Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle knows the challenges of high expectations. They were put on him when he was drafted in the first round (ninth overall) by the Kansas City Royals in the 1975 draft. At just 20-years-old, Hurdle made his Major League debut and was on a Sports Illustrated cover being labeled as the next young "phenom".
While Pedro Alvarez never made a magazine cover of that magnitude, he and Hurdle share many similarities. Alvarez, too, was drafted in the first round. After coming up through the organization to "save the Pirates" with one swing of that bat, the expectations on the third baseman are very high.
And that's something that has bonded the two.
"There’s some common fabric with Pedro and myself," Hurdle said. "And then there’s some things that I can’t identify with. As far as expectations, there’s a number of conversations that Pedro and I had in the past year and a half about things along those lines. I told him, I really want you to take inventory. How many...