Today I announced that I have made the decision to relieve Dave Littlefield of his general managerial duties effective immediately. Brian Graham, our Senior Director of Player Development, will serve as interim General Manager to ensure a stable operation until a permanent replacement is found.
After eight months of listening and analyzing the situation, it has become clear that this decision was necessary to move our organization forward. While there are many bright spots for us to build from, I am not satisfied with the overall performance and progress that has been made.
I felt the time was right to announce my decision to ensure our organization is in the best possible position to attract the very best General Manager candidates. In addition to allowing more time to search for an eventual replacement, it should allow more time for our new General Manager to make the necessary evaluations and staffing decisions.
The search process for our new club President has clarified for me that the President and General Manager positions are two distinct functions. I believe both individuals must have strong baseball backgrounds. The President will lead the overall day-to-day operations. It is clear however that most successful teams also have a strong General Manager in place with a single-minded focus on leading the baseball operations.
This is an important time of transition for our ballclub. Finding the new President to be the day-to-day leader of the organization and the right General Manager to complement that person is absolutely critical to our future success.
As I said when I took control of the organization in January, I'm committed to building an organization that can consistently compete and one that the fans and community can be proud of. Our fans deserve it and I expect it.
Thank you for your continued support of the Pittsburgh Pirates.