So Clint Hurdle Is The Answer?


So the Pittsburgh Pirates are finally going to interview the savior.  The man from a “winning team.”  Ok…..

Color me not impressed.

Of course, that would apply to most of the managerial candidates.  Nobody blew me away.   An argument can be made that Hurdle will be the best candidate the Pirates interview.  That sucks.

Would some of them do the job?  Sure.  But the whole mess reminded me how unstable the franchise seems to be.  It’s probably just me though.  With Clint Hurdle it comes back to one question for us.

Did he catch fire in a bottle during the Rockies magical 2007 run in Colorado?  Was he building something before he had the rug pulled from under his spikes? 

Naturally we have concerns so let’s  head to the internet.  Let’s start with the typical hard core wing, after all it is election night.

Yep, he’s a mess.  I mean just believe this hate right?

"“We affectionately refer to Hurdle as “Rube” because of his “aw shucks” demeanor and feigned slow wittedness. Maybe he isn’t pretending……”"

"“We know, of course, that Clint was hired to be the hand puppet of the Monforts who thought wrongly that there was actually something they could do well. None of the previous managers would let the Meat Brothers completely control the team, so they got Clint. Now, they will make him the scapegoat and send him packing if there is enough complaining by the fans. So, it is up to you, the fans, to let the press know that there is a groundswell of support for terminating Mr. Hurdle and hiring someone who has actually run a team other than the Rockies in the past.”  FireClintHurdle Blog"

If you listen to most of the popular Pittsburgh writers, the hand puppet comment would appear to be a strength for Hurdle.  Maybe it’s the reason they waited?  It appears to me that the Bucs knew they would get permission to interview Hurdle.  We couldn’t imagine this group waiting this long.

A backup plan should be fully in place–many say it already is, but perhaps Banister–Backup Plan A, doesn’t have the gig locked up after all.

Who am I kidding.  The Pirates must realize Hurdle can’t have much left in the tank.  He would be coming to town to do what?  Prove his worth?  Get this team fired up?  He looks like a ski lift mechanic who spent too much time on tower number eight in ten degrees below zero January evenings.   The kids will call him Gramps for God sakes!

His baseball skills seem to piss off fans who have watched his teams performance.  We better dig for some positive comments.   Because the negative ones are everywhere.

Look at that, he’s not a mess after all.

But I think I just read that Drew Litton blamed the lack of payroll for Hurdle losing his job?   Note to self:  why in the world would Hurdle think about coming to Pittsburgh then?

I wonder if the Bucs are certain he isn’t going to enjoy the run in Texas?  Is he coming to interview just to see how much the offer will be?  Is it his last chance at being a big league skipper and getting some nice cash to suck?

Surely none of this is true, just political type commercials by my brain.  After all he ran God’s Team correct?

"According to USA Today: No copies of Playboy or Penthouse are in the clubhouse of baseball’s Colorado Rockies. There’s not even a Maxim. The only reading materials are daily newspapers, sports and car magazines and the Bible. Music filled with obscenities is not played. Quotes from Scripture are posted in the weight room. Chapel service is packed on Sundays. Prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday are well-attended. It’s not unusual for the front office executives to pray together. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success."

Holy shit this is absolutely brilliant.  Just like the Bucs minor league boot camp!

But we are curious of what Hurdle will think about the owners pleasure palace in the mountains?  Is he familiar with some of the George Thorogood lyrics played after games at PNC Park?

Apparently Hurdle must be a good soldier.  This is the quote from the Rockies press release announcing Hurdle had been fired:

"“As a member of our organization for 16 years, the last seven as our Major League manger, Clint’s character, integrity and knowledge has had a tremendous impact not only on our organization but our entire community,” said O’Dowd. “Clint has been offered a significant role within our organization, and it is our hope that he accepts it.”"

Well, that was nice of the Rockies.  Hurdle was the team’s hitting coach for over five seasons.  The Rockies hit above .290 twice, the NL’s top two averages in 70 years.  Heh, now that’s some good shit.

Hurdle can teach hitting.  He is proven in that regard.  But wait there is more.

"“Bringing in Clint Hurdle (as hitting coach) was huge, I’m a big fan of Rudy’s (Jaramillo). Love him. Rudy helped me take a huge step from maybe sticking in the big leagues to being a big-leaguer.  But Clint has helped me look at a lot of different aspects of the game, to be a better situational hitter. Overall as an offense, he has preached the unselfish approach and how so much can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.”—-David Murphy ESPN"

So, wait, I must be crazy.  In 2007,  Josh Fogg was a stud down the stretch?  Josh Fogg?  Holy hell.  I forgot about that.

Manny Corpas was the closer?  Look at that roster…they played their asses off.  His team was nearly perfect just to make it.  And his team was superior.  That year.

The rest of his managerial career?  Eh, not so much.  In his last season with the Rox, the team started 18-28 before Jim Tracy came to the rescue and the team responded by going 74-42.  So what the hell can be made of the impact Clint Hurdle had on the team?

Check out this fact we stole from an old post at Purple Row:   

"Hurdle was relieved of his post on May 29, and that night, Jason Marquis threw eight shutout innings against the Padres, Yorvit Torrealba recorded an RBI, and the Rockies capitalized on Padres errors for two unearned, winning 3-0. The era of the “Interim Manager” was officially underway. It was expected to be a tourniquet on the wound, hope he could coax the outfit back to a slightly more shipshape look, and entice some enterprising baseball guru to take a flyer on a fixer-upper in the offseason. Talented but underachieving players, just two years removed from a World Series run that was looking flukier all the time, and Tracy had managed himself out of gigs in LA and Pittsburgh. It might well be his last shot at proving himself a legit big-league skipper. He needed just a little redemption. We needed just a few wins. That was all we were hoping for."

"Boy, were we in for a surprise.—4Oct2009.  Rockies Review-Our Time, Our Town"

This is very interesting to us.  Somehow, Jim Tracy got a lot from his fourth and fifth starters and logically from his hitters to get such results.  Check it out, after the day Jim Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle, the Rockies were 34-14 in games started by their number four and five starters:  Jorge de la Rosa and Jason Hammel.

Clint Hurdle had a .461 winning percentage as a MLB manager with the Rox.  Hardly impressive, but he simply didn’t have much talent early on.

He was the Rangers hitting coach this season.   The Rangers hit rather well this season.

Was 2007 an outlier?  No idea.  Could be.

Was 2008 simply a cold start?  No idea.

Is Jim Tracy a better manager than Clint Hurdle?   God, I wouldn’t think so.  But how does one explain Tracy being so successful after Hurdle couldn’t get shit from his team.

Wanna find out just how good Clint Hurdle is?