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Friday, October 5, 2007

Pirates fire Manager Jim Tracy. The search for another loser begins.


Friday October 5, 2007
From the Associated Press/ SI.com

PITTSBURGH (AP)
-Jim Tracy was fired as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday after two seasons filled with long losing streaks and little discernible progress.

The team scheduled an afternoon news conference to announce the dismissal.

Tracy's patience and back-patting weren't enough to turn around the Pirates. He produced records of 67-95 in 2006 and 68-94 this season, the shortest run of any non-interim Pirates manager since Bill Virdon was fired late into his second season in 1973.

Tracy's departure means the Pirates will have new front office and on-field leadership in 2008, headed by new team president Frank Coonelly, general manager Neal Huntington and a still-to-be-hired manager. Coonelly and Huntington took over last month, and spent the five days since the season ended weighing a decision on Tracy.

Tracy's departure has appeared imminent since former general manager Dave Littlefield, who chose Tracy two years ago, was fired Sept. 7. Tracy was due to make $1 million in the final year of his contract.

The firing means Tracy may not manage next season after spending the previous seven seasons running the Dodgers (2001-05, 427-383 record) and Pirates (2006-07, 135-189). His 280 losses over the last three seasons were the most in the majors.

talent NETWORK NEWS predicts that a strong candidate for the job will be Torey Lovullo, the current manager of the AAA Buffalo Bisons a Cleveland Indians farm team. New GM Neal Huntington coming from the Cleveland front office will want to take a long look at the guys he knows best. Another Indian with Pittsburgh ties, Joel Skinner a current base coach with the big club and a once successful minor league manager as well. Other names that will pop up will be former pirates and twice fired Phil Garner, Art Howe and Ken Macha. Joe Giardi who is the best fit and available but also is waiting for a shot at the Yankee job.

We here at 'tNN' think Tony LaRussa is the new Yankee skipper next year after Torre Retires. Donnie Baseball and Girardi may be the front runners but if LaRussa is avail. We think "The Boss" goes with an experienced winner. The other LaRussa prediction is that he and Walt Jockety take over the reins in Seattle. So, Girardi may be available and is clearly the best man for the job already proving he can take a young team and win right away.

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