According to Dejan Kovacevic, the Pirates will not make any changes to their baseball operations staff. In the midst of another second half collapse and a fight towards a 20th consecutive losing season, front office jobs appear to be safe. This includes general manager Neal Huntington and assistant general managers Kyle Stark and Greg Smith.

Here’s the full text of team president Frank Coonelly’s statement regarding the matter:

For the second consecutive year, we put ourselves in an excellent position to meet our objective of winning our division but did not play nearly well enough during the last two months of the season to accomplish it.  Our fans are understandably disappointed and frustrated, as is every individual in the organization.

As soon as we finish this season as well as we possibly can, we will turn our full and total attention to evaluating why were unable to finish the job and what we must do differently to take the next step to becoming a championship team.  There will unquestionably be changes made to the way in which we operate as a result of this thorough critical self-evaluation, but we will not be making personnel changes at the very top of our baseball operations department.   Neal, Kyle, Greg and Clint are dedicated and intelligent baseball men in whom I have great confidence.

Confidence in and support of Neal, Kyle and Greg should not be misunderstood with acceptance of another poor finish at the Major League level.  We must understand why the quality of our execution and play deteriorated so markedly in August.  Finishing was the focus from spring training but it certainly was not achieved.

In a word: unbelievable. Huntington seemed to be as good as gone with the team’s current slide, but apparently that’s not the case. It’s been five years of failed signings and questionable draft picks for NH. Stark was thrown into the spotlight last week when his unusual training methods were publicized (HOKA HEY!), but he’ll be sticking around, too.

This organization is a mess. Bottom line is that the team is still losing, and these guys at the top of the organization aren’t doing much to prove they can assemble a championship-caliber team. As long as Huntington & Co. stick around, how can the fans have faith in the franchise? If the Pirates are winning in July again next season, will anyone have confidence that they can finish? Speaking of “finish”, wasn’t that their motto for this season? Yikes.

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  1. Pingback: Three months later | From Forbes to Federal 3 Oct, 2012

    […] Also, Dejan mentions, “It’s about the pitching, the sharpest and deepest we’ve seen since Doug Drabek,  John Smiley, Zane Smith, Randy Tomlin and Bob Walk in 1991. All to Neal  Huntington’s credit.” The pitching declined at the end of the year, just as it did in 2011. The sharp and deep staff – both the rotation and bullpen – took a serious hit in the second half, which caused major problems. The rotation was anchored by A.J. Burnett (more on him in a bit) and James McDonald (see above) during the first half, as well as lights out bullpen work from Joel Hanrahan and Jason Grilli. The ‘pen, which was one of the best in the league early on, saw some struggles during the latter portion of the year; even Grilli and Hanrahan had frustrating times on the hill. In addition, Neal Huntington – who was credited for piecing together a fine staff – is now unpopular among many fans. However, his job is seen as safe. […]

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