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Thread: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070907/...es_littlefield

    Say hello to our next GM--again, just kidding--I think :

    Pittsburgh Pirates fire Dave Littlefield By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
    12 minutes ago



    PITTSBURGH - General manager Dave Littlefield was fired Friday by the Pittsburgh Pirates after six-plus seasons in which the team showed little progress on the field or in its farm system.

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    Director of player development Brian Graham will serve as the interim general manager until Littlefield's replacement is found.

    The firing came with three weeks left in the season and the Pirates in their customary spot in last place in the NL Central, with a 61-79 record — three losses away from a 15th consecutive losing season, one off the major league record.

    "After eight months of listening and analyzing this situation, it became clear that this decision was necessary to move our organization forward," Pirates board chairman Bob Nutting said. "While there are many bright spots for us to build from, I am not satisfied with the overall performance and progress that has been made."

    No decision on the status of Littlefield or second-year manager Jim Tracy had been expected until after the season. Managing general partner Kevin McClatchy, who has run the day-to-day operations since 1996, is resigning when the season ends and his successor was expected to evaluate Littlefield and Tracy.

    "It's tough," Tracy said. "It's real tough. He's more than friend to me. You hate to see people as passionate as Dave and who work as hard as they do at their craft lose their job. But decisions get made."

    Tracy predicted Littlefield, the former top assistant to Tigers chief Dave Dombrowski when the two worked for the Marlins, will quickly find another job in baseball.

    Littlefield, a former executive with the Marlins and Expos, succeeded Cam Bonifay midway through a 100-loss season in 2001 and was expected to make major changes in a franchise that had made little headway since winning three division titles in the early 1990s.

    But the 47-year-old Littlefield's efforts to rebuild the low-budget Pirates failed, and the team never had fewer than 87 losses or finished higher than fourth in a full season during his stay. The Pirates had a 442-581 record, 139 games below .500, during his tenure and were 67-95 each of the last two full seasons.

    The 2006 season was marked by a 13-game losing streak and this season's team lost 14 of 16 immediately after the All-Star break.

    Nutting emphasized the Pirates will not hire a president-general manager but will fill both jobs separately.

    "The search process for our new club process has clarified for me that the president and general manager position are two distinct functions," he said.

    Littlefield inherited first-year manager Lloyd McClendon and kept him until firing him in early September 2005. Littlefield then brought in Tracy, with whom he had worked in Montreal's system.

    But while Littlefield emphasized upon his 2001 hiring how he would build from within, that go-with-the-kids philosophy repeatedly got sidetracked. The Pirates frequently drafted pitchers in the first round only to have them develop arm problems — Bryan Bullington, Brad Lincoln, John Van Benschoten — or passed up better prospects for money reasons.

    In June, they passed on catcher Matt Weiters — considered the best hitting prospect in the draft — with the No. 4 pick because they felt they couldn't afford to sign a Scott Boras-represented prospect. Their alternative pick, losing-record pitcher Danny Moskos of Clemson, visibly angered fans.

    Many of Littlefield's moves seemed dictated by money, either that the Pirates didn't have or declined to spend. The prime example was trading run-producing third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs in 2003 so they wouldn't have to pay him the rest of his contract — a trade that Littlefield privately told colleagues he despised making.

    Littlefield got mileage out of bargain-priced players passed over by others — Reggie Sanders, Matt Stairs, Kenny Lofton, Jeff Suppan — and made some excellent trades (Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche. But there were some curious player decisions, too, such as the signings of retreads Joe Randa and Jeromy Burnitz a year ago for $10 million.

    Padres All-Star pitcher Chris Young was given $1 million-plus by the Pirates to pass up the rest of his college basketball career, then was dealt away in late 2002 for no apparent reason for reliever Matt Herges. Herges was promptly cut during spring training.

    Littlefield's failure to protect some top prospects and keep marginal ones led the Pirates to lose five of the top six picks in the 2005 winter-meeting draft, resulting in audible laughter in the New Orleans hotel meeting room.
    Last edited by traderumor; 09-07-2007 at 01:34 PM.

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070907/...es_littlefield

    Say hello to our next GM--again, just kidding--I think :
    Bad news. Littlefield sucked and that was a good thing for the rest of the division.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    I also noticed that O'Brien's possible choice for manager, Brian Graham, gets the interim gig. Of course, GMing in September isn't exactly a brisk time for dealing, maybe he'll sharpen pencils for the next guy.

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    Member NJReds's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Here's a list of his "highlights"

    1/2/02 - Agreed to terms with free-agent RHP Mike Williams on a two-year contract with a club option for 2004.
    12/20/02 - Acquired RHP Matt Herges from the Montreal Expos in exchange for minor league pitchers Chris Young and Jon Searles.
    1/31/03 - Designated RHP Bronson Arroyo for assignment.
    7/22/03 - Acquired IF Jose Hernandez, minor league RHP Matt Bruback and a player to be named later from Chicago Cubs for 3B Aramis Ramirez, OF Kenny Lofton and cash considerations.
    11/20/03 - Claimed off waivers: pitcher Matt Guerrier by Minnesota, pitcher Duaner Sanchez by Los Angeles.
    12/16/04 - Acquired C Benito Santiago, along with cash considerations, from Kansas City in exchange for RHP Leo Nunez.
    7/28/05 - Acquired Minor League INF J.J. Furmaniak from the San Diego Padres in exchange for C David Ross.
    7/31/05 - Acquired OF Jody Gerut and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for OF Matt Lawton.
    1/4/06 - Signed OF Jeromy Burnitz to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2007.
    2/28/06 - Agreed to terms with SS Jack Wilson on a three-year contract extension (through the 2009 season) with a club option for 2010.
    7/31/06 - Acquired OF Xavier Nady from the New York Mets in exchange for RHP Roberto Hernandez and LHP Oliver Perez.
    2/1/07 - Signed RHP Tony Armas Jr. to a one-year contract, with a club option for 2008.
    7/31/07 - Acquired RHP Matt Morris from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for OF Rajai Davis and a player to be named.
    Draft picks:

    2002 - Bryan Bullington at #1 overall (over B.J. Upton, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Jeff Francis, Jeremy Hermida, Joe Saunders, Khalil Greene, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, James Loney, Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Francoeur, Joe Blanton, and Matt Cain).
    2006 - Brad Lincoln at #4 overall (over Andrew Miller, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Ian Kennedy)
    "The players make the manager, it's never the other way." - Sparky Anderson

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Wonder if this has anything to do with his former #1 pick Bryan Bullington making his MLB debut yesterday and stinking up the joint??
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Party going on at http:///www.pittsburghsports.net

    and probably every other Pirates board.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com

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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Good for the Pirates......well, I guess anything would be good for the Pirates.

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    I can't believe he lasted as long as he did.
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    I guess there should be rejoicing, but really, as Reds fans have learned after Bowden's axing, the new boss can bring his own stink...

    Firing's the easy part.

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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    I can't believe he lasted as long as he did.
    Cincinnati and Pittsburgh: two sides of the same toilet paper. Drag your feet, cross your fingers, and do nothing to improve the situation.

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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    1/31/03 - Designated RHP Bronson Arroyo for assignment.
    7/22/03 - Acquired IF Jose Hernandez, minor league RHP Matt Bruback and a player to be named later from Chicago Cubs for 3B Aramis Ramirez, OF Kenny Lofton and cash considerations.
    This is a great example of a deal that looked like poo on the surface, and turned out to be incredibly noxious poo.

    I didn't realize they *paid* the Cubs to take Ramirez off their hands. Sheer genius.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    Cincinnati and Pittsburgh: two sides of the same toilet paper. Drag your feet, cross your fingers, and do nothing to improve the situation.
    There is an entire generation that really has no idea that these were two well-run franchises with boatloads of talent for almost a 20 year span.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    the drafting of Bullington over Upton was a terrible start and it only went downhill from there.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Anderson View Post
    Wonder if this has anything to do with his former #1 pick Bryan Bullington making his MLB debut yesterday and stinking up the joint??

    Doubtful. Not even Steinbrenner's that impulsive.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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    Re: Littlefield Fired--Pirates Hire Dan O'Brien (just kidding)

    I thought anyone would be an improvement over Bonifay. Guess I was wrong. Maybe they'll hire Allan Baird.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle


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