Hey, JR getting the boot and his possible successors are the big news, but aren't the only story in town...
-- Pedro's big finish didn't go unnoticed. The third baseman was named the National League rookie of the month for September after batting .311 with five home runs and 26 RBI.
-- Team hitting leaders; average, Jose Tabata (.299); HR & RBI, Garrett Jones (21/86); and runs & stolen bases, Andrew McCutchen (94/33). Team pitching leaders: wins & strikeouts, Paul Maholm (9/102); saves, Octavio Dotel (21); and ERA, Evan Meek (2.14).
-- The Pirates had two players who were in 150+ games this season: Garrett Jones (158) and Andrew McCutchen (154).
-- Pittsburgh hadn't suffered through a 100 loss season since 2001 prior to this year.
-- Arbitration-eligible players: SS Ronny Cedeno, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Jeff Karstens, IF Andy LaRoche, LHP Wil Ledezma, OF Lastings Milledge, UT Delwyn Young, and possibly RHP Ross Ohlendorf, who may end up "Super Two" eligible.
-- Pirates known to be playing winter ball are: Jose Ascanio, Jason Jaramillo, Andy LaRoche, Sean Gallagher, Charlie Morton, Justin Thomas and Lastings Milledge.
-- After playing for three different teams (Boston, Tampa Bay and the Yankees) in the past three World Series, Eric Hinske is back in the postseason again with the Braves.
-- Neal Huntington explained JR's situation in one brief sentence: "We asked John Russell and his staff to compete against some incredible odds." They were about the same odds Custer had at the Little Big Horn, and with the same results.
-- By the way, we'd bet that the Pirates will make some moves to improve the MLB product this off-season, unlike the past couple of years. Now that JR's gone, the hot seat belongs to Neal Huntington; nothing like knowing your job's next to go to provide a little motivation.
-- Lost in the shuffle is the fate of the coaching staff. Neal Huntington said there's a possibility that they could be brought back, but no decision about their future will be made until a new manager is hired. Until then, each coach is free to pursue other job opportunities. Their contracts ended after the season, except for Tony Beasley, who is signed through 2011.
The staff consists of hitting coach Don Long, third base coach Tony Beasley, interim bench coach Jeff Banister, bullpen coach Luis Dorante, first base/infield coach Carlos Garcia and interim pitching coach Ray Searage.