Pirates pick up Russell’s option


BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates this morning exercised the 2010 option for manager John Russell.

“J.R. met or exceeded expectations in his first year as the Pirates manager,” GM Neal Huntington said. “His club worked hard to play the game properly and battled from the first out until the last.

“His leadership, knowledge, attention to detail, ability to see the big picture and passion for things being done the right way made him the ideal choice as our manager a year ago and made the decision to pick up his option for 2010 an easy decision.

“I look forward to working closely with him for years to come as we build a consistent championship caliber organization in Pittsburgh.”

Russell, 47, was hired Nov. 5, 2007, as the Pirates’ 38th manager. The Pirates went 67-95 last season.