Huntington will keep job as Pirates general manager

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NEW YORK -- The Pirates will retain general manager Neal Huntington and his top assistants after a season in which the team collapsed in the second half for the second consecutive year.

Assistant general managers Kyle Stark and Greg Smith, in addition to manager Clint Hurdle, will likely remain with the organization.

"There will unquestionably be changes made to the way in which we operate as a result of this thorough critical self-evaluation, but we will not be making personnel changes at the very top of our baseball operations department," team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. "Neal, Kyle, Greg and Clint are dedicated and intelligent baseball men in whom I have great confidence."

The Pirates were 63-47 on Aug. 8 but have fallen off since then, going 6-17 in September. They are now in a struggle to finish above .500.

A similar collapse took place in 2011, when the Pirates were 53-47 and tied for first place in the National League Central on July 25 but fell off drastically in the second half.

"For the second consecutive year, we put ourselves in an excellent position to meet our objective of winning our division but did not play nearly well enough during the last two months of the season to accomplish it," Coonelly said.

Coonelly hired Huntington, who previously served as a special assistant to the general manager of the Cleveland Indians, shortly after becoming team president in September 2007. Stark and Smith both joined the organization in November 2007.

Huntington and the Pirates agreed on a three-year contract extension with a club option for 2015 near the end of the 2011 season.

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Bill Brink: and on Twitter @BrinkPG. Bill Brink


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