Hurdle is excited for the 2011 season
Clint Hurdle is aware of the huge challenge he faces: becoming the 39th Pirates manager in history, the fifth straight with a losing record. But he remains positive, and also excited.
“Every one of these players I’m talking to now, externally and internally, I’m reminded there is not a greater sport opportunity available to anybody than rebounding this city with a baseball team,” Hurdle said on Wednesday. “That, to me, is a luxury.”
Since being named as the new Pirates skipper less than a month ago, Hurdle has wasted no time in getting to know the players. In fact, he has either met, or chatted with most of the current players.
“It’s easy for a player to grab and scratch, make an excuse, point the finger somewhere else,” Hurdle said. “I’ve had none of that with one player so far, not one player, not one excuse, not one distraction, not one coaching issue, anything. That has been very energizing.
“My conversation that I’m having right now, that is probably the biggest energizer I’m getting, is listening to the players talk about what they’re doing to prepare, what they’re going to do better for next season and how they’re going to do it together. I think I’m a very fortunate guy to be in the position I’m in it right now with this organization.”
Hurdle has also been spotted at both Steelers and Pens games in the steel city recently. He understands why so many people in Pittsburgh are skeptic of the team and hopes to change things around.
“They don’t want any BS,” Hurdle said. “Tell them the truth. When you’re right, you’re right. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Admit it, don’t repeat it, and learn from it. We want to develop, and it’s already in place in a lot of areas in a no-excuse ball club. Don’t make excuses. I’m the manager — we will not use excuses. We will not use injuries. We’ll play the game. We’ll be respectful of our opponent and respectful of the league. We can’t fear anything. We have to respect everything.
“I truly think the people of Pittsburgh value guys that roll their sleeves up and get some dirt in their cleats and play smart, good baseball and win games. That is the plan.”