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Baseball report: Pirates fire Russell

He didn't make the trades or strip the Pirates roster of so many proven players. In the end, John Russell's resume will always include 299 losses in three seasons. Russell was fired Monday after matching the Pirates' record for most losses by a manager in three seasons.

The only other manager in the franchise's 124-season history with so many losses in so few seasons was Fred Haney, who was 163-299 from 1953-55.

Macha out with Brewers

Ken Macha will not return as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, who have not made decisions about his staff. The 60-year-old Macha was 157-167 in two losing seasons following Milwaukee's first postseason appearance in 26 years. The club confirmed the decision not to exercise its option.

D-Backs keep Gibson

Kirk Gibson is going to get a shot at managing the Arizona Diamondbacks for a full season. Hired as the interim manager after a midseason shake-up, Gibson was given the permanent job yesterday.

Interim general manager GM Jerry Dipoto also will remain with the club as VP of scouting and player development.

Reds extend Baker

Manager Dusty Baker got a two-year contract extension through 2012 for leading the Cincinnati Reds to their first playoff appearance in 15 years. Baker was in the final year of his three-year deal.

New rules for Tropicana

Major League Baseball approved a change in the grounds rules for the Rays' Tropicana Field that affects fly balls that strike the upper two catwalks in the domed stadium.

A batted ball that caroms off the A- and B-ring catwalks that support the stadium roof will be ruled dead and the pitch will not count. Balls striking the two lower catwalks in fair territory will continue to be home runs. - AP

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