The Littlefield firing is as long overdue as it is a relief. There were so many reasons to fire the guy, from the Pirates' record during his tenure, to the way he handled the draft, to the way he dumped young players like Chris Young and Bronson Arroyo in seemingly minor transactions, to his reliance on veteran retreads, to his handling of the 40-man roster, to his negligence in Latin America. Beyond that, Littlefield's failings have been chronicled in so many places - try here and here and here and here and here, for starters - that listing them again just seems redundant.
Current Bucs farm director Brian Graham will be the Pirates' interim GM. While I'm not a fan of Graham, he probably won't get to do anything too damaging, and he may actually be one of the more competent people working for the Pirates right now. The next GM will obviously have their work cut out for them. We're probably really going to like what the new GM does for the first year or so, simply because there's so much junk that needs to be cleaned up. Yesterday I wrote that I didn't want to see Bryan Bullington or John Van Benschoten play for the Pirates ever again. I don't know what's sadder - that both those guys were chosen early in the first round, or that there are a number of other guys on the roster who are just as much of a waste of space as those two. A new GM can come in and look great for months simply by replacing those players with guys who deserve to be on a big league roster. The new GM will also look great if they just have a draft next year that's half decent - hell, they'll look good simply by not taking a reliever with the first (#*$%&ing pick.
Littlefield set the bar so low that the first steps for the next GM will be very easy. Cleaning up Littlefield's mess will be fun for us all. But the real challenge will come later, when the new GM has to try to actually build something here.