The Pittsburgh Pirates fired John Russell. Anytime your Major League Baseball Manager loses 299 games AND wears a watch in the season finale, he should be fired.
Russell’s .384 winning percentage is good for top ten worst of all time. In fact, he lost out on the title as worst manager based on winning percentage in the past 100 years. It figures Russell would let Alan Trammell slide ahead of him in the rankings, damn September wins. Go figure. JR couldn’t even win the title of worst manager. If only Huntington had given JR some less talented players three years ago…
Say all you want about JR, and we certainly have over the years, but remember this, thanks to countless roster turnovers, Russell managed more players in his three years than any manager in MLB history. Well, I can’t back that up, but it sure did feel that way. He was the yes man the organization wanted, he rarely challenged umpires, and shamefully didn’t appear to get in the face of his players or upper management.
Most enthusiasts will say managers don’t matter. Sure. We all realize talent trumps all just like sales cures all.
But I would also say this about those people, they never got to be around a truly great manager.
And that’s what the Pirates need, a great manager, but you know what? I believe right now, in their current situation and with numerous MLB teams looking, the Pirates won’t be able to secure a great manager. And that’s what pisses me off.
But since talent trumps all, perhaps Russell was the perfect manager these past three years. He did what few others could do, lose without seeming to let it faze him. I just once wanted to see Russell lose his mind and go postal. He’s probably thrilled as hell right now.
And in my book, Russell will always be remembered as the guy who got the Pirates the first pick in 2011. That counts for something in my book big guy.
Now bring on the seventh manager in this 18-year hell.