Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tracy's job security, part deux

Though this isn't the most important topic in Pirate baseball right now (how Huntington reorganizes the front office is), Jim Tracy's job status is certain to be the most talked about over the course of the next two weeks. Everyone assumes that the nine game losing streak is Tracy's death warrant, but I'm not so sure. This team is beat up and the firing of Littlefield signified the end of the season to the players; I'm not sure what even the best of managers would be doing in this situation.

Still, Tracy isn't making friends with the whole "you owe it to the pennant race to not be with your wives who just gave birth" thing, and it's pretty clear that the front office didn't agree with him on that front because Brian Graham went over Tracy's head and gave both Jack Wilson and Salomon Torres extended leaves. And Tracy acting like that makes me feel like he's trying to get fired because that is some seriously unreasonable behavior and you have to assume that the best way for Tracy to keep his job would be the players to intercede on his behalf with Huntington. I don't think Jack Wilson or Salomon Torres will be lining up outside of Huntington's office to do so at this point. Still, Tracy isn't quitting and he says as much in the PG this morning.

So what will Huntington do? The gut reaction is to say he'll can Tracy and put his own guy in place, and that's always a good bet, but there's a couple reasons why I think that might not happen. First off, people don't like to start their administration with a firing. It seems pretty obvious (at least to me) that Coonelly had Nutting fire DL before he took over as team president. Call me crazy, but I think Huntington has known about this job for longer than we've been lead to believe. We know that Nutting (and perhaps Coonelly) talked to someone that thinks highly of Brian Graham. We know Huntington has worked with Graham in the past.
We assume that Graham will be named Huntington's assistant GM in very short order. So, if he wants Tracy immediately gone, why wouldn't he just ask the management/ownership to can Tracy before he took over? My own guess is this: as scary as it sounds, I think the Pirates have to get worse before they can get better (I'll talk more about this later). Huntington would much rather have Tracy take the Allan Trammel fall than the guy he wants to manage the team.

Maybe I'm reading way too far into things. If that's the case, Tracy will probably be submitting resumes around the league in a week.