Hanrahan and Walker happy with new skipper
New Pirates Skipper Clint Hurdle attended the Steelers game on Sunday night as well as the Pens game on Monday (not taking much time to win fans over).
Also in attendance at the Steelers game were Pirates Neil Walker and Joel Hanrahan, who got to meet their new manager for the first time.
“He believes in guys having their say, but he’s also going to put his foot down and demand hard work,” Hanrahan said. “It sounded to me like he’s not going to take any crap from anyone.”
Said Walker: “It seems like he has a lot of passion for his job and getting us moving in the right direction and likewise, obviously. I’m excited to see the fire in his eyes in November. It was definitely cool to see, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him more.”
Clint Hurdle also seemed to hit it off with both Walker and Hanrahan as well.
“We were watching a football game and I didn’t want to give them 20 questions, but I did engage them in conversations,” Hurdle said. “I told them how excited I was for this opportunity personally and how excited I was to be able to work with them as two of the young players that have taken steps forward.
“I do know they’re hungry. I see the disappointment. I felt it [Sunday] night. They want to engage, and they’re ready to fight right now.”
Hurdle has said he wanted to get in touch with as many players as possible whether it be on the phone or at mini-camps. Hurdle wants to be familiar with all the personnel so that they can dive right into spring training without many introductions.
“Phone calls are great when that’s all you have available,” Hurdle said. “But there’s nothing like being able to touch somebody, look them in the eye and have a conversation with them.”
“We’re going to simplify some things in some areas and we’re going to challenge them in some areas,” Hurdle said. “For me, it’s about the individual taking on his own accountability. If we can get every guy who breaks camp with us in spring training to improve in one area, our team will be better.”
Neil Walker has texted several of his teammates discussing Hurdle and how he is looking forward to working with him.
“When you’re talking about a club that’s struggling, it’s important to kind of do things in a different way and look at things in a different light as opposed to following suit and hoping the next day is better than the last,” Walker said. “He took the Rockies from the bottom to the top, and that sort of stuff obviously doesn’t happen overnight. But having a guy who’s gone through those situations makes it a little easier on him and gives us the trust and belief that he knows what he’s doing.”
Joel Hanrahan also had good things to say about Clint Hurdle. The closer is good friends with Jason Jennings and LaTroy Hawkins who played with Hurdle in Colorado.
“I told him congrats on the year they had in Texas, but that’s over with now, time to start with us, and I think he kind of liked that,” Hanrahan said. “But it’s nice having a guy who knows what it takes to get there.”