Cory Giger reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have let Altoona Curve manager Matt Walbeck go. Walbeck was fresh off being named the Eastern League manager of the year, along with leading Altoona to the Eastern League championship. Walbeck mentioned he wanted to move up from the AA level, but the Pirates didn't make that opportunity available to him.
There was a lot of talk that Walbeck could be a candidate to replace John Russell as the next manager in Pittsburgh. A lot of that speculation came from two things: the desire by many of Russell being fired after the 2010 season, and the success the Altoona Curve had this season under Walbeck.
The lack of a reason surrounding the move has led to a lot of speculation. The fact that Walbeck won a title with Altoona this year leads to a lot of anger over the move, even though 99% of the people who are angry probably didn't know who Walbeck was a month ago, and couldn't pick him out of a lineup. Pat at WHYGAVS brings up a good point...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.