Friday, June 18, 2010
Pirates Extend Huntington and Russell- Pirates drop the ball twice in one week
The Pirates announced yesterday that they have agreed to contract extensions with both General Manager Neil Huntington and Manager John Russell. The deals were actually agreed upon before the season began and only now announced, due to speculation on the job status of both men.
The Pirates dropped the ball on this the same way they dropped it on the Pedro Alvarez promotion. As I've noted here before, the Pirates should have taken advantage of Alvarez's arrival to fill the ballpark the last two days, but no, not the Pirates. They prefer to play to a half empty ballpark and then afterwards complain about the attendance. They should have taken note from the way the Nationals handled Stephen Strasburg's arrival and should have been able to generate extra revenue from it.
Now, onto today's issue. First, Huntington. I don't have a problem with this one bit. In my opinion, he's done an above average job of bringing in talent to the organization. he should be able to see this through for the next couple of seasons. It's not his fault that Dave Littlefield left the cupboard bare for him. Look at the entire organization now and before Huntington arrived. The Pirates as a whole are in much better shape now. Having said that, within the next calender year, the results are going to have to start coming.
As for Russell, here is where the Pirates dropped the ball. They should have announced his extension when it happened. Why hide it? Are they that much concerned with the public backlash by extending Russell? All of the deception actually makes me wonder if indeed he did receive an extension, but for now I will take it at face value.
Again, a case of the Pirates front office dropping the ball. They come out of this once again looking like an incompetent organization. Why extend him in the first place though? I buy into the thought of not wanting a lame duck manager, but that's why you announce it before the season.
Only the Pirates front office would extend Russell in the midst of an 11-game losing streak. The timing is even more peculiar than actually giving him the extension. Now that the rumors have heated up concerning Russell's job status, giving him an extension in the middle of the season definitely means he isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
You don't want these young players playing for him. I still say make the move now and really go after a Phil garner or Willie Randolph. I'd even settle for Eric Wedge or Jose Oquendo who were rumored. Either way, the team will not improve and become competitive under Russell and the Pirates once again dropped the ball, looking foolish in the process.