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Pirates opt to retain GM Neal Huntington

Sep 26, 2012, 6:04 PM EDT

Neal Huntington AP

The Pirates’ season has derailed, but the engineer will be returning. Pirates president Frank Coonelly released a statement Wednesday saying that GM Neal Huntington would be back in 2013.

Manager Clint Hurdle and assistant GMs Kyle Stark and Greg Smith are also expected back.

“As soon as we finish this season as well as we possibly can, we will turn our full and total attention to evaluating why were unable to finish the job and what we must do differently to take the next step to becoming a championship team,” Coonelly’s statement read. “There will unquestionably be changes made to the way in which we operate as a result of this thorough critical self-evaluation, but we will not be making personnel changes at the very top of our baseball operations department. Neal, Kyle, Greg and Clint are dedicated and intelligent baseball men in whom I have great confidence.”

If the Pirates’ season had unfolded differently and the team had achieved its current 76-78 record through more typical means, Huntington probably wouldn’t have been on the hot seat in the first place. That several of the most important players on the roster (Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, James McDonald, Starling Marte) have had such encouraging seasons is really the most important thing here. The only real key disappointment is Jose Tabata, and he has played better since returning from the minors. Retaining Huntington is certainly the right move. The Pirates’ probably haven’t been in this good of shape in 20 years.

  1. Kevin Gillman - Sep 26, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Craig, I am going to ask you a simple question here, and hope you answer it. How do you feel about the Tomahawk Chop? A gesture your Atlanta Braves have used since the early 90’s, and still do to this day.

    • Kevin Gillman - Sep 26, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Okay, I was looking at a different link, and I posted that question on this thread. My mistake, but the question stands. But good for Neal. They do need to make a postseason run though past the All-Star break next season, but the talent is there.

  2. florida76 - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    It’s a little unfair to suggest the Pirates season has derailed. No doubt, the late season slide was very disappointing, but no one thought this was a 90 win team, even when it was 16 games over .500

    This very blog said before the season the Bucs would need luck to finish .500 or better, and that goal is still attainable. The entire season must be looked at objectively, and progress is clearly being made. Talent throughout the organization has been upgraded as well.

  3. danaking - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    I don’t have a problem with keeping these guys for another year, but it would have been nice to see the Post-Gazette’s writers ask a few questions about this SEAL training business.

  4. pens5829 - Sep 27, 2012 at 6:34 AM

    Why not bring him back? He’s put together the best AAA ball club Nutting’s willing to buy.

    I’m DONE with the Yucos!!!

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