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Bucs fire pitching coach Kerrigan, bench coach Varsho

Aug 8, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Well, it appears the good vibes that Pedro Alvarez sent into the Pittsburgh air on Saturday night have quickly made their way out of the stratosphere.  The Bucs decided to cut ties with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho early Sunday morning, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kerrigan was hired by the Pirates in October of 2008 and has watched a low-on-talent staff post a 5.07 collective ERA this season, which ranks 28th in the majors.  The 55-year-old has coached for the Expos, the Red Sox, the Phillies and the Yankees, and he also pitched for four-plus seasons.  Now he’ll look for a job elsewhere.

Varsho, 49, was hired to be the Pirates’ bench coach in November of 2007.  He also played in the majors at one point, racking up 204 hits and 84 RBI as an outfielder for the Pirates, Cubs, Reds and Phillies.

  1. mattjg - Aug 8, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    As I recall, Phillies pitchers weren’t exactly unhappy to see Kerrigan leave. He seems to have an old-school mentality that doesn’t fly with today’s players. Outside of guys like Dave Duncan and Rick Peterson, I sort of suspect pitching coaches are somewhat fungible (though there could be some really bad ones out there). Replacing Kerrigan may not help the Pirates, but the guy always got on my nerves, so it makes them easier for me to root for.

  2. steelers rule - Aug 8, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Get rid of him now before the ruins McDonald like he has Duke, Morton and Lincoln!

  3. sparky7 - Aug 8, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    Not sure how you blame coaches for crappy talent.

  4. willmose - Aug 8, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    I said all season if the Bucs would just fire their pitching and bench coaches they would win the World Series. I’m sure that both coaches were responsible for bad chemistry in the clubhouse which has cost the Pirates at least 30 games in the standing this year. Of course, one could take a Jim Leyland point of view and say it was all about the talent, or rather the lack of it. Old saying is that you fire manager because you can’t fire the players. Why not fire all the players? Would it make the Pirates that much worse if their triple-A club was playing in Pittsburg? You don’t set the record for consecutive losing season on luck alone.

  5. Giraffe Monsoon - Aug 8, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    I’m glad Varsho is gone, he was never anything but a Jim Leyland cronie who brought nothing to the team.
    Kerrigan burned his bridge by tinkering with too many pitcher’s deliveries. Last straw was Brad Lincoln, who they had to send out just to get his delivery back to normal. With pitching prospects like Danny Moskos, Bryan Morris and Rudy Owens coming up soon, they can’t afford to have that old boys ‘my way or the highway’ approach that Kerrigan had. They need to work with what the pitchers already possess.Pirates should hire Bruce Tanner, son of Chuck, in some capacity.
    i’m okay with John Russell, but if they ever change managers, I hope Phil Garner gets first shot.
    I was around in 1979, back when they were good. They need to bring back guys like Garner and Dave Parker to infuse some passion for the Pirates into the running of that team. Get guys who were proud to wear the name ‘ Pittsburgh Pirates’, guys who will fight for that honor.

  6. JBerardi - Aug 8, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    Errr… the triple-A team IS playing in Pittsburg. Remember how they traded, you know, everyone?

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