The Pirates this morning fired general manager Dave Littlefield near the end of his seventh losing season.
"After eight months of listening and analyzing the situation, it has become clear that this decision was necessary to move our organization forward," Nutting said. "While there are many bright spots for us to build from, I am not satisfied with the overall performance and progress that has been made. I'm committed to building a successful organization, and this is an important step in that process."
At that rate, Pirates should have a new GM sometime in 2010.
This should've been done five minutes after the Matt Morris deal (and only taken that long because I'd spend the first five minutes trying to void out the trade.)
If I can edit this post twice because I think of things way too late, I should also point out that Littlefield was solidly in the "probably pretty dumb, but also spending a lot of his job pretending decisions forced on him by the owner were fantastic ideas" group.
The good (singular) does not outweigh the bad (plural) in Littlefield's tenure. In the Bay deal, Littlefield had actually been calling and asking for Xavier Nady.
After two years of several teams asking for Craig Wilson, Littlefield finally traded him for Shawn Chacon, who would've been released by the Yankees in a few days.
Y'know that tall guy named Chris Young who pitches for the Padres? Littlefield traded him for Matt Herges one winter. Herges was released right before Opening Day of the next season.
He also drafted a first baseman and decided to turn him into a pitcher (John Van Benschoten).
Every team signs marginal veterans at some point, but getting guys like Raul Mondesi, Jeromy Burnitz, Chris Stynes, Joe Randa, Benito Santiago or Tony Armless, then expecting them to help the team was downright embarrassing.
(The Todd Ritchie for Kip Wells, Josh Fogg and Sean Lowe deal was under Littlefield's watch. That seemed like a Bucco coup for the first year or so... but then they realized that they had Kip Wells and Josh Fogg. Not that Ritchie went on to Cy Young fame or anything)
ESPN showed a graphic the other day showing that, when comparing NL pitchers to the Tigers, the National League pitchers had more dingers, runs scored, and a higher batting average thus far than the Tigers did as a team. Go Cubs!