After last season’s historic collapse that marked year No. 20 in the dreading losing streak of the Pittsburgh Pirates, fans screamed for changes from everywhere from the front office down to the manager.
Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle’s job was safe, but after two collapses in a row, is he on the hot seat entering the 2013 season?
Hurdle enters the 2013 season on the final year of a three-year contract, making him a “lame-duck” manager, which is something to keep an eye on if the Pirates begin 2013 with the same struggles that plagued them at the beginning of 2012.
The Pirates skipper has proven to be a great motivational leader, but has failed when it comes to being a great tactical in-game manager.
Everyone from Pirates’ owner Bob Nutting down to general manager Neal Huntington can sing Hurdle’s praises and give him all the votes of confidence in the world, but the facts are that Hurdle has to win this year. That’s obvious by the Pirates not extending his deal before training camp began.
Hurdle is definitely a likeable guy, but it is fair to put some of the Bucs late season struggles the past two years on his shoulders.
At the end of the day, Hurdle is still a manager who has exactly one winning record (Colorado, 2007) in his 10 years on the bench.
No one wants to see Hurdle succeed in Pittsburgh more than I do, but there comes a time where winning is the only thing that matters and that raises questions of if Hurdle is indeed the right man for the job.
Hopefully the Pirates come out strong in 2013 and put together a complete season.
If they don’t, Hurdle’s seat should be getting very hot.