Neal Huntington Show Notes


Sep 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington shown in the locker room after clinching a playoff spot by defeating the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Pirates defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Neal Huntington held his final show with host Greg Brown today.  The Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager answered questions from the voice of the Bucs.

Brown asked about what went into the decision to start Gerrit Cole today with the Pirates a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central Division.

"In our minds its exact opposite of wasting Gerrit Cole.  The what if games on either side we understand…but what if…  But lets go other way…(say we have a) bullpen day for todays game….odds of a bullpen day (providing a Pirates win) are somewhat less of Cole pitching today.  Our loss is more likely.  And then we wonder what would have happened.  We started this a month ago…where would we be.  In our mind yes, we need help….all have a legit chance of happening.  Let’s put ourselves in best position.  the best possible position.  A one game wild card play in is a crap shoot."

Brown said he would be devil advocate.  You need to win one game either Monday or Wednesday to get to best of five.  Isn’t Gerrit Cole your man?

"Thats why he is going today…More likely St. Louis wins today.  If we win and St. Louis loses, we have exact odds that we have.  The odds are the same as flipping a coin.  We have looked at this as analytically as we possibly can.  The human elements impacts the analytics.  (The difference is narrow)  Punting today….these guys want to win the division.  If worse case is St. Louis wins, we are still in good shape.  We still have good pitching lined up."

Would you rather fly out to L.A.?

"If we could be guaranteed to win Wednesday, we could look to matchups."

If your players want to win the division, then that’s the way you need to play?

"It’s an important part of it.  The voice was nearly unaminous about wanting to win the division.  From players, (non players/coaches)…about as unified a decision as we have had."

How bad is Russell Martin hamsting

"In talking with our guys, better for today than yesterday.  Russ wants to be out there.  He is adamant…we felt it was in our best interest for him to take day."

Brown asked about Ron Cook’s and Joe Starkey’s columns.  (People still read the paper??)

"It’s a challenge to enjoy the ride."

Brown asked you are not a free agent Neal, but I would imagine other teams coming after you

"I love it here Browny.  If somebody wants to take a part of the Pirates, we have a lot of …..  (wow i even stopped thinking because Huntington didn’t just dismiss the notion–it would suck if Huntington leaves Pittsburgh.  He spoke about Banny, and then assistant GM’s…and the talent that has been assembled in the organization)  for teams to figure out how we have done it would be for them to hire those guys and put them in leadership positions.  I have no plan to go anywhere else."

Wouldn’t it be tempting to not work for a small market, budgets….

"I love these guys.  We are not done yet.  That is what electrifies me.  Work with great people.  Defy odds."