Earlier this month, Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit a baseball into the Allegheny River on the fly, a difficult feat. The blast came off of the Rangers’ Shelby Miller back on May 8 and was measured at 472 feet by Statcast.
Bell reached the Allegheny River on the fly again on Wednesday night, homering with the bases empty against the Rockies’ Jon Gray in the second inning. That cut the Pirates’ deficit to 3-1. According to the MLB Stats Twitter account, Bell is the first player to twice hit the Allegheny on the fly.
After the homer, Bell is hitting .329/.399/.700 with 15 dingers, 45 RBI, and 32 runs scored in 193 plate appearances on the season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.