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.’