Russell Phils Pirates Coach Opening, Set to Replace McClendon in 2004
John Russell will join the Pirates staff as hitting coach after leading the Edmonton Trappers to the PCL title in 2002. He becomes the second former Phil to join ther staff since the end of the season. The other is former utility man and 2003 bench coach, Pete Mackanin.
Russell played 10 years with the Phils, Braves, and Rangers. The highlight of his career was catching Nolan Ryan's 6th no-hitter June 11, 1990. He also homered in the game. In 1986, he served as the right-handed two-thirds of the Phillies catching platoon, the otherthird being filled by then slowly developing rookie and lefty bat, Dutch Daulton. For the most part he served as a backup catcher for the rest of his career.
That is precisely the reason that McClendon should have done everything possible to keep Russell off his staff. Everyone knows that backup catchers have the fast track to managing. Ask McClendon himself. Odds are that Russell takes the Pirates' helm about this time next year.