In a surprise display of support and solidarity, several Pirate players forcefully defended David Littlefield, insisting that the blame, and the punishment, should be on them.
"It's really wrong to lay our losing ways at Dave's feet," said shortstop Jack Willson. "When, really, I'm the one who is to blame. And I should be fired. Immediately."
Jason Bay had a similar take. "It's the players who win or lose. Not the GM.And the player most responsible for losing is me. If ownership wants to send a signal to the fans that they want to win, they need to get rid of me right away. I'll understand."
Some players were even more emotional in their appeals to deflect blame from Littlefield. "Please!" screamed Ian Snell. "Take me! It's all my fault! Throw me out on the street! Boot me off the team! I have to be held accountable!"
The players then gathered silently, some of the sobbing, to watch David Littlefield driving away from PNC Park, never to return.
"That should have been me," Adam LaRoche whispered to himself.