Why Are the Pirates About to Fire John Russell?

Update:  Just an additional thought that came to me.  It’s been mentioned in several places that this would be exclusively a PR move rather than a baseball decision, to assure Pirates fans that the organization is “committed to winning”, whatever that means.  But firing Russell now would likely have the exact opposite effect.  Firings aren’t a feel good story, and that breeds negativity in the fan base in a season where the Pirates have at least a few things going the right way.  A few days worth of stories about yet another Pirates’ failure is what the organization should be trying to avoid.

The baseball guys at FoxSports.com report that the Pirates could be on the verge of firing John Russell, who is in the middle of his third losing season with the Buccos.  According to the report and “multiple league sources”, the Pirates are holding talks about his immediate future.

It is a perfectly legitimate exercise for a team like the Pirates to have discussions about the future of anyone in the organization, and certainly the manager.  But you have to wonder, in the middle of a season where the Pirates are (rightfully) undertaking a major youth movement, what would be the wisdom of suddenly changing the skipper.

The team has no expectations of contending, of course.  So unless Russell is not the right guy to get the young guys behaving and training like major league players, all this move will do is add instability to an already tumultuous season.

“Stiff, impassive demeanor” is a phrase being used to criticize Russell apparently.  Funny, that it’s in stark contrast to the “player friendly, good-guy” image of Dave Trembley that got him fired.

Frankly, it’s our belief that young players need a stable, level-headed guy at the helm, especially when the losses are piling up.  Dismissing Russell would be a mistake at this point, especially since an attractive alternative isn’t available (Bobby Valentine, seriously?).

Let the season play out, continue to call up the young players.  No managerial change at this point is going to convince your fans your “determined to win”.  You know what will do that?  Actually winning.

[MLB Trade Rumors]