....You think you can swing that Coonelly?
Coonelly: Nothing is beyond my means Mr. Nutting. I'm a big-time lawyer!
Nutting: Well hell Coonelly....If you're able to do that, we could bring 'ol JR back.
Coonelly: This is true Mr. Nutting....I can see it now.....We start out with some other stiff, and replace him with JR around the 4th of July.
Fireworks.....And the comeback kid.....All in one nights admission!
Nutting: Eeeeeeee-Ha! Coonelly....You got me more excited than a snow day in July out 'round 7-Springs!
And people try to tell me this isn't....All together now....
Nutting/Coonelly/Huntington: (in unison)..."The best front office in all of sports!".....!!!!!!!!!

Dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.