The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost seven consecutive games. As a result, they are now 67-68 on the season. However, Clint Hurdle‘s job should be safe.
On November 14th, 2010, the Pittsburgh Pirates made one of the most important hires in franchise history. On this day the Pirates hired Clint Hurdle as their new manager. The Pirates were coming off of a miserable 57-105 season and it was Hurdle’s job to right the ship in Pittsburgh that had seemingly sank years ago.
Clint Hurdle chose the Pirates over the New York Mets. People around Hurdle told him that he was insane. They said going to a team that had 18 consecutive losing seasons, with no end in sight, was career suicide. However, Hurdle was ready to take on the challenge.
When the Pirates hired Hurdle he said the first thing he wanted to do was reconnect the city of Pittsburgh with their baseball team. And, Hurdle has done exactly that during his six seasons as Pirates’ manager. Pittsburgh, thanks in large part to Clint Hurdle, has become a great baseball city once more.
In his six seasons at the helm in Pittsburgh, Clint Hurdle has a regular season record of 498-447. In the postseason, however, he is just 3-5. Under Clint Hurdle’s guidance though, the Pirates have reached the postseason in three consecutive seasons for just the third time in franchise history.
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Under Hurdle’s guidance the Pirates have also had one of their best seasons in the 133 year history of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. This came last season when the Pirates won 98 games. This is one of just six occasion in the Pirates’ 133 year history that the club has won at least 98 games.
While things seem bleak, the Pittsburgh Pirates still have a chance at earning a fourth consecutive postseason berth this season. Four consecutive postseason berths is something the Pittsburgh Pirates have never done. Currently, the Pirates are four and a half games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot.
Due to a recent slide the Pirates’ postseason hopes seem about dead. The Pirates have lost seven consecutive games, and they have nit been overly competitive in these games. In these seven losses the Pirates have been outscored 47-22, and they have been shut out three times.
This slide has also led to some people starting to clamor about Clint Hurdle’s job security. In my opinion, that is absolutely foolish. There is no reason that Hurdle should be on the hot seat.
Clint Hurdle’s record as Pirates’ manager speaks for itself. He inherited a club that had not been competitive for 18 seasons and turned that around immediately. Even though the Pirates finished under .500 in both 2011 and 2012, they were in contention into August in 2011 and into September in 2012. So, Hurdle began to change the culture in his first two seasons.
All of the hard work of Clint Hrudle, as well as manager Neal Huntington, started to pay off in 2013. This is because in 2013 the Pittsburgh Pirates finished 95-67. This gave the Pirates both their first winning season and postseason berth since 1992.
Clint Hurdle’s record is not the only reason his job should be safe, though. Hurdle’s most enduring quality is his ability to change and adapt. And this is something that should factor in as well.
When the Pirates hired Hurdle he was very much so an ‘old school’ manager. However, after the 2012 season he changed. He went all in with the front office embracing defensive shifts, sabermetrics, and advanced stats. As a result, the Pirates have the second most wins in Major League Baseball since the start of 2013. Whatever changes need made, Clint will be more than willing to give them a chance.
Furthermore, Clint Hurdle is a great leader and a very good player’s manager. In my opinion, this is the best trait a baseball manager can have. This is because once the first pitch is thrown managing a baseball team is incredibly easy. The most difficult part is managing the egos and attitudes in the clubhouse, and Hurdle does a great job of that.
These are just some of the reasons as to why Clint Hurdle’s job should not be in jeopardy. The Pirates are lucky to have Hurdle at the helm, and I do not think they will screw that up. Honestly, Hurdle is one of the five best managers in the National League.
Even though some Pirate fans will disagree, Clint Hurdle’s job should be safe. One bad skid late in this season does not override all the great things Hurdle has done as manager of the Pirates. Putting Clint Hurdle on the hot seat would be nothing short of an extreme overreaction.