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Pirates fire manager John Russell

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Russell was relieved of his duties after a 57-105 season, the third-highest loss total in team history. He was 186-299 in his three years as manager.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have relieved John Russell of his duties as the team's manager, general manager Neal Huntington announced today.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for JR, both personally and professionally. He took on a difficult challenge, overseeing a major overhaul in the make-up of our team,” Huntington said. “JR is a quality baseball man and a good friend. He put his heart and soul into this difficult challenge and was tremendously committed to the organization and the plan we implemented three years ago. JR provided a positive environment for our young players, all of whom have grown as men and baseball players under his stewardship. But, in the end, we decided that new leadership in the clubhouse would give us the best opportunity to move this major league team forward."

Russell was named manager of the Pirates on November 5, 2007, becoming the 38th manager in the organization's 124-year history.

In his three seasons with the Pirates, Russell's won-loss record was 186-299. The team was just 57-105 in 2010. The losses represented the third-highest total in franchise history. The Pirates also went from best to worst in fielding percentage between 2009 and this past season.

“Our search for that new leadership will begin immediately,” said Huntington.

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