October 11, 2005

Pirates Hire Former Dodger Manager Tracy

Jim Tracy was named manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates today, just eight days after he parted ways with the Dodgers, who would not honor his request for a contract extension and a raise.

Tracy, who was selected over former Oakland Athletic manager Ken Macha and Atlanta Brave third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, had been the favorite to fill the Pittsburgh opening because of his friendship with Pirate General Manager Dave Littlefield. Both men worked in the Montreal Expo organization in the 1990s.

Tracy, 49, replaces Lloyd McClendon, who was fired Sept. 6 during his fifth consecutive losing season and replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Pete Mackanin. McClendon was hired after the 2000 season by edging out Tracy, who was a finalist.

Tracy instead was hired by the Dodgers to replace Davey Johnson and he posted four consecutive winning seasons, culminating in the 2004 National League West Division championship.

However, the bottom fell out this season. The Dodgers were 71-91, their second-worst record since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, and Tracy blamed the fall on the numerous off-season roster moves orchestrated by General Manager Paul DePodesta.

Tracy had one year remaining on a two-year Dodger contract that would have paid him a base salary of $700,000 with incentives worth another $200,000. He requested a two-year extension and a raise in a Sept. 8 meeting, and the Dodgers determined by season's end that they would not honor the request.

Today DePodesta will begin interviews with five candidates-Dodger triple-A manager Jerry Royster, recently fired Detroit Tiger manager Alan Trammell, San Francisco Giant bench coach Ron Wotus, Dodger farm director Terry Collins and Cleveland Indian minor league manager Torey Lovullo.

Tracy will take over a Pirate team with a significantly lower payroll than the Dodgers. The Pirates have had 13 consecutive losing seasons, three short of the major league record, and were 67-95 in 2005.

Tracy has not named his coaches, but former Dodger bench coach Jim Lett is expected to join the Pirate staff.

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