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Hurdle is looking to end the Pirates' 20-year losing streak.
Hurdle is on this list for reasons similar to Yost. The Pirates have improved for three straight seasons (though Hurdle has only been in charge of the Bucs for the past two campaigns), nearly finishing .500 last year with a 79-83 record.
But the Pirates have not made the playoffs since 1992 and have endured 20 straight losing seasons during that time.
The Pirates nearly ended that streak last year—the team was 62-46 on Aug. 6—but they ended the year on a cold 17-37 run.
With offseason signee catcher Russell Martin joining star outfielder Andrew McCutchen and hurler A.J. Burnett on a suddenly dangerous Pirates squad, Pittsburgh is a playoff threat in 2013—if Hurdle pushes all of the right buttons.
The Pirates may have extended Hurdle’s contract through 2014 this past offseason, but don’t let that fool you.
The pressure is on in Pittsburgh, and Hurdle is expected to deliver.