Skip to content

Clint Hurdle opening up communication in Pirates clubhouse

Mar 2, 2013, 11:03 PM EST

Clint Hurdle AP

It’s been a tough couple of decades for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans. The last two years haven’t made things any easier, as the Buccos turned first-half division leads into fourth-place finishes thanks to two of the most depressing collapses this side of the 2007 Mets. As the losses mounted, some felt Hurdle was losing his clubhouse, but he didn’t see it that way.

“I don’t believe so, but you’d have to talk to the players,” Hurdle told Dejan Kovacevic.

To assuage any potential clubhouse mutinies, Hurdle is establishing a “leadership group” — a small group of two or so players that meet with Hurdle in his office twice a month. Veteran A.J. Burnett is expected to be one member.  More on the meetings, from Kovacevic:

“Say whatever you want,” Hurdle said. “You’ve got something? I want to hear it.”

Even if it’s openly critical, such as, oh, pulling Wandy Rodriguez after 62⁄3 innings of seriously sharp pitching and costing the club a game in Cincinnati?

“Anything at all,” Hurdle said. “We might be in there five minutes, 15 minutes, all afternoon. Doesn’t matter. I want to hear it.”

Though the tactic is unique, it isn’t surprising coming from Hurdle, known as one of the most player-friendly managers across baseball. Its efficacy will be decided during the season, when the Pirates are faced with the usual adversity of a 162-game season.

Latest Posts
  1. Athletes should be treated fairly by the press. Even if they’re not friendly to the press.

    Mar 4, 2015, 1:26 PM EST

    press hat

    Athletes oftentimes, don’t see reporters as people. Reporters, oftentimes, don’t see athletes as people. Reporters, however have a duty of objectivity athletes don’t have.

  2. A’s announce Coco Crisp is moving to left field

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:47 AM EST

    coco crisp getty Getty Images

    The move leaves Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld to platoon in center field.

  3. Phillies don’t expect Chad Billingsley to be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:20 AM EST

    Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Getty Images

    Billingsley hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since way back in April of 2013.

  4. Now that he’s released, who pays for Joel Hanrahan’s surgery?

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:05 AM EST

    Joel Hanrahan Getty Getty Images

    Today’s news sucks for Joel Hanrahan, but it’s a good basis for an explainer.

  5. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters limited to DH duties until mid-March

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:52 AM EST

    wieters getty Getty Images

    Wieters underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in June.

  6. Rays name Alex Cobb as Opening Day starter

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:15 AM EST

    Alex Cobb Getty Getty Images

    Now that David Price is out of the picture the Rays need a new Opening Day starter.

  7. Before we laud Curt Schilling too much for his attack on corrosive social media . . .

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:59 AM EST

    Curt Schilling AP

    . . . it’s worth remembering that Schilling himself has some issues when it comes to sensitivity and enlightenment on social media.

  8. Klapisch: it’s time to give A-Rod a break

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:30 AM EST

    Alex Rodriguez

    Let us applaud one writer’s brave effort to battle the beast that is A-Rod Derangement Syndrome.

  9. Photo of the Day: now THAT’S a windup!

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:03 AM EST

    Camera

    Juan Marichal’s got nothin’ on this pitcher from Murray State.

  10. Joel Hanrahan to have a second Tommy John surgery

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:24 AM EST

    Joel Hanrahan AP

    Terrible news that will keep Joel Hanrahan off the mound for at least another year.

  11. Daniel Murphy on Billy Bean: “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual”

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:54 AM EST

    Daniel Murphy Getty Getty Images

    I wasn’t aware that one could “disagree” with facts. But there we are.

  12. Rusney Castillo suffers left side injury

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:57 PM EST

    rusney castillo getty Getty Images

    It was a successful afternoon in pretty much every way at Fenway South. Except maybe one …

  13. Yankees prospect Luis Torrens needs shoulder surgery

    Mar 3, 2015, 9:44 PM EST

    yankees logo

    The expectation is that he will have to sit out the entire 2015 season.

  14. Orioles sign Pedro Beato to minor league contract

    Mar 3, 2015, 8:31 PM EST

    beato getty Getty Images

    The deal does not include an invitation to major league spring training, so Beato won’t be under consideration for one of the spots in the Orioles’ Opening Day bullpen.

  15. Video: Yoenis Cespedes launches grand slam in Grapefruit League debut with Tigers

    Mar 3, 2015, 7:28 PM EST

    cespedes getty Getty Images

    Yoenis Cespedes made his presence felt around Tigers camp with this fourth-inning grand slam in Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League opener against the visiting Orioles …

  16. Video: Jung-Ho Kang homers in Pirates debut

    Mar 3, 2015, 5:46 PM EST

    jung-ho kang getty Getty Images

    Kang hit .356 with 40 homers in Korea last season.

  17. Noah Syndergaard just learned not to eat his lunch in the clubhouse during a game

    Mar 3, 2015, 4:15 PM EST

    Noah Syndergaard Getty Images

    Because, if he does, David Wright and Bobby Parnell are gonna go kick his butt.

  18. Madison Bumgarner didn’t exactly start 2015 the way he ended 2014

    Mar 3, 2015, 3:54 PM EST

    Madison Bumgarner

    Unless someone gets injured, spring training game results don’t matter a bit. But they are a reminder that everyone starts from square one each season. No matter how well they ended the season before.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches