Most teams would not extend their manager’s contract after a 79–83 record and a historic collapse. However, most teams are not the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After two decades of perpetual mediocrity, the Pirates have decided to extend Clint Hurdles’ contract for making them less bad.
Clint Hurdle pretty much has it all going for him. The owner loves him, and the fans seem to have a favorable opinion of him.
No, he hasn’t led the pirates to the playoffs, yet. But, he has done something that many before could not— made them respectable.
The fact that the Pirates were even in the position to possibly make the playoffs is a reason to celebrate within itself in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are no longer a laughing stock, and opponents are now forced to respect them when they see them on their schedule.
The Pirates are a team that’s building toward a playoff berth. That’s much more than they can say for the last 20 years.
This past season, they finished with their best record since 1997. Although that’s not saying much, it is undoubtedly an improvement. It’s the Pirates we’re talking about, not the Yankees. The expectations aren't exactly high for this franchise on the yearly basis.
Furthermore, this is a franchise that lost 105 games in the season before Hurdle’s arrival. And prior to that, they earned five consecutive 90-loss seasons.
The Pirates are a franchise whose futility is unrivaled by almost any other. There are more empty seats in that arena than there would be for a Backstreet Boys reunion concert.
Clint Hurdle’s personality is almost enough to warrant keeping him around. He has a vibrant disposition that energizes the fans and draws their attention. He has brought new life into a clubhouse that has severely needed it. He’s given the fans, the players reason to believe that next year can possibly be better than the past one.
Pittsburgh will finally be buzzing with energy come spring for the first time in a while. Spring and summer are no longer the dreaded and stale waiting period until the Steelers strap on their cleats. The Pirates will finally get some love.
Clint Hurdle has given an entire city a taste of success and hope. He’s re-energized an entire fan base that has been dormant since the “We Are Family” Pirates of the ‘70s. For those reasons alone, he more than deserves his extension.