Rapid Reaction – Frank Coonelly Out as Pirates President

Call it my lack of morning coffee or great surprise, but I had to read this tweet over a few times to ensure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.

The Pirates and Frank Coonelly have decided to part ways.

Coonelly served as the team president for 12 years, but according to his statement “(he) decided that the best interests of the Pirates would be served if the Club had a new leader who would bring new ideas and a new direction.”

New…I like that word.

We need that word to describe the philosophy and direction of the Pirates after their disastrous last twelve months (or 4 years…or 40 years)

Baby steps. That is what this move represents, but I am glad to see a step of some sorts is being taken.

Here are some of my initial thoughts and reactions:

  • According to Ebenezer Nutting, the new president has already been selected but will not be announced until Monday. Why doesn’t the club make the announcement later this week? Am I looking too far into this in saying that the Pirates are waiting to make the announcement on Monday because that’s when the Steelers play and that will be the main focus of the city’s attention Monday and Tuesday?
  • A theory running around is the idea of Neal Huntington being promoted to president and hiring a new GM. He turned down that same role for the Giants this past offseason, so the league certainly thinks he is qualified. Nowadays, a lot of teams are hiring former GMs to act as Team President, essentially having two GMs on staff. I wouldn’t hate this idea as much as the majority of Pirates twitter would ASSUMING the GM hire. I’d prefer it to be an external hire who brings in new life and not a Kyle Stark (Pirates Assistant GM) type.
  • If Coonelly was going to walk the plank, why was he a part of the new local TV deal that was recently made? At least, the new president (and maybe GM) will be involved in the hiring of the new manager…
  • Is there any chance in the world that former Tigers and Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski could be the guy? ZERO CHANCE. The guy loves throwing around money and prospects…and the Pirates don’t exactly have either. I think it is more likely for Nutting to announce Huntington as both GM and President and that thought horrifies me.

There will certainly be more reactions Monday after whatever decision is made for the new President…but let’s bask in the fact that at least something is being done.

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