Russell, Huntington get vote of confidence

Jenifer Langosch/

Pirates president Frank Coonelly and owner Bob Nutting were in Bradenton on Tuesday to address players prior to Tuesday’s workout. You’ll find a story on the main site about what that message was specifically.

However, on an aside, both were asked afterward if there had been given any thought to extending the contracts of either general manager Neal Huntington or manager John Russell. The two are each in the final years of their contracts. Russell has a club option remaining (you’ll remember that he had the first of those two club options exercised about this time last year). Huntington’s contract is not believed to have an option attached.

Neither Coonelly, nor Nutting, would discuss the possibility of Russell or Huntington being extended, though Coonelly did reiterate a “vote of confidence” in both. Here are those comments:

Coonelly: “I have a strong vote of confidence for both Neal and JR, but we’re not going to discuss contractual situations. I don’t believe those are productive.”

Nutting: “I really believe that any organization is built on stability. They’re not built on speculation. They’re built on people who are performing effectively. I have a lot of faith in the leadership team that’s put in place – both on the field and in the front office. That’s something that’s not a great topic for Spring Training. What you have is a solid leadership group with full support of the organization moving forward. Again, I believe that stability is much more important that second-guessing or speculation.”

What these responses do not provide are answers to whether or not the results (specifically a won-loss record) in 2010 will dictate the job security of Russell or Huntington next season. It’s something to keep an eye on as the year progresses.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

1 Comment

really hope the buccos hang on to Huntington at least so he can at least finish the work he’s done on trying to rebuild the team. if they get rid of him, another guy will come in and try to do his own thing and it’ll just be a huge mess that will just lead us to not being competitive for another 3-4 years at least. I also think Russell has done a good job as manager & I’d like to see him stick around for a while.

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