Jim Tracy still fond of Pittsburgh
Jim Tracy insists he has no hard feelings toward the Pirates.
“I don’t have anything but good things to say about the organization,” Tracy said Friday. “How could I not?”
In 2007, the Pirates fired Tracy after just two seasons as manager. Although he does not carry a grudge, Tracy does have some regrets.
“I don’t feel good about what took place in the two years,” Tracy said, referring to the team’s 135-189 record on his watch. “I wanted much, much more, but unfortunately it did not happen.”
Tracy sat out the 2008 season and collected $1 million for the final year of his terminated contract. Last offseason, he was hired as the Colorado Rockies’ bench coach.
Yesterday was Tracy’s first time back at PNC Park since he was fired.
“It’s a little strange,” Tracy admitted. “But to a certain extent, that’s what they game’s all about. The one thing that’s constant about this game is change. When things occur, when it’s time to move on and it’s what’s needed to happen, you do it.”
Tracy did not cut all his ties to Pittsburgh. His youngest son, Mark, is a junior catcher/first baseman at Duquesne University. His oldest son, Brian, is a scout for the Pirates. Tracy and his wife still own a house in the area.
“It’s a wonderful place,” Tracy said.
Tracy’s new job put him back in the National League West (he managed the Los Angeles Dodgers before joining the Pirates). It also set him up as a possible successor to Rockies manager Clint Hurdle.
After making it to the World Series in 2007, the Rockies finished 74-88 last season. They arrived yesterday in Pittsburgh seven games under .500.
“We’re sitting at 13-20, but there’s any number of games when we’ve been a pitch away or an at-bat away from winning,” Tracy said. “Things can turn.”
Not much has turned for the Pirates, though. Their record last season (67-95) under manager John Russell was the same as in Tracy’s first year.
“There’s a new group of people in the front office,” Tracy said. “There’s a farm system that they’re trying to re-invigorate. If you’re trying to turn the corner, that’s absolutely what must be done. They’ve got some young players, energy-type players. Give them some time.”
The Tracy Era
The Pirates under former manager Jim Tracy:
Year — W-L — Pct. — Pos
2006 — 67-95 — .414 — 5th
2007 — 68-94 — .420 — 6th