"Have you ever heard people cry on an answering machine?" Thrift says. "I have. My phone never stopped ringing for two days. Agents called. Fans called. Friends. People I had worked with. People in airports. Even some of the Pirate owners. You don't know how much that means to me. It makes you feel like you knew what you were doing was right. We created a feeling there, a spirit within that group that was unbelievable. It was very rewarding to see their joy at accomplishing what we'd all been working for.
"One of my goals in the '90s is to introduce management and leadership training into baseball. There's very little of that. When you fire someone, it's a concession of management failure. In the future more attention will be paid to the firer, instead of the firee."