The view Gary Varsho had earlier this morning? Original artwork by Joshua Hoffine

The Ax Falls In Pittsburgh: Kerrigan And Varsho Fired

The Pittsburgh Pirates fired Pitching Coach Joe Kerrigan and Bench Coach Gary Varsho.  Ray Searage and Jeff Banister will be the new men in those positions on an interim basis Dejan reports this morning. 

Kerrigan was highly touted … as being the savior for the Pirates young staff.  He had a great start for the Bucs and for the first few months of his tenure the Pirates pitching actually led the league in several categories.  Zach Duke and Ross Ohlendorf had nice seasons.  Charlie Morton smelled good in the majors. 

All of that success came to a screeching halt this season.  There always has to be a fall guy.  Kerrigan was it.   Varsho was it. 

“They were no longer a right fit for our club,” said Neal Huntington.

He will be blamed for Brad Lincoln.  He will be blamed for Charlie Morton.  You get the point.  

Varsho looked miserable throughout the season, even getting into arguments with the players in front of reporters.  But perhaps this is what he was looking for since he couldn’t work his way to the top of the ladder for the Pirates.   If a coach is going to get fired this is a good time.

As for Ray Searage being promoted, well we’re not excited about Searage.  We  said it last year.

Paul Maholm said this about promoted Pirates Assistant Pitching Coach Ray Searage [link to his career page] “He’s been around, and he knows his stuff,” Maholm worked with Searage in Williamsport in 2003 and in spring trainings. “He’s definitely somebody who’ll help out … let your natural talents come out. He’s a very positive guy, high energy, wants everybody to do well. To me, he’s just a fun guy to have around.”

Cool.  A fun guy!

A fun guy who GM Neal Huntington said, “will be a lot more than an Assistant Pitching Coach.” 

My question is this?  What is so wrong with focusing on being the absolute best ‘Assistant Pitching Coach?’  That job is tremendously important as we saw last year. 

It would be thrilling for me to see two men doing absolutely nothing other than focusing on the pitchers at the major league level for the Pirates.  Nothing else. 

Am I crazy?

And am I crazy for not being excited about the promotion?

Here’s our take.  A power struggle was happening.  Someone has to be the scapegoat.  Since John Russell does exactly as he is told, he kept his gig despite continually making crazy decisions.  Just one of the many blunders in the past 48 hours…. Can you believe Joel Hanrahan was sent out to the mound last night after throwing 31 pitches Friday? 

Kerrigan wasn’t in favor of such decisions.  But Kerrigan wasn’t  improving his staff.  You get my point. Heh, heh, look over here, look over here….off with the head.

I wonder if we will be able to buy Kerrigan and Varsho merchandise at PirateFest? I gotta have something to remember the Dave Kerwin era.  He had magic for the first few months and then smack into a brick wall in year one.  He had a nice bullpen in year two.  We’re not crazy about the decision, but you’re either with the team or you’re not and it seems this regime has made that point quite evident this morning. 

Now please get a talented coach hired soon.  Two names that might have had an impact on this decision–Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie?

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