The Manager search for the Pirates is going no where fast, and that is actually a good thing. Many candidates like Dave Sevum have removed their names. Others like Eric Wedge have gotten other jobs. Their are still a few names out there, and hopefully a few more from the teams in the playoffs soon to be added.
What this means is that the Pirates are taking their time and making sure they get the right fit. The Pirate job is one of endless potential, but will require some real work. Managers may not make a whole lot of difference normally, but I think with real young teams, they do have a higher impact. The younger the team, the greater the impact of the manager. I think that showed in John Russel. He was really laid back, no emotion, no urgency. He was also apparently not a great communicator, and failed in teaching to his rather young squad. There was no improvement in defensive liabilities like Milledge and Cedano at all, nor was their any improvement in McCutchen and Jones who showed great promise last year. McCutchen is still great, but showed no maturity in his route running in the field, and Jones's defense was not any better and he still cannot hit the outside pitch.
What the Pirates need is a manager who is going to force the team to focus on the details, like rules about base running, how to approach a fly ball and relay throws. The manager will also need to do a lot of coaching for the young guys. Making sure they shake off bad games, stay away from bad habits, and keeping their progress going. This is not a job for just any manager.
The more time the Pirates take, the more I think they are taking it seriously. I am glad they see the value the manager has on a young team. Now I hope they go interview Tony Pena.
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