Pirates fire manager John Russell

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 1:41 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates fired manager John Russell on Monday, one day after guiding the club to their first 100-plus loss season since 2001.

Russell, who was hired by general manager Neal Huntington prior to the start of the 2008 season, guided the Pirates to a major-league worst 57-105 mark in 2010.

Since Russell took the helm, the Pirates managed just a 186-299 mark, amidst a constantly changing roster.

"I have a tremendous amount of respect for JR, both personally and professionally," said Huntington. "He took on a difficult challenge, overseeing a major overhaul in the make-up of our team. 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. Our search for that new leadership will begin immediately."

Following a defeat in Sunday's season finale at Florida, the Pirates matched the worst road mark in a 162-game season by finishing 17-64 away from the Steel City. Pittsburgh also ranked last in Major League Baseball in ERA and fielding percentage, while sitting next-to-last in batting average, coming into the season-finale.

Pittsburgh has now endured 18 straight losing seasons since winning the last of three consecutive NL East titles in 1992, and has had six managers in that span. The last skipper to post a winning record with the team over his tenure with the Bucs was Chuck Tanner, who went 711-685 with a World Series win from 1977-85.


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