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The continued employment of Andy Haines is a sunk-cost fallacy

Andy Haines’ tenure has been a disaster.

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

There’s incompetence, and then there’s cowardice. Cowardice is worse.

Incompetence is bringing on Andy Haines. Cowardice is watching what Andy Haines has done these last two seasons and having not already pulled the plug.

Continuing to do nothing approaching the halfway point of the season is a choice. It is as transparent of a choice as there could possibly be. A choice fueled by fear of incurring any risk at all. The Pittsburgh Pirates continue to hold on to the hope that things will get better on their own. Andy Haines tenure has become a sunk-cost fallacy.

This is a more talented roster than we have seen previously. However, the way they have approached managing and coaching it marks rock bottom for an organization that constantly spews how much it wants to get better but continues to regress at the Major League level.

Ji-Hwan Bae, Rodolfo Castro, Jack Suwinski and Austin Hedges are a combined one for their last 102 at bats. Name the player, they’re probably slumping.

That is not a list of names devoid of any talent, we have seen what Rodolfo can do, we have seen what Jack can do, Bae can absolutely be a useful role player.

Austin Hedges, as bad as he is, has somehow gotten worse. More than two times worse than he was last season. Well on his way to one of the worst seasons in MLB history.

The team’s best player and $100-million man Bryan Reynolds has a WRC+ of 109 since the start of May.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, despite showing rapid improvement after adding a toe tap, has been right there with the rest of the lineup in their fall to fourth place.

The only player who has exceeded expectations at the plate is Andrew McCutchen. Are we really going to give Haines credit for making the most skilled and talented player we have seen in Pittsburgh since Barry Bonds “better” in year 15 of his illustrious career?

Here’s what Connor Joe told reporters after the game Sunday

“I think if we knew the answer, right, we’d be doing something different,”

It is Andy Haines’ job to give those answers. If he has none, then he has no business being the hitting coach of an MLB team.

The Pirates have sat and watched as player after player has had their plate approach disintegrate, as they take pitches they have no business taking under Haines’ idea of plate discipline.

This is no longer a conversation about Haines failing to make Josh Vanmeter or Yoshi Tsutsugo better. Although it should be noted that not a single one of the various castoffs the team employed last year got better.

Henry Davis is here, and Andy Haines is now his hitting coach.

There has never been a clearer cut decision in Ben Cherrington’s tenure as GM. There was not a more obvious and needed move in all of Neal Huntington’s tenure either.

Fired from the division rival Milwaukee Brewers fter 2021 for their offensive regression, Andy Haines has come to Pittsburgh and picked up right where he left off.

He almost certainly won’t have a job in Pittsburgh in 2024, but he shouldn’t have one the rest of 2023 either.

The second he stepped off the team plane in Pittsburgh, he should’ve been fired.

It didn’t have to be this way. This could have been and still could be a competent team, that is if they can repair the damage Haines has done in any kind of reasonable time frame. But the front office remains afraid of making the moves they need to make.