An Open Letter to Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle: Really?


So, that’s all Pittsburgh Pirates fans got last night?  What happened to “Pride, Passion, Pittsburgh Pirates?”   We’ve listened to your passionate speeches for a couple of years now, and that’s what we got?  Fans got to see you asking crew chief Brian Gorman “Why did you do that?”

What?  Gorman threw you out, because you said too much.

Winners dictate.  Winners dominate.  Winners control their own destiny.  You know all of these things.  Hell, you preach ‘em everyday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t dictate anything last night.  Specifically, you didn’t dictate anything last night.  It really was surprising to us.

You’re a man that says all the right things.  You talk the talk.  Hell, you were even very candid when you spoke to us in a RumBunter podcast at the start of the season. 

We can’t imagine why you chose this city over New York, but we tell you what – we are damn glad you did.

Until last night.

As fans, we deserved more.  In the interview we had with you, you made the point that Pittsburgh was a football and hockey city.  Last night, we thought you were going to show us what an old-school baseball town was.

It never happened.

Right now, Pittsburgh certainly feels like a baseball city, and come Monday evening it will feel like that again, but a void will still be present among your players and some of your fans.  Maybe too much was riding on the game in the Chili City last night.

It was prime time and the club was blacked out.  You were blacked out, tossed, gone, sent to the showers.  Unreal.  The guy that is credited with turning baseball around in this town got tossed from the most meaningful series this franchise has had in twenty years.

What a shame.

Maybe the team knew what the plan was going in.  If so, we understand the outcome.  Cue the jugglers.

When you spoke in the podcast, you said that the Pittsburgh school systems were off the chart.  Obviously, that was important to your family when you made your decision to come to Pittsburgh.  If you were to relate that to the ball diamond, isn’t old school baseball important too?

Many people like to point to the fact that you’ve had just one winning season as a manager in the bigs.  That season was magical.  People called you a player’s manager.  So, what was up last night?

Andrew McCutchen is an MVP candidate.  You have spoken glowingly about him.  Hell, you actually predicted what McCutchen is doing right now.  On a daily basis, your prophetic predictions are coming true.

So what happened last night?  Why not defend Cutch early, and get it over with?  Dictate.  Dominate.

When we listened to the podcast again, we found something interesting you said that has great relevance to the game last night.

‘You don’t wait for leadership opportunities.’  Clint Hurdle

A Pirates team in the midst of a playoff run needed leadership last night.  Leadership didn’t show.  The Bucs are now five and a half games back of the NL Central leading Reds.  The Reds are playing like the best team in baseball.

Nothing you did last night changed that fact.

Nothing you did dictated the action.

No wonder your MVP candidate was juggling baseballs on the bench.  He struck out twice in an 0-fer-night.  Cutch hadn’t struck out twice in a game in two weeks, so that’s on him.  But last night was on you.  As you said in the podcast, everyone is a better manager than you, so it’s really easy for us to write this and second guess your decision.  We get it.

But look it’s not like we are talking about Brian Giles or Jack Wilson anymore.  Andrew McCutchen is a star.  A star on and off the field.  Good Lord, he’s the guy that first thought about having his Dad to pitch to him in the Home Run Derby.  When that didn’t work out, he picked his Fort Meade High School Coach Jon Spradlin.

That’s the type of player we are talking about -  a guy that thought of his high school coach when he was picked for the Home Run Derby… and you didn’t defend him immediately, Clint?

Is putting the lead base runner of the game that make or break?  Wouldn’t it show JMac your utmost confidence in him, too?

We’re curious if you asked McCutchen what he thought about the situation.  If Cutch said it’s not that big of a deal, okay… cool, we bet you probably thanked him for his opinion.  But then you go out and still take care of business immediately.

Cutch is a guy tearing up this league; he gives you six wins over replacement.  A superstar.  He took a 101-mph fastball from the hardest throwing left handed pitcher in baseball.  And you did nothing to respond to it.  Nothing.

The face of the franchise was drilled.   The franchise does nothing to defend him. To a nobody like me, that’s pretty jacked.

Sure Brian Gorman made a very questionable decision, but you know what? So did you.

Thank you for your passion,


Tags: Andrew McCutchen Clint Hurdle Jeff Banister Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Alicante

    Hurdle needs to really stop and take a look at some of his decisions. Sure, he has gotten the Pirates to be a winning team, but, for now, anyway, in second place. Maybe he needs to re-think his mis-guided loyalty to Clint Barmes and Barajas. I really question his judgement for 1) going with that Friday night lineup with two unproven players 1-2 in the order and the Barajas, Barmes, pitcher combo at the end of the order. Put all of Latos focus on Cutch, Jones and Walker and we saw the result. And last night, perhaps The biggest game of the year, he does a bush league number and gets thrown out of the game in the second inning. That was the act of a man who forgot his team’s best interests and let his own personality intrude and take over the spotlight over the players. You are not a player anymore, Clint, stay off the field in meaningful games like the one last night!!

  • Bill

    This is a horrible article. You make no points while making even worse arguments. ”
    Cutch is a guy tearing up this league; he gives you six wins over replacement. A superstar. He took a 101-mph fastball from the hardest throwing left handed pitcher in baseball. And you did nothing to respond to it. Nothing.” Why do you think Hurdle was so pissed when his team was warned after two of his players were hit. Why do you think this happened in the fist place? I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here, but it’s clear to me you know nothing about baseball. So my question is this – what would you have liked Hurdle to do. Would you have preferred he swallowed his pride and not argued against a horrible call by the umpire. The ump should have only warned the Reds – the Pirates never got a shot back after two of their players were struck. Please, do a better job next time because I have enjoyed your posts in the past

    • rumbunter

      thanks for enjoying my posts in the past. I was on the money on this, just wish you could have seen it. It’s pretty easy to see I called for old school baseball. defend Cutch get it over with, stand up for your best player,it’s not hard to figure out

  • Nicky

    Yea this article was shit mate

  • Rebrandall

    I thought based on your picture you were going to comment on Cutch and others seeming out of it during the game. He was sitting on the bench alone as the Pirates tried to rally in the 9th. Seems like he needed to step up, or maybe he felt dejected because he was not protected.

  • Ty

    Your an idiot he got tossed bc he was trying to do something about it jackass

  • BR

    What in gods name did you want the man to do? Was he supposed to start giving Gorman some haymakers. You sure did a lot of armchair QB’ing about what he didn’t do and I was waiting to read what he was supposed to do but you left that out, kinda CHICKEN@?!$. I personally never believed for a second J Mac would drill none 4 fear of a suspension, I figured a reliever that we could afford to lose for 3 games but Gorman queered that. One thing for sure we get our revenge & if that means waiting for the next series @ PNC I am fine with that.

    • rumbunter

      Still waiting

  • Endurance

    Patientance and composure. We wil get revenge

  • Ryan

    worst article ever. You did nothing but attack hurdle and even cutch. What a waste of my time

  • Seth

    A rare miss with this article in my opinion. Why even take the chance of having JMAC ejected, that would have been a disaster. Why put the lead runner on base against a team you are chasing for the division lead. I really, really think you missed the boat with this one.

    • rumbunter

      JMAC? Where are you JMAC?

  • Luke

    This is the worst article I have read all year in all of sports. You have no idea what was said before the game to the teams, or the fact that if McDonald gets tossed we have to tax a bullpen for 8+ innings. Right now it is more important to win. The players all know that and have said it to the media. They will get their revenge, when it doesn’t cost them wins..