The Pirates fire Neal Huntington
On the same day the Red Sox introduced the new head of their baseball operations department, the Pirates dismissed theirs. On Monday, Pittsburgh announced they had fired Neal Huntington. This move is really just some classic Pirates stuff. That is not to say it is the wrong move, to be clear. As one of the most dysfunctional organizations not just in baseball but really in all of sports, they were in desperate need of cleaning house. That includes ownership, but Bob Nutting is not going anywhere. The strange part of this, though, is that they waited until now to do it. Pittsburgh is now behind the eight ball in their search, looking for a new GM just a few days ahead of the start of the offseason. They do not have the infrastructure in place that Boston had in the event they didn’t hire Bloom prior to the end of the World Series. On top of that, the Pirates were in the midst of a managerial search that now will be put on hold as they look for a new GM. Like I said, it’s all just very Pirates.
Sox Spin: Obviously, the Red Sox no longer have to worry about Pittsburgh presenting competition in any sort of search for a GM, not that they would cause much of a roadblock on the open market. They could, however, look to poach some people from Boston’s front office. Of the four executives who were splitting GM duties before Bloom was hired — Brian O’Halloran, Eddie Romero, Raquel Ferreira and Zack Scott — only O’Halloran has been given a new position. Chris Cotillo reported that at least one executive is interviewing with other teams. Don’t be surprised if any or all of that trio still without a position is considered in Pittsburgh.
Yankees fire Larry Rothchild
The Yankees were eliminated from the postseason a little over a week ago, and they’ve started to make some changes as they look ahead to the 2020 season. One of the big questions for New York throughout the season was their pitching, which showed big flashes at times but at others left fans waiting for more. They will surely make some personnel changes on the mound, and whoever is pitching in pinstripes next year will have a new coach. On Monday, New York fired longtime pitching coach Larry Rothchild. He had been with the team in that role for nine years. There has been some speculation about who could be the next pitching coach in New York, most of which are younger, more progressive names, but it is obviously still early in that search.
Sox Spin: The Red Sox are also in search for a new pitching coach, so theoretically this would present some real competition for their search. However, as we’ll get into a bit more later this morning, it appears they have a front-runner who is likely to be given the job sooner than later. The real takeaway with this move by the Yankees is that we have another sign of how the game is changing. Rothchild, like former Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, was once regarded as one of the great pitching minds in the game. The sport is moving away from these types of coaches and looking for more analytically inclined, often younger coaches.