A few minutes with Frank Coonelly

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

President Frank Coonelly stopped by to chat with the media for a few minutes this morning, just following the team’s morning meeting. Among the topics he discussed was the contract status of general manager Neal Huntington, who is in the final year of his deal. Coonelly said that Huntington has not had that contract extended, to this point.

So will Huntington be in Pittsburgh beyond 2011?

“He’s under contract for this season, and it’s our expectation that Neal will be here for a long time,” Coonelly said. “We’ll continue to evaluate it as we go forward.”

Coonelly was asked this same question about Huntington’s status at this time last year. In that instance, Coonelly said he preferred not to comment on contractual discussions. It came out later in the summer that, over the winter, Huntington had been given a one-year extension to his contract, which was set to expire after the 2010 season.

Other topics Coonelly addressed on Saturday…

On his expectations for the season: “I expect to see us compete. We’re all about doing. As Clint said to the guys in there today, trying hard isn’t good enough. This is a doing league and it’s time for us to start doing.”

On if there is an expectation that the record improves: “I sure hope so. I think that we’re poised to make a significant improvement. We don’t want to put any limits on ourselves in terms of putting a number out there. We don’t want to be limited by a number or a thought on February 19. The expectations with the club better be championship expectations. Then we’ll see where we are at the end of the season. I’m confident we’re going to be far better than we’ve been the last several years.”

On if money is available to make in-season additions, if competitive: “There are. We’ve said all along that we’re looking forward to the day that we need to make that decision and we’re prepared to make it and prepared to add players if we need some players to get over the hump.”

On his early observations of Camp Hurdle: “Lot of energy. Getting to know the guy. Good quality work. I’m very happy that most of the guys were in early getting work in. Good communication. Clint has the ability to let the players know that he cares about them. But he also expects things to be done right. The few times that I’ve been out here and things weren’t done right, we did it over again. And the players will also know when Clint is not pleased with the work ethic.”

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