Pirates fire manager John Russell after 299 losses in 3 years

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As expected, the Pirates just announced that they’ve fired manager John Russell following a 105-loss season and 186-299 (.384) overall record in three years on the job.
However, general manager Neal Huntington will keep his job despite being hired just a couple months before Russell and of course being responsible for choosing the manager. Not surprising, since the manager almost always goes before the general manager in situations like this.
Pittsburgh has gone through six different managers during their current 18-year streak of losing seasons, with Russell joining Jim Leyland, Gene Lamont, Lloyd McClendon, Pete Mackanin, and Jim Tracy. Interestingly, both Leyland and Tracy took teams to the playoffs after leaving the Pirates.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.