Clint Hurdle Hired As Pirates New Manager

An article by posted on November 14, 2010

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Pirates have hired Clint Hurdle to be their next manager.

The Pirates have hired Clint Hurdle, the former Texas Rangers’ hitting coach, as their 39th manager, 10 days after interviewing him, an industry source said today. Team president Frank Coonelly said the team will hold a press conference Monday morning to announce its new manager, though he would not say who that was. The press conference will be at 11 a.m.

FoxSports.com reports that he will sign a three-year contract. As I wrote last night in the original post,

Hurdle just might prefer to accept a guaranteed job with the Bucs now, rather than wait for a very uncertain Mets situation where Terry Collins is still considered the front runner and has strong allies in Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi. Waiting could leave Hurdle shutout of a managing job altogether if the Pirates grow impatient and decide to pass on Hurdle and go to Plan B.

So much for that…

Original Post 1:00 AM

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, reports that the Pirates have increased their efforts to hire Clint Hurdle and that the Mets are well aware, but don’t plan to alter their process.

The Pirates, sources said, have made a strong push within the past 48 hours to ensure that Hurdle will be their next manager. “It’s moving forward at a rapid pace,” one source said.

Hurdle is believed to be one of three finalists to fill the managerial vacancy for the Mets along with Bob Melvin and Terry Collins. They are all expected to receive second interviews this week.

Obviously, if Hurdle decides to accept the Pirates’ offer, then Collins or Melvin could be the next Mets manager. Jose Oquendo could also enter the picture if he impresses Mets brass during his interview on Monday.

Hurdle just might prefer to accept a guaranteed job with the Bucs now, rather than wait for a very uncertain Mets situation where Terry Collins is still considered the front runner and has strong allies in Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi. Waiting could leave Hurdle shutout of a managing job altogether if the Pirates grow impatient and decide to pass on Hurdle and go to Plan B.

Of the three leading Mets candidates, I actually preferred Hurdle over Collins and Melvin who don’t seem to be as high energy and vocal as Hurdle.

One thing that may have been overlooked regarding Hurdles candidacy, is something I find more interesting than his major league managing experience, and that is his tenure as hitting coach of the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers ranked #1 in the Major Leagues with a .276 batting average after ranking #18 in 2009 with a .260 average. That’s an increase of 18 points and quite an improvement.

One other item of note is that six of the Rangers’ everyday players had on-base percentages of .345 or higher, and even Jeff Francoeur finished with a .357 OBP in 53 at-bats with the Rangers.

Rangers general manager, Jon Daniels, had this to say about Hurdle after hiring him last season.

“He’s demonstrated an ability to communicate, motivate, and emphasize a team-first offensive mentality.”

I hope the Mets don’t let him go without a fight. A team-first offensive mentality would do wonders for this Mets team.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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