Russell won by default? GM meetings

About the only rumors running around the GM meeting other than A-Rod this and A-Rod that was that Jason Bay may not be on the market like many of us thought he would and Morris will probably be shopped, which I hadn’t considered.

At least that’s what I’m hearing.

The few I spoke to thought the Pirates will try to resign Chacon, although many speculated he’ll end up in Colorado, the Pirates will probably try to get something for Marte, and will probably listen only to early deals on Wilson, another surprise to me.

Now hold on to your seat for this one.. one rumor in the house is that the Pirates actually think they can be a .500 team next year. Nobody seems to know where it started or how they will accomplish that short of signing A-Rod, Torii Hunter, Carlos Silva, Freddy Garcia, and Mariano Rivera, but there you go.

One exec who was kind enough to email me said, from what he is hearing, he doubted Neal Huntington will break up the core of Gorzelanny, Snell, Maholm, and Capps.

I had speculated last week Huntington would probably try to move Snell but he said he’d be very surprised if that happened. However, he was quick to add that the rebuilding formula is probably being scripted by those above Huntington and the club hasn’t tipped their hand yet what that entails. Give it a few weeks he suggested.

Has the truth finally come out? Evidently Coonelly made the manager decision for Huntington:

"Coonelly insisted he wanted a manager who has written out a lineup card.." — AP report at ESPN (emphasis supplied by Bucco Blog)

Geez.. the virgin GM has now been rocked twice in public by his boss during his first assignment.. once when Coonelly insisted on a manager with experience; and two, when Huntington said he’d make the announcement in Pittsburgh after the GM meetings but Coonelly immediately shot back no, we’ll announce it Monday and we’ll also make the rest of the announcements while you are in Orlando.

That’s not a good team building sign.

So I guess we are supposed to believe from Coonelly’s statement above that he never wanted John Farrell anyway?

( take THAT John Farrell * turns nose up and walks away * )


BTW, did Joey Cora even interview?

Lloyd McClendon on John Russell being hired by the Pirates:

"No comment."

HILLLLLLL – ar – ious.

Perhaps they should have asked for Littlefield’s comment instead since Dave hired Russell to snitch on babysit Mac?

"Triple-A Indianapolis manager Trent Jewett, who interviewed for the Pirates’ managerial job, Indianapolis pitching coach Jeff Andrews, and Minor League field coordinator Jeff Banister may be among those within the organization that are viewed as Major League coaching candidates." — November 5th.

Jeff Andrews pitching coach of the Pirates? Wow. Let’s not and say we did.

Instead, why not make scab Chris Truby the hitting coach, hire back Gary Ruby as bench coach and give him stripes to wear, hire scab Keith Osik to be the third-base coach/catching instructor, and bring back Jim Colborn as the first base coach. Heck while were at it, let Dave Lundquist from Hickory be the bullpen coach.

At least we’d officially be terrorist Pirates then.

Kidding aside, look for Wilson Alvarez (Spikes) to be promoted somewhere despite the ‘roids issue since he’s done a good job, and Gary Green at Hickory did a lot with very little and deserves to move up I’d guess.

Speaking of one hand rocking the other, all of a sudden bringing back Chuck Tanner has gone from a sure thing:

"Also today (Nov. 2cd), Coonelly confirmed that former manager Chuck Tanner will return to the franchise as a special assistant to the GM."

to one of hope:

"It is our hope that we can bring him back in an adviser role on the baseball side and utilize his knowledge and his experience and his passion for this city," said Huntington (Nov. 5th). "We’re hoping that that’s something that we can do."

I’m not doubting Tanner will likely take the position, just that there are too many mouths talking in the front office as if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing or saying. Power struggle ("just let me do MY job Frank!"), perhaps?

Nothing changes in this organization, it just moves around.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will unveil a new name – just Rays, no Devil – new uniforms, new colors (navy blue, light blue and yellow), and new logos on Thursday.

Baseball’s major awards next year will be announced: Nov. 12 – AL and NL rookie of the year; Nov. 13 – AL Cy Young; Nov. 14 – AL/NL manager of the year; Nov. 15 – NL Cy Young; Nov. 19 – AL MVP; Nov. 20 NL MVP.