By Steve K
Who will be the next manager of YOUR Pittsburgh Pirates?
It’s November and we live in Pittsburgh. I know almost nobody is thinking about baseball, but here I am writing a column about it. Weird, I know. Something needs to be said and I am going to be the one to say it. Who should be the Pittsburgh Pirates manager in 2011? My answer is, does it really matter?
Trust me, I love the Pirates, more than a lot of people in this city. They’re easily the team I invest the most emotion into. The 2010 season was probably my toughest as a fan of this team. The Pirates lost 105 games and at times just looked confused to be playing baseball. The microcosm of the season happened on April 22nd, when the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Pirates by a score of 20-0, the worst loss in franchise history.
When now former manager John Russell was fired, a lot of fans were happy, because JR did not have a good tenure in his three seasons as Pirates skipper. His 2010 campaign was the worst season since 1954.
Which brings me to the point of this column, who should be the Pirates’ manager? A lot of names have been thrown around, Tony Pena of the New York Yankees, Clint Hurdle of the Texas Rangers or maybe even Jeff Banister, already in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. A few big names have been rumored as well, Ken Macha, formerly of the Oakland Athletics. The most glaring evidence is that he lives in Murrysville, Pennsylvania in the offseason.
Of these names, who would make the best manager? Probably Ken Macha, but I strongly doubt you’ll see that happen. I do not want to see Tony Pena or Clint Hurdle, as they have failed in their previous managerial attempts. Which leaves us with Jeff Banister. He has no experience at the Major League level, and I think he’d be another John Russell; a guy that will do whatever Neal Huntington tells him to do. So more than likely, he’ll be the next manager of the Pirates. This however, does not bring much optimism for 2011, as until owner Bob Nutting invests more money into the team, it won’t matter who is leading the team, the results will likely be the same; another losing season for the Buccos of Pittsburgh.
Regardless of whether it’s Jeff Banister, Tony Pena, Clint Hurdle, Clint Eastwood, the ghost of Christmas past or even a guy they find sleeping outside the stadium. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a lot of work to do before they can return to their past glory. I may be cynical right now, but I am sure by the time April rolls around, I will be sitting in left field in PNC Park, cheering the Pirates and once again claiming, this is the year the streak ends. What is it that Einstein said about insanity?