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I really wanted to give this to Correia or even Veras for that matter, but it's hard to imagine the Pirates contending without Hurdle captaining the ship.
Typically a manager amounts to only a handful of wins for his team, but I don't believe that to be the case here.
If you talk to Hurdle, you want to put on a uniform and go play for him, which is a big change from his predecessor, John Russell, who made you want to take a nap. Hurdle has injected a shot of energy to a franchise that really needed it.
I always hate the term "players manager," but that may be the case with Hurdle. His team competes and battles for 27 outs on almost every single night. He's the kind of guy that players go the extra mile for, but he also shows discipline.
He's benched McCutchen for not running out a third strike, yet a couple of weeks later when McCutchen hit a walk-off homer in extra innings to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, Hurdle was the first one out of the dugout to give McCutchen a bear hug.
He's sat down veterans Jones and Lyle Overbay for not producing. No way Russell would have done that.
What's more impressive is that to date Hurdle has had to do it with 44 different players wearing a Pirates uniform, yet no matter who it is, they come up and know what is expected of them and often reward their manager by producing.