The Pirates announced today that Perry Hill will not return to their coaching staff in 2010. It’s disappointing news, but it doesn’t seem all that surprising as Hill’s indicated since the end of the season that he’s unlikely to return next year. There will certainly be speculation about why Hill chose not to return, but I find it really hard to buy into the story that the Pirates told Hill that they wouldn’t be cleaning house in 2009, because it seemed pretty clear to me from the outset that that was the team’s plan. He has a very young son and his wife was sick shortly after his son’s birth, which was why he retired from the Marlins in 2007. He simply could be choosing to move on to life after baseball.
It is worth noting that John Perrotto is reporting that the Pirates have exercised Hill’s option for 2010, which means that he can’t go work for another team, should he be interested in coaching elsewhere next year. You could read that as a sign of bad blood between the teams, or you could take Huntington’s statement about wanting Hill to come back to the Pirates at face value and from that extrapolate that maybe the team is hoping to have him in a reduced role (an instructor at spring training or something that requires less travel, perhaps) next year.
The other news from the same story is that Ray Searage has been promoted from Indy to become Joe Kerrigan’s apprentice. Searage has been around for a long time and spent a lot of time in the minors coaching. He’s also spent the last seven years with the Pirates, and he has an awesome mustache.