The Pittsburgh Pirates have one of their biggest off-seasons coming up. The organization continues to make changes that are confusing fans.
The Pittsburgh Pirates organizational changes have dominated the early headlines. The team let go of manager Clint Hurdle and pitching coach Ray Searage. Further shake ups happened yesterday when it was announced that Frank Coonelly will no longer be the team’s president, along with rumors about General Manager Neal Huntington not being retained either.
As a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, one must be confused. I was talking to a friend of mine this morning and he said “As a casual fan, I honestly am confused and have no idea what is going on.” I think that can be said for a lot of us.
At the beginning of this offseason many Pittsburgh Pirates fans called for change. The team responded by letting go of manager Clint Hurdle and Ray Searage. Many people were happy to see this, but a bulk of the fanbase wanted more to be done. General Manager Neal Huntington has done a lot for the Bucs’ organization, but like Hurdle, many fans felt it was time for a new philosophy.
However, when the team did not let go of Huntington, the only real explanation was that he had done a good job at finding talent and building up the farm system only to see them fail under the now former managerial regime. Look at pitchers like Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Charlie Morton, they all are pitching like they were supposed to, so was it Huntington’s fault that they did not develop at the major league level?
This is really the only explanation as to why the organization decided to keep him around, to see if a new managerial team could get some of the current players to reach their potential. This is the message that was sent when nobody from the front office was dismissed, that it was the coaching staff’s fault.
Then it was announced that Frank Coonelly and the Pittsburgh Pirates would be parting ways. This has raised even more questions. The team is hiring former Pittsburgh Penguins COO Travis Williams to replace him. The hire will be made official this Monday at a press conference, which will see majority owner Bob Nutting sit down in front of the media to talk, a rare occurrence.
Why in the world have all these decisions been made in the order they have been? Well, maybe the team did not see Coonelly taking a job back with the Commissioner’s Office, at the same time one would think that the Pittsburgh Pirates would know about this move in some capacity.
This has turned into a big confusing mess. The Bucs first fired their coach and said everyone else would be retained. Then after the team has interviewed several managerial candidates, it comes out that the organization will have a new president. On top of that, Neal Huntington could potentially be out of a job if the new team president thinks a change is needed.
How can the Pittsburgh Pirates be preparing for an offseason that needs to see them bring in some more talented players with all this going on. Who is interviewing the coaching candidates? Is Neal Huntington? Someone else in the organization? How long ago did the team know Coonelly would be leaving and has Williams had a say in these interviews?
The team was a big mess on the field, they tried to fix it by firing parts of the coaching staff. While it wasn’t the complete blow up people wanted, it was at least a step in the right direction. Now a few weeks into the offseason the team is losing more people in important roles and they could be potentially looking for a completely new front office.
This organization gives fans around baseball and in Pittsburgh plenty of reasons to be disgruntled. With the way this offseason has started, the team continues to look like one of the most poorly run franchises in sports.