In my accountability post yesterday, one of the things I mentioned was that in Dejan Kovacevic’s game story from Monday he made a vague allusion to John Russell not being accountable, but gave no examples. This morning he clarified on the PBC Blog:
I’ll explain that first by saying space is not infinite in print, hence, my vague line. Then, to elaborate: My meaning in this context was the team’s clear lack of readiness to compete over the past few games. There have been exceptions — and last night most assuredly qualifies with an exclamation point — but the general attitude and approach of the team, which some see as the manager’s No. 1 responsibility, has been about as hollow as at any point in Russell’s tenure, to this one eye.
No, of course, he can’t take a low-talent player and make something of him. And no, of course, his benching options are limited. My reference was to getting them to at least approach the game correctly, something the Pirates have done well at times under Russell but not recently.
I could sit here and argue whether the manager can do much once a season’s gone down the drain the way this one has (speaking as a part of one of Mercer County’s worst high school baseball teams ever, I’d say that it’s never easy to focus when you’re getting constantly spanked but then I was in high school and the Pirates are professional baseball players), but it’s DK’s job to observe and relay what he sees and he sees much more than any of us do. I certainly appreciate the response; I’m not sure that many beat writers would respond to a direct criticism from a blogger like this and we’re lucky as Pirate fans to have one that does.