PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Pirates general manager Neal Huntington asked the question that was asked of him following the firing of manager Clint Hurdle Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a fair question, ‘why am I sitting in front of you and we are getting a new manager’, it’s a very fair question and one that I wish I had a better answer for,” Huntington said.
“What I am attempting to avoid is the feeling of scape-goating. This is not all Clint’s fault. Clint worked his tail off, we are all shouldering blame in this.”
“While we are making a change in one position, we certainly recognize this is all of us. We’ve all fallen short. We have haven’t done what we needed to do to not have this day.”
Huntington said a few times that the fans should celebrate what Hurdle has done and that there is a shelf life for everyone, including general managers.
But Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting doesn’t believe that time is now for the 12th year Pittsburgh GM, despite only four winning seasons in his tenure.
“I strongly believe that Neal Huntington and the leadership team that he has assembled are the right people to continue to lead our baseball operations department.”
“Neal and his leadership team are well into an extensive review of every element of our baseball operations,” Nutting continued in a statement. “In addition, as an organization, we need to improve in the ways we connect with our fans.”
“It is very clear that we need to and will be better. There is no quick fix, but we are absolutely committed to the task. I believe we can and will achieve it.”
Nutting, nor team President Frank Coonelly, were made available to reporters after the announcement of Hurdle’s firing.
“As Bob’s statement indicated he has confidence in the baseball operations leadership team which is led by me,” Huntington said. “We recognize that we have work to do, that we have fallen short in some areas. We recognize that we can build on some of the good things we are doing.”
Huntington said much of what we saw in the second half of the season was injury related and that they have a good core for the future. He believes that, combined with a new voice in the dugout, will help going forward.