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John Wehner has expressed interest in becoming the next manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates as a guest on 93.7 The Fan. Could this be a smart move to make as the Pirates are trying to employ a new voice in the clubhouse?
Many fans will scoff at the idea of a former player and current broadcaster with no managerial experience to be the next skipper, but is it really that crazy? There has been many former players that have had great success when it comes to winning in the MLB. It is less frequent to have broadcasters be hired as a manager, but it isn’t far-fetched by any means. Aaron Boone comes to mind as a former player, broadcaster that was hired by the New York Yankees and has lead them to 2 straight playoff berths in his first 2 seasons at the helm.
There isn’t many people that have been around the Pittsburgh Pirates as much as John Wehner has to have a deep sense of what this team is capable of and what it will take to get back to the playoffs. He played for the Pirates from 1991-1996 as well as 1999-2001 after a 2-year stint with the Marlins. After his playing days, Wehner served as the Altoona Curves’ hitting coach from 2002-2004. In 2005, he took a job as a color analyst for the Pirates TV/Radio network.
Now, could this be a logical move by the Pirates front office?
There is no doubt that people will clamor for someone to be hired away from the organization, but bringing Wehner in does make at least a little sense. He has spent a number of years around the organization and has a good idea of what it takes to win in this league. After watching baseball change as a whole over the past decade, it is clear that strikeouts and home runs rates are as high as they have ever been.
He could implement a new philosophy into the club from the coaching staff to the players. A couple things that Wehner has highlighted a lot during his broadcasts is the importance of a sound defense and the effectiveness of swing and miss to a pitcher, which is something that the Pirates have lacked over the years.
The Pirates have pieces in place to build a decent foundation on and Wehner could be the guy that could help take them to the next level along with a newly revamped coaching staff. He has a great knowledge of the game and has watched Pirates starting pitchers struggle to induce strikeouts. While guys such as Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, and Tyler Glasnow have excelled with a new brand of pitching elsewhere.
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John Wehner has experienced baseball from a players perspective as well as a coach and broadcaster, there is no doubt that he has a grasp of the direction the Pirates need to go in. His knowledge of the game and his willingness to change with the game could bode well for his case of becoming the next manager in Pittsburgh.