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Pirates Fire Pitching Coach Joe Kerrigan, Bench Coach Gary Varsho

The Pirates have fired pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho:

"I made the call," Russell said.

Kerrigan will be replaced by Ray Searage, who had been the assistant pitching coach, and Varsho will be replaced by Jeff Banister, who had been the minor-league field coordinator.

"It was a very gut-wrenching decision," Russell said. "There are some issues I've been working through for quite some time now that could not be resolved in a way I felt would be for the betterment of this organization. I respect both men greatly. I lost two friends today. That's tough to deal with. But my main focus is this team, this organization, and I felt moving forward that this was the time to do this. With two months left in the season, I wanted to accomplish something this year moving into next year."

When a team has as little talent as the one the Pirates had this year, it's very difficult to conclusively assign blame to coaches. And Kerrigan had a terrific reputation before joining the Bucs. This year, however, saw Charlie Morton fall apart completely, and Brad Lincoln had to be sent back to the minors after struggling with his mechanics in the majors. 

The article also suggests that there might have been clubhouse problems that led to Kerrigan and Varsho's firing, which might explain Russell's "I made the call" comment.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.