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Colin Dunlap Quits; John Perrotto Wants Post-Gazette Job

You might have heard that Colin Dunlap has stepped down from his job as the Pirates beat writer for the Post-Gazette. He wants to spend more time with his family, and good for him. I don't know him well, but we've exchanged emails a couple times and he seems like a decent guy. I wish him the best.

Bill Brink will replace Dunlap on an interim basis, so it appears there's a full-time job open. Longtime Pirates beat writer John Perrotto tweeted this a few hours ago:

I'm asking anyone who cares about me, likes me or even just tolerates me to please keep their fingers crossed. Wish I could provide details.

Then he followed up with this clarification:

Don't want anyone to think I'm in ill health. I hate to be vague but it's nothing negative. Hope a dream comes true and need good karma.

He's apparently referring to the Post-Gazette job. To which all I can say is no. Just no. As far as I can tell, there's no indication that the Post-Gazette is considering hiring him, and I highly doubt they even know who their candidates are yet. Also, the idea that the P-G would hire Perrotto strikes me as unlikely, given, as someone pointed out to me earlier today, the number of good candidates who might be available as fine papers all over the country run out of money. But there would be no worse move the paper could make than to hire a beat reporter with an incredibly obvious and deeply personal vendetta against the Pirates' ownership. If you don't believe me, just take a few minutes to read the stuff on his Twitter page.

From three days ago:

#Pirates lie about something again. Do they ever tell the TRUTH?

Last week:

Memo to #Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez: Free speech is permissible in this country, don't be strong-armed by paranoid employer.

And then there was the whole "spies in the press box" saga, which is chronicled here - essentially, Perrotto said "conditions are ripe for a throwdown" in the press box at PNC and that there were "spies" from who were tattling to ownership anytime they heard anyone say anything negative. 

The background here, naturally, is that Perrotto used to work for, which is part of Ogden Newspapers, which is owned by the Nutting family. Bob Nutting owns the Pirates. So, essentially, Perrotto got fired by the guy who owns the Pirates, then started accusing the Pirates of always lying and being paranoid and having "spies in the press box."

Here's more of what he had to say about being fired:

My COBRA runs out in July then the party is over. You can thank Bob Nutting. I did NOTHING to deserve being fired.


Honest to goodness, I went in the hole by covering the Pirates' games in person in my one awful year with them. Cheapskate.

Perrotto certainly is closer to the Pirates than I am. He's not the only member of the press who's frustrated with them, and I concede it could be possible a lot of things he says are true.

But from here, it sounds like ranting from a guy who got fired by the team's owner. The Post-Gazette's editorial content that pertains to the Pirates is, almost uniformly, poorly-written and predictable, and it's often completely untethered from reality. The one good thing the P-G has going for it is its reporting, particularly its willingness to let Dejan Kovacevic travel all over to do extensive features, but also its day-to-day stuff. It simply can't put that stuff in the hands of someone who has obvious, on-the-record personal issues with the team. I'm sure it would be incredibly entertaining at times, but it would make for horrible journalism.

(Thanks to biggyv for compiling a few of these tweets earlier today.)

UPDATE 1:53 PM: From what I can gather, the Post-Gazette will search for candidates nationally, and Perrotto will not be interviewed.