Joe Kerrigan, you’re fired.

In a stunning move that will probably cripple the Pittsburgh Pirates into 18 years of futility, both pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho were relieved of their respective duties on August 8th.  The decision was made by manager John Russel, who deftly looked to deflect blame after signing a contract extension in the offseason.

One thing is for certain: the Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitching staff has been horrible.  As it stands, Pittsburgh’s team ERA is at 5.08, second worst in the league behind Arizona.  The Pirates are also second worst in team batting average against (.283) and dead last in quality starts (47).  I have a feeling, however, that all of that blame can’t rest on Kerrigan’s shoulders as his starting rotation consisted of the likes of team ‘ace’ Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Ross Olendorf, Jeff Karstens, and a revolving door 5th spot, currently occupied by James McDonald.

In related news, Pittsburgh claimed 37 year old Chan Ho Park off of waivers.  The righty is currently 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA over 35 1/3 innings this season.  Despite those numbers, it must be reassuring for Pittsburgh to know that if there is a bench-clearing brawl, Park can defend the honor of his team with a viscous scissor kick.

And somewhere, Joe Kerrigan says, ‘I guess it could have been worse.’

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2 Responses to Joe Kerrigan, you’re fired.

  1. paperlessworld says:

    Maybe you should see what other people are saying about this firing. Because baseball is about more than statistics.

    “The firings, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, were a matter of loyalty—or lack thereof: “Several players and others inside the team described scenes on recent road trips to Texas, Oakland and St. Louis where Kerrigan and Varsho either were openly critical of Russell or having mini-meetings with some coaches or players away from Russell.”

    It’s not like this is new territory for Kerrigan. Baseball’s Code warns that there’s a mole on nearly every team, someone who carries sensitive information to the front-office and, as an occasionally unintended consequence, poisons clubhouse relationships.

    According to multiple sources, Kerrigan is such a coach. In Joe Torre‘s book “The Yankee Years,” writer Tom Verducci identified issues within the New York clubhouse during Kerrigan’s tenure as bullpen coach:

    (Torre) knew Kerrigan was connected to the front office by way of (GM Brian) Cashman, and word reached Torre that Kerrigan was having private conversations with Cashman about the team and Torre. One staff member even said Cashman had telephoned Kerrigan during a game.

    Also in the book was the assertion that Kerrigan had “confrontations with players in just about every stop of his baseball life, including Philadelphia, Boston and the Yankees.”

    Hall of Fame baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby wrote that Kerrigan was “a clubhouse mole when he was on the coaching staff in Montreal, Boston and Baltimore.” It’s possibly what led to his rise to the Red Sox managerial office after Jimy Williams was fired in mid-2001.

    And this, from InsidePittsburghSports.com: “One veteran front-office executive said this of Kerrigan upon his hiring by the Pirates, ‘John Russell better have his head on a swivel because he has a manager killer on his staff now. Joe Kerrigan might be the biggest backstabber in baseball.’ ”

  2. Andy says:

    That’s interesting. I’m kind of curious to check out Torre’s book now. Thanks for that little piece of info!

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