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Articles Tagged Neal Huntington 

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The Astros have their next manager, the Pirates have their old GM, and Adam Greenberg has another chance.

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If EVERYONE has a brilliant GM, does ANYONE have a brilliant GM? Or are standout GMs going the way of .400 hitters?

There is an industrywide understanding now—a lot of teams spend a lot of time on this. There is a constant understanding that you need to find the next area of opportunity.—Mark Shapiro

The ideas that at one time were innovative are now mainstream.—Sandy Alderson

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The Pirates have turned into a three-ring circus, along with other notes from around the major leagues.

Pirates management insists it has a plan in place that will transform the downtrodden franchise from laughingstock to winner. Chairman Bob Nutting says they do and so does team president Frank Coonelly, general manager Neal Huntington, and manager John Russell. However, the plan certainly isn't paying dividends at the present. The Pirates are 25-44 and 13 games behind the Cardinals in the National League Central. Only the Orioles, with their 19-50 record, are keeping the Pirates from having the worst record in the major leagues.

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February 7, 2010 12:10 pm

On the Beat: Righting The Ship

15

John Perrotto

The Pirates believe the beginning stages of their latest youth movement have the woebegone franchise heading in the right direction.

Manager John Russell was chatting with a fan during the Pirates' annual winter promotional caravan recently when he was asked a rather simple question that still gave him reason to pause.

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August 2, 2009 11:43 am

On the Beat: Rust Belt Teams Rusted Out?

5

John Perrotto

Hue and cry in Pittsburgh and Cleveland risks overlooking the gains made to teams that needed change.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Pirates have not been rebuilding forever. It just seems that way. Since Sid Bream beat Barry Bonds' throw home to rally the Braves to a 3-2 victory in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Seven of the 1992 National League Championship Series, the Pirates has been undergoing one rebuilding program after another.

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July 26, 2009 12:25 pm

Prospectus Q&A: John Russell

0

David Laurila

A conversation with the Pirates' skipper about his influences and how the game has changed since his days behind the plate.

There is more to John Russell than humility and stoicism, although those two qualities fit the Pirates skipper like a well-worn catcher's mitt. Now in his second season at the helm in Pittsburgh, the former backstop is Neal Huntington's sergeant-at-arms, entrusted to help lead a young and rebuilding ball club out of the doldrums of 16 consecutive losing seasons and back into contention in the National League. The Pirates' third-base coach from 2003-2005 as part of manager Lloyd McClendon's staff, Russell also has 10 years as a minor league manager on his resumé, eight with the Twins' organization (1995-2002) and two with the Phillies' (2006-2007). Being behind the plate for Nolan Ryan's sixth career no-hitter in 1990 was the highlight of a playing career in which Russell saw action in parts of 10 big-league seasons, primarily with Philadelphia and Texas.

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July 2, 2009 1:29 pm

Prospectus Today: Whining

55

Joe Sheehan

Breaking up the Pirates to end the losing should not be cause for maudlin laments about what's been lost.

One of the more arrogant positions I hold is the idea that just because you have or had the talent to be a major league player, it doesn't necessarily follow that you have the talent to evaluate players. You can extend this to "have the talent to evaluate teams" or any number of ideas that require a grasp of analysis, both skills and statistical. It's the difference between being an airline pilot and being an airline mechanic-both jobs are critical for keeping a plane in the air, but they're not interchangeable in any meaningful way, and they require competely different abilities. It's not an insult to say that a pilot probably couldn't fix an engine, and it's not an insult to say a shortstop probably couldn't run a roster.

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April 8, 2009 11:00 am

On the Beat: Changes in Slow Motion

1

John Perrotto

The Pirates and Cubs both deal with off-field exchanges that might mean on-field improvements, while Boston goes bland.

This much can be said for the Pirates as they begin what seems to be an inevitable march toward dubious history: they are not deterred. If the Pirates finish with a losing record this season, which seems a certainty with the state of their roster, it will mark 17 straight years of sub-.500 baseball. That would break their tie with the 1933-48 Phillies for not only the longest streak in major league history, but in American professional sports history.

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August 6, 2008 12:15 pm

On the Beat: The New Crew

0

John Perrotto

The Pirates reload, the Cardinals go to merit play, plus news and views from around the leagues.

Seemingly every season over the past decade and a half, the Pirates wake up on August 1 with a brand new roster. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but there is no denying that the Pirates' roster has undergone in-season overhauls more often than not since their current string of 15 straight losing seasons began in 1993. That has again been the case this season in Neal Huntington's first full year as the Pirates' general manager.

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January 20, 2008 12:00 am

Every Given Sunday: Reconstruction in Slow Motion

0

John Perrotto

Changing the team on the field in Pittsburgh hasn't happened overnight, but change is afoot elsewhere in the NL Central.

A quick glance at the Pittsburgh Pirates' roster might make it seem as though Neal Huntington has been asleep at the wheel in nearly four months on the job as general manager. The Pirates have only seven players on their 40-man roster who were not with the organization last season. Five are waiver claims, one is a Rule 5 Draft pick and the other is much-traveled utility infielder Chris Gomez, signed to a one-year, $1 million contract as a free agent. However, while that seems like a minimal amount of reconstruction on a team that went 68-94 and had the worst record in the National League last season, it doesn't mean Huntington has been slacking.

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Living the front office life in Pittsburgh, amity reigns in the Bronx, and dialing up prices in Boston.

IT'S A HARD KNOCK LIFE FOR NEAL

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September 30, 2007 12:00 am

Every Given Sunday: Tribe Success, and Its Duplication

0

John Perrotto

Having wooed him away from the AL Central champs, the Pirates and new GM Neal Huntington are hoping to recreate the success of the Indians.

The Cleveland Indians participated in a time-honored, albeit goofy, ritual throughout the regular season. The Indians would notch another win at Jacobs Field in their final at bat and the game's hero would inevitable find himself being interviewed on live television. And while he was answering questions about his big hit, without fail one or more teammates would slam a whipped cream pie into his face. Then, when the Indians clinched the American League Central title last Sunday, there were more pies flying around their clubhouse in Jacobs Field than in a Three Stooges episode.

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