At long last, a man has been called upon to take command of a sinking ship.
Clinton Merrick Hurdle will take over as the newest manager of a Pittsburgh Pirate team in desperate need of some proper direction. He comes to the team fresh off a bench ride with the Texas Rangers to their first World Series appearance in franchise history.
Hurdle was the Rockies manager from 2002 through the early part of the 2009 season. He led the team to the 2007 World Series and had a 534-625 record with Colorado.
I know many Pirate fans have to be happy that this long and exhaustive search for a new skipper has finally come to an end. Of the two "finalists" for the gig, I felt Hurdle was far and away the better candidate over Jeff Banister.
Hurdle brings a wealth of hitting instructor experience, which can't hurt with the young emerging superstars the Pirates have on offense. I am anxious to see if he can help Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez develop even further as major league hitters.
What remains to be seen in what staff Hurdle will put into place to fill out the major league coaching staff. Hopefully a top notch pitching instructor will enter the mix, as this team will be going nowhere without improvement in that facet of the game.
The "best management team in baseball" didn't take the cheap way out this time, so hopefully it's a sign the franchise is ready to start taking all the necessary steps to put a winner on the field.
Now let's see if they can get Hurdle some more talent to manage. I think the fans of Pittsburgh have been more than patient with this ownership group and hope that the promise of better times to come will be honored this time around.
All in all I am happy with the hiring as they went outside the organization to bring in someone who knows how to win. Hopefully, that will help inject new blood and new life into this organization as it continues the transition from perennial losers to championship contenders.
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