Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More about John Russell

Now that the papers have had a day to gear up and cover the John Russell bonanza (or something like that), we've got some stuff to talk about.

Go to the PG and watch the video of Neal Huntington introducing Russell. First impressions:

  1. He doesn't sound like a moron. This is huge. The day we hired Tracy my dad called me and said, "I dunno, maybe it's just the first impression, but I think Tracy is really, really stupid." I don't get that impression from Russell (though he did promise to "bring the proud" if I heard correctly)
  2. Neal Huntington really thinks he got the right guy for the job. Well, that or he's a good liar. But could a face like that lie to us?
  3. Also, I like Huntington's black and gold suit and tie combo and all I could see from Russell was that he had on a gold/yellow tie, so we can probably assume he was dressed similarly. On a slightly unrelated tangent, things like that were what immediately impressed me about Mike Tomlin when the Steelers hired him (you don't know this because this isn't Where Have You Gone, Barry Foster?, but I was the first person aboard the Mike Tomlin bandwagon, in fact, I'm probably the driver). The people that work for the Pirates' don't have to be from Pittsburgh, but I like to see that they have a respect for the team history and understand what it means to some of us.
  4. Russell's glasses are stupid. They have to go.
Now we move to Paul Meyer's article, which is actually from yesterday, but oh well. It's about what you'd expect from Meyer, though I have to give him credit for writing the following line with what I'm assuming was a straight face:
It also says something about Russell, 46, who coaxed 55 wins out of a terrible Ottawa Lynx team -- the Phillies' Class AAA affiliate in the International League -- and wound up becoming a big-league manager for the first time.
He does know they played 143 games, right?

That being said, I found myself reading and actually agreeing with Bob Smizik's reaction to the mass hysteria of casual Pirate fans. Managing in the minors is a completely different job than managing in the big leagues.

Let's pretend that last January, or whenever it was, on the day Bob Nutting became the "official owner" of the Pirates you had a magical glimpse into the future of WHYGAVS, from the day DL was fired through Guy Fawke's Day. Besides wondering, "Geez, Pat, what the hell happened? Why did you barely post?" you'd be reading it going, "Wait, since Nutting took over, McClatchy stepped down, he hired a new CEO that knows something about baseball, and this man promptly had Dave Littlefield fired and hired a GM that knew well enough to fire Jim Tracy. Why aren't there parades? Why are people second guessing Huntington and Russell? Maybe they're not ideal, but they're certainly not Littlefield and Tracy and that's some place to start!"