John Russell On The Hot Seat In Pittsburgh?

WEDNESDAY, 12:52pm: Rosenthal and Morosi report that there is some sentiment among those above and below Coonelly and Huntington that Russell should be dismissed. That could mean that ownership is unhappy with Russell, though the FOX Sports duo reports that majority owner Bob Nutting has not discussed firing Russell with the team's president and GM.

TUESDAY, 9:31pm: ESPN's Buster Olney hears from sources that "there is absolutely nothing to the speculation" about Russell being fired (via Twitter).  Rosenthal also tweets that Pirates president Frank Coonelly has denied that discussions about Russell's future have taken place.

8:58pm: With Pedro Alvarez on the verge of making his debut in the black-and-gold, the young prospect might never get to play for current Pirates manager John Russell.  Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of report that the team is "holding internal discussions" about Russell's fate, though it isn't apparent if the manager might be fired soon or possibly until after the season.

Russell "has drawn criticism within the industry for his stiff, impassive demeanor," according to Rosenthal/Morosi.  With the likes of Alvarez, Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata either on the major league roster or nearing it, Pittsburgh management might want a new face in the dugout to signify this fresh start for the organization. 

Russell has a 152-234 record since being hired as the Pirates' manager before the 2008 season, though given Pittsburgh's roster, it's hard to attribute their lack of success to Russell's managerial skills.  Rosenthal/Morosi say that the Bucs will look inside the organization for an interim manager to finish out the season, and note that former Indians manager Eric Wedge and Cardinals bench coach Jose Oquendo are long-term candidates to take over the job.

23 Responses to John Russell On The Hot Seat In Pittsburgh? Leave a Reply

  1. DepletedOrange 5 years ago

    Can’t imagine Oquendo jumping ship with the Cardinals job essentially his next year, if(hopefully) LaRussa retires.

  2. bigpat 5 years ago

    Good, he brings absolutely nothing to the table. I’m not of the belief that managers do a lot for a ballclub. I believe more in pitching and hitting coaches and the players true talent, but I don’t like his attitude or his decision making very much. I know he doesn’t have a lot to work with, but he is terrible at making a lineup. I don’t know why he keeps penciling in Ryan Church over Milledge the past 4 days, it’s such a joke. Church is hitting .190, and while Milledge isn’t tearing things up, he starts to show a little game to game then sits for a long period. That’s why I feel like it will be over for Andy LaRoche once Alvarez comes up because he will make no attempt to play him more than once a week. Not that he deserves an everyday job but he should play a little bit still. He sticks with bad players for too long, look at low long Aki was leading off with a .170 BA. I still don’t know why teams walked that guy when he can’t square up on a ball to save his life.

  3. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    I swear that sometimes when they show him in the dugout it’s just a cardboard cutout.

    • bucco_nation 5 years ago

      hahaha. good to see your boy get DFA’d today!

  4. robdicken 5 years ago

    What’s the point in firing coaches and managers when you have a ballclub full of players that wouldn’t be on the Major League Roster of 99% of the rest of the Major League teams?

    Pirates will continue to be nothing in baseball until they spend the money and learn to keep their young talent.

  5. bucco_nation 5 years ago

    I can’t stand the lack of emotion. He needs to go, I’d love to see us take a run at Bobby V.

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      Yeah, saddle Bobby V with a team that has a lousy/meddling FO (Huntington) and low budget payroll, that will get him to come out of retirement won’t it? Bobby V better of going back for round 2 with the Mets, at least they will spend a few bucks and not trade off the entire roster when the get to years 4&5 of service time.

  6. derekbellstutu 5 years ago

    I think Eric Wedge would be a great replacement for JR if he’s canned. I agreed with tom from st pete florida that the rest of the coaching staff should be replaced as well. Don Long isn’t doing any of our hitters any favors.

    • louis_09 5 years ago

      I’m a big fan of Trent Jewett — I thought he should have got the job over Russell a few years ago. Instead, he took a job in Washington’s system…and is now managing their AAA club. I’d love to see him get a shot!

  7. RampantRedsFan 5 years ago

    They can have Dusty Baker!!!

  8. pghfan 5 years ago

    only so much he can do. but bringing back Phil GarnBRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  9. bigpat 5 years ago

    I want Kent Tekulve to coach the team. I usually try and watch his postgame show after every game and he is very insightful. He takes a very realistic look at the team without being too harsh or bias. I feel like he would also demand a lot of the pitching staff, and to me he looks light years smarter than Russell. The job should be his if he wants it.

  10. Himalayan 5 years ago

    Russell is an embarassment as a manager. Doumit playing first? Not walking Cabrera with the game on the line. And last night’s gaff was the final straw. There is NFW that Church hits against Thornton in that situation in the 7th inning. Right there, that’s it. If I was NH and had some stones, Russell would have been fired right after the game. What a joke.

  11. louis_09 5 years ago

    Sorry, but I’m not buying the fact that the team is “a ballclub full of players that wouldn’t be on the Major League Roster of 99% of the rest of the Major League teams”. The big issue I have is that, for the first time in YEARS, there is talent there! I think it’s hard to put a good product on the field when the “game plan” put forth is terrible. The hitting coach is responsible for working with hitters…especially young hitters…and I think the team’s “approach” has been terrible all year. Except for Meek/Hanrahan, our pitchers have REGRESSED. I’m sorry…in other years I’ve bought the “talent” argument — this year they put a team on the field that should be winning many more games than they are. If the talent decreases…you blame the GM. If the talent increases…but the production decreases…you blame the manager and coaching staff.

  12. brovos 5 years ago

    Let me get this straight. A team that doesn’t pay for any good free agents and trades most all of its good prospects, is firing their manager? Pirates ownership needs to look in the mirror.

  13. If they make a managerial change, Phil Garner should be the first choice. If Garner doesn’t get the job, the Pirates brass definitely have their heads up their collective @sses.

  14. Lanidrac 5 years ago

    First of all, Oquendo is the Cardinals 3rd base coach, not their bench coach, and second, he’s the favorite to succeed La Russa as Cards manager after La Russa retires, so why would he go to Pittsburgh?

  15. enriqueromowhereru 5 years ago

    Davey Johnson…Davey Johnson…Davey Johnson…Works great with young players…really knows the game…has name recognition…can attract better coaches…

    I know 67 seems a bit old for a ML manager these days, but I don’t see Johnson being so locked up in “old school” ways that his age would be a detriment. Most importantly, he’s passionate about the game of baseball, which this organization and its fans need to see….along with his World Series ring.

  16. I don’t want to say that JR doesn’t care, because that would mean he actually has any sense of feeling. Like some of the earlier posts say, NH tells him how to manage, how to think, how to eat, and how to wear those ugly glasses. The conversation in this “closed door” team meetings is a mystery to all except the team. I would love just to see a little fire out of him every once in a while. Hell, at least McClendon took first base and threw it in to right field. Half of the players in this line-up don’t even know where first base is. The most frustrating thing to me is seeing players smile in the dugout. How the hell can you smile in the midst of a ten game losing streak?! And in only 2 of these did they have the lead at any time! That is sickening. These guys are professional athletes. Act like you care to be there. If they want any chance to get out of baseball purgatory, they have to perform now.

  17. BeatEmBucs 5 years ago

    Thanks for bringing that refreshing idea to the discussion. I’ve never heard that before.

  18. bucco_nation 5 years ago

    Not anymore Tone. I’ll admit I’ll be a little nervous until I see us hand out the first big contract to this group. Cutch should get that this Winter.

  19. PittsburgPhil 5 years ago

    false. they only traded away their team the last 2 years because that team obviously was not winning, and the big players like sanchez, wilson, and bay’s contracts were at the end adn would not resign. their minor league teams were dry of prospects adn the previous general managers were complete idiots. Neal Huntington is doing a great job in making a winning roster since he took over at the end of the 2007 season. it takes around 7 years to completely rebuild an organization so look for the buccos to be in contention in 3 year, and not trade the good players like mccutchen, alvarez, tabata, walker, and those on the way up.

  20. Todd Smith 5 years ago

    People keep parroting this line, and it’s just not true. The last successful prospect the Pirates traded away was Barry Bonds. The handful of decent players the Pirates have had over the past decade or so were ACQUIRED IN TRADES – not through the draft. This is a very new rebuilding effort for this organization by a very different front office. This is the first time in this 17 year streak that they actually are rebuilding through the farm system. To sit here and yell that the Pirates always trade away their great prospects just shows that you haven’t been paying attention.

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