Re: Russell named Pirates manager
The guy has one losing season and everyone is negative?
He was IL Manager of the Year in 2006; that was here in Wilkes-Barre, where I got to see his teams. The guy has the respect of the players and he knows how to win. Plus they are strong on fundamentals. If you've ever watched a lot of minor league ball, you'll know what I mean. The guys at the AAA level, they are the cream of the cream of the cream of the crop. They are incredible athletes. But there is only room for one out of maybe twenty of them at the major league level. So what you see is a lot of guys trying to throw out three guys at a time, trying to score three runs on one stolen base; there is a lot of overreaching. You'll see a guy make an unbelievable catch in the outfield, and then turn and throw the ball into the stands trying to get the runner taking third base. Russell's teams don't do that.
He was Minor League Manager of the Year in 2002, and Best Managerial Prospect in '98 and '02.
I'm thinking his lack of success as third base coach under McClendon, sending all those guys, is a reflection of his desire to win being out of synch with the rest of the team's not really caring all that much.