John Russell has endured a great deal of losing baseball with the Pirates - ZumaPress
On Wednesday morning, Ron Cook wrote the following about John Russell:
One of this city's great sports mysteries is how Russell got the Pirates' job in the first place. Something must have made Coonelly leave their interview, rush to Nutting and scream, "We've found our guy! This is the man we have to have!" But what? Please, tell me. What? Russell's strategical brilliance? Haven't seen much of that. His communication skills with the players? Not good, I hear. His passion for the game and fire in the dugout? Yeah, right.
I wouldn't say that I agree or disagree with any of this, but I think Cook is missing the true reason that Russell is managing the Pirates. And Cook is not the only one, as I rarely see this referenced in any discussion regarding the Pirates’ manager. Here is a quote from Frank Coonelly from the day Russell was introduced in November 2007.
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.