(First published at 11:01 a.m.; updated 11:42)
The Pirates this morning fired general manager Dave Littlefield near the end of his seventh losing season.
He will be replaced on an interim basis by Brian Graham, the team's director of player development.
Littlefield, 47, took the post July 31, 2001, and his teams went a combined 442-581 in his tenure, never approaching .500. That included 67-95 finishes in 2005 and 2006, and the current edition's 61-79 record.
His contract, which was extended on opening day last year, was to run through the 2008 season.
The firing was made by principal owner Bob Nutting, who already had been searching for a new CEO to replace outgoing Kevin McClatchy and now will add the general manager's post to that list.
"After eight months of listening and analyzing the situation, it has become clear that this decision was necessary to move our organization forward," Nutting said. "While there are many bright spots for us to build from, I am not satisfied with the overall performance and progress that has been made. I'm committed to building a successful organization, and this is an important step in that process."