The Pittsburgh Pirates officially extended manager Clint Hurdle’s contract through the 2014 season, which means he has another two years to bring a winner to the Steel City. However, were the Pirates correct in extending Hurdle’s deal?
Hurdle signed a three-year contract with Pittsburgh two years ago, which means the team could have waited until the end of the 2013 season before re-signing the 55-year-old manager. Under Hurdle, the Pirates have a combined record of 151-173 in two seasons. That may not look like much, but considering their 79 wins in 2013 was the most victories by a Pittsburgh team since 1992 that is not half bad.
The former big leaguer managed the Colorado Rockies from 2002-2009 where the team made their first World Series appearance in franchise history. Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox swept the Rockies and the team never truly recovered. Hurdle was fired less than two years later on May 29 after a slow start to the 2009 season. In 2010, he helped the Texas Rangers to their first World Series berth in franchise history as the hitting coach. Obviously, Hurdle was in high demand after this and was hired by the Pirates.
“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to continue and finish what we started,” Hurdle said. “There’s no place I would rather be than in a Pirates uniform.”
In my opinion, Hurdle definitely deserved the contract extension that he received from the organization after he played a huge role the last two years in helping the franchise get turned around from their losing ways. Clearly, Pittsburgh has a long ways to go before they can win the National League Central or claim a postseason spot but at least they are on the right track with the right coach leading the way.
Since Hurdle has successfully improved the team’s record in each of the last two seasons, his first goal is to obviously improve it for a third straight year. With that being said, if the team can improve on their 79-83 mark from last season then there is a good chance they will be above .500 and could be punching their ticket to the big dance, something else that has not happened since 1992.
Hurdle has a career .462 winning percentage as a manager in 1,483 games.