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Pirates Exercise John Russell's 2010 Option

The Pirates have exercised John Russell's option for 2010, the Post-Gazette reports. It's fairly routine for teams to exercise these options early so they're not bombarded with rumors that the manager will be fired and so that the manager isn't burdened with lame duck status. The Pirates exercised a 2005 option on Lloyd McClendon's contract in April 2004 for those reasons. So it's probably unwise to read too much into Russell's extension.