Neal Huntington will stay on as Pirates GM, Bob Nutting says

Jared Wickerham

Neal Huntington and his underlings will not be fired.

Rob Biertempfel quotes Pirates owner Bob Nutting saying that general manager Neal Huntington will not be fired, and neither will his underlings, including, presumably, assistant general managers Kyle Stark and Greg Smith.

Huntington had come under fire after the Pirates' second-straight late-season collapse, and the fire got heavier in the offseason amid reporting by the Trib's Dejan Kovacevic about Navy SEALS-style training drills run by Stark. (Despite the military nature of the training, there were never any literal shots fired. That was a metaphor.)

The hubbub over the training drills was mostly a distraction, in my view, but that doesn't mean the Pirates are right to keep Huntington around -- the Pirates spent very heavily in the draft from 2008 to 2011 and don't have nearly enough to show for it, beyond the players they got when they picked in the top two overall.

Ultimately, though, as some commenters at Bucs Dugout have pointed out, if Nutting had fired Huntington now, it would have looked like he was doing so in response to Kovacevic's articles in the Trib, and that would have looked very unfortunate, as if the columnist was running the team. Also, the timing of the firing would have been awkward, since the offseason is already underway. I wouldn't consider this matter closed. If the Pirates start the season poorly, Nutting will have the chance to fire Huntington under different circumstances, and it will be interesting to see if he takes it.

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