Manager Clint Hurdle of the Pittsburgh Pirates Putting Things into Perspective

Diamond NotesCorrespondent IIIDecember 19, 2011

Is Clint Hurdle Building a Championship Club in Pittsburgh?
Is Clint Hurdle Building a Championship Club in Pittsburgh?Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Last season Pirates manager Clint Hurdle developed a positive outlook in Pittsburgh by gaining the trust of his players.

Collin Dunlap of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in his January 2011 article "Pirates' Hurdle inspired Overbay" that Hurdle understood that some players just would not come to Pittsburgh.

"At this point in time, people need to realize something," Hurdle said. "We need to identify players who are out there, but who also want to come here, and then we have to go recruit those guys.... That's the reality of where we are right now. And the reality is we aren't going to get them until we start winning."

To start winning Hurdle stressed the essential tenets of success: preparation, planning and execution.

In Dunlap's article "Minicamp: Hurdle opens his first camp preaching basics" he wrote that as the team prepared for batting practice, Hurdle spoke to them about the importance of how "championship teams make good outs, make your at-bats count, every one of them."

Hurdle's approach and the essential tenets were well accepted and the Pirates enjoyed a fine 2011 season but are looking for much better things in 2012.

One of the improvements comes in the upgrade at shortstop.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in his article "Barmes' presence likely will tighten middle of Pirates defense" that the Pirates are pleased Barmes is on their side.

"We played against him; you've seen what kind of glove he has," starting pitcher James McDonald said. "I was really excited we got him up the middle, strengthened that up."

Brink also wrote that one of the reasons Barmes joined the Pirates was to reunite with Clint Hurdle.

"Knowing and understanding the way he manages and the way he motivates guys, I'm excited," Barmes said,

Brink wrote in his article "Pirates manager Hurdle says it's not OK to be OK" that Hurdle expects a lot from his shortstop.

"My wife puts things into perspective," Hurdle said by way of example. "We go out to eat at a restaurant, and at the end of the meal I ask her how the meal was, and if she says it's OK, we don't go back. At the end of the year, for me, Ronny (Cedeno) was OK. As we try and develop a championship club, I expect more out of my shortstop than what Ronny was able to bring."

Last season, Hurdle used the essential tenets of success to develop a championship mind set. It appears this season he is instilling the perspective that you must be better than OK to be a championship club and a Pittsburgh Pirate.