As expected, the Pirates officially fired manager John Russell on Monday. While I’ve already argued that firing Russell was an absolute necessity for the Pirates this offseason, let’s read the Associated Press article about his firing, just to bask in its objective, non-judgmental, factual reporting:
PITTSBURGH — He didn’t make the trades or strip the major league roster of so many proven players. In the end, John Russell’s resume will always include 299 losses in three seasons, and that was way too many, even for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While Russell was fired, general manager Neal Huntington was retained despite making a succession of poor trades and questionable moves that have left the Pirates with one of the majors’ least-talented teams — a pattern that began long before either arrived in Pittsburgh.
Wait, I thought this was an AP News article about the Pirates firing manager John Russell. How did unsubstantiated slams against Neal Huntington’s “poor trades” work their way into this?
Russell’s first team in 2008 was competitive until midseason, when the franchise — eager to stockpile a talent-bereft farm system — began dealing away or cutting productive players such as Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Freddy Sanchez, Jack Wilson, Nate McLouth, Adam LaRoche, Matt Capps, John Grabow, Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell, Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan. Also traded was 2010 major league home run leader Jose Bautista during a two-year roster purge.
Wha…a… wh… wh…… whaaaa…. waaa aaaa..
[PASSES OUT FOR 10 MINUTES. GETS UP. REREADS PARAGRAPH. PASSES OUT AGAIN. GETS UP ONE HOUR LATER. TOSSES BACK THREE WHISKEY SHOTS. TAKES DEEP BREATH.]
Let’s clear up some things: