Bill Brink from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the Pittsburgh Pirates and manager Clint Hurdle have agreed on a four-year extension. Terms of the deal, which would run through 2021, have not been announced and the team hasn’t confirmed the signing.

Hurdle has managed the Pirates since 2011, guiding them to a 574-534 record coming into Monday’s action. He has led them to the playoffs three time (2013-15) during that time.

We heard earlier this season from Ken Rosenthal that both Hurdle and Neal Huntington were expected to sign extensions and Rosenthal later backed up those claims on MLB Network saying that they were going to happen. It took almost three months for Hurdle to sign and Huntington has still not been extended, but now that we see Rosenthal was correct with one, you might want to expect the other.

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63 COMMENTS

  1. Arod a stiff He strikes out 40 % of ab;s, Pedro certainly was weak mentally, but he led league in hr’s w 36 and had year w 30. I know what he is now but hurdle had a lot to do with it and his 6th inning replacement of Arod. Steroids are still 50% in the game. They just aren’t stupid.

  2. Really have to wonder about this one. Passive approach to the game, question whether he still has the players’ attention, after the last 2 seasons of utter mediocrity plus history of epic fades in 2011 and 2012, you really have to question whether they would have been better with fresher and more energised approach. Too late now!

    • You really want to place any kind of blame on the manager for these “epic fades” you talk of in 2011-2012? The fact he got them to play at a level that was so far above them is why you saw an “epic fade” when they realized what they were….There’s a ton to currently be upset about with Hurdle, those first few years are definitely not one of them.

      • For the life of me, I could never understand this logic.

        You make it sound like those clubs simply regressed to the mean, when in fact they each finished with their own ignominious place in *baseball history*. Literally. Two of the worst collapses the game has ever seen. We’ve been playing baseball a long time!

        If a Manager played a role in helping them punch above their weight, it’s inconceivable that he would at the same time be helpless in stopping them from literally playing like one of the worst baseballs teams in the history of the game.

        • Those rosters were not ready for that kind of push. I’d love to go back to those seasons and actually listen to some of you try to debate those rosters could push for a true postseason.

          I’m glad it’s not really for the life of you, because I’d hate to see you move on NMR when you’re wrong. 🙂

          • A “push” What kid of “push” are you talking about, exactly?

            A “push” *not* to play like literally one of the worst teams the sport has ever seen? They weren’t ready for that?

            • How many teams and programs have you coached? When you inherit a mess and situation where players haven’t won and in a program where it’s a foreign thing…it rarely happens at first. It’s a gradual process and those 2 yrs help set up the next 3. I’d love to see your comments back then talking about how much talent they had in 2011 and how you were absolutely shocked the last 3 months went how they did…He more than maxed out the talent he had in those years. We obviously have to agree to disagree. Enjoy the armchair.

              • Funny thing is that I’ve coached the exact same number of Major League Baseball teams as you have! Exactly the same experience! Imagine that!

                What I do have are eyes that can read and a brain that can think for myself and because of that, I know somehow someway the Pirates played worse than all but one other team in the history of the game. There’ve been A LOT of teams where players have been losing before, you know. All of them somehow managed to play better baseball than the Pirates.

                It defies all logic to claim a Manager got far more out of his players and *also* was completely helpless to stop one of the worst stretches of baseball in the history of the game. Suspend all belief.

                • I don’t think it matters whether it was coaching ML baseball…or coaching college basketball. Coaching is coaching and building a program or organization is the same when you get to the meat of it all. It doesn’t defy logic that a coach or manager can get a team to play over it’s head before eventually wearing down and getting back to their actual level of current abilities. That’s like saying a team can’t have a winning streak, then a losing streak.
                  Amazing, I also have eyes and a brain. Who knew it wasn’t just you?

  3. I like it.

    My “Reasons why the 2017 Pirates failed” list would have him no higher than 6th.

    1. Bob Nutting – it always comes back to Nutting.
    2. Huntington. I think he’s taken a couple years off, perhaps though because of Nutting.
    3. Kang.
    4. Marte.
    5. Cole.
    6. Hurdle. You can only work with what you’re given. The main problem I have with Hurdle is his love of veteran players – perhaps that changes over time when it becomes CLEAR the better option is the younger one.

    • I think Huntington is a little high on your list, but the fact that blame should be spread out to many different people is very valid. Polanco probably deserves to be on there as well as Watson and Hudson. I just checked and Watson has 8 blown saves this year! The team in general had a down year. I also think they lost a lot of goodwill with the fanbase. They need a good offseason to make up for it for sure.

  4. I’m sorry but I just don’t agree with this move. Couldn’t they have simply picked up
    the option on his present contract? Certainly seems as though this would have been the safer move. The one thing I was really looking forward to this offseason
    was a new manager.

    I don’t watch every inning of every game so perhaps I missed something. I just
    didn’t see the life and excitement in the dugout the last two years that I had seen
    prior to this. I was under the impression that Hurdle had simply lost the team. After
    all, eventually most players will turn off a manager and do their own thing.

    If people disagree, please feel free to tell me why. Maybe I can learn something.

  5. To me, managers are generally non-factors in the big picture and I have no strong opinions either way about Hurdles extension. The one feeling in my gut about this is that most of the staff, (Jauss, Branson, Livesey, Rojas, even Searage) are simply maintaining the status quo of mediocrity. I feel like Cora and Bartee were solid additions to get fresh perspectives and that Cora in particular will be gone for a better gig before Hurdle is gone.

    • Excellent points and I too fear a loss of managerial and coaching talent because NH had set the stage, but now, that plan has been reversed. With Cora as the Manager I thought that Kevin Riggs at AA would become the Pirates hitting coach. That is who I fear losing the most.

      When you look at some current Pirates like Moroff, he hit 30 doubles & 1 HR at Hi A in 2014. He got aggressive after getting with Kevin Riggs at Altoona in 2015, and became a much better all around hitter .293 with 28 doubles, 6 triples, and 7 HR.

      Luplow was a HR per every 35 AB at Hi A in 2016; in AA in 2017 he was hitting a HR for every 15 AB before being promoted to AAA. Between AA and AAA he has hit 23 HR in about 400 AB.

      Edwin Espinal doubled his HR production at AA getting 15 in 367 AB before being promoted.

  6. I bet Joey Cora is super excited for this extension.

    I tell ya, if a actually had any hair, I would be pulling it out.

    On the bright side, I live in Wisconsin and don’t have to listen to his post game pressers.

  7. I think this is a great move. While I may not agree with all the moves he makes, he has a winning record since he has been here. Kinda hard to do in Pittsburgh. It’s been 32 years since we had a manager with a winning record.

  8. So a NH extension I can understand. Considering all things, he is playing with a short stack at all times. I honestly have a hard time believing somebody else could do much better. But a 4 year extension for CH? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another manager who is worse managing a bullpen. Mark the calendar as this is the first time I’ve actually spoken out against Hurdle. Just the veterans get everything before the kids do thing rubs me the wrong way to. I honestly believe they forced him to start playing the kids. And look how they’ve done since he started playing them. I hope this opens up his eyes because I’m not sure I can take 4 more years of the Stewarts and Jasos of the world.

    • BN: Neal, the natives are getting restless. Attendance is sliding.
      NH: Don’t worry boss, I’m on it.

      NH: Clint, the natives are getting restless. Have you been following the PP comment threads? They want you to start playing the rookies.
      CH: Don’t worry boss, I’m on it.

      CH: How about 12-0 over the Cubs. Rookie power!
      NH: Great! Here’s your new contract.

    • Im totally with you. Ive generally been a Hurdle supporter. But this year ive run out of patience. His lineups and bullpens defy all explanation. Im totally done with him. Obviously Frank is not.

      • Boy do they have a lack of talent in the bullpen this year. Its been a revolving door of dumpster divers in there. Perhaps he wore Watson out from over use. Hard to place too much blame on Hurdle.

    • Dusty Baker has a poor reputation for managing a bullpen. So did Don Baylor. I actually don’t think Hurdle is the worst in this respect.

      I’m not at all surprised Hurdle got an extension, a bit surprised it is 4 years.

      • I completely agree with you. I think Hurdle has done a good job. Sure there are criticisms but that would be true of any manager. Overall I think he’s done a good job. The team obviously works hard with individual players to get through slumps and to address deficiencies. I believe he’s active in that regard. I too was surprised at 4 years but ok with it. Does this mean that Huntingdon will get a longer extension? I would think they are kind of lock step. Would be difficult to attract a new GM and not allow them to bring in their own manager. If so, that’s a real bummer.

    • If NH is playing with a short stack how isn’t CH? Does a do some bone headed things sometimes? Yes. But I guarantee every MLB city has its experts who think their manager is an idiot at times as well. Hurdle has nothing to work with and some of that is on NH. how would you like to make a lineup card every day with what he has to work with? Bottom line is one person is to blame, NUTTING!

  9. So, more of the same – especially if NH is extended.

    The ownership is just content to make some money, could care less about actually trying to win each year. What other team in MLB has back-to-back losing seasons, yet extends the manager 4 years? Do I blame CH alone for the failure of 2017? No, there is plenty of blame to go around – NH, Marte, Kang, Cole, Polanco – that’s a pretty good list right there.

    • Thanks for your genuine concern. I was considering a 7 Day DL for a mystery malady, but I have been a loyal Pirate fan far, far longer than I have been a Hurdle-hater. I can handle his BS, but not that he favors veterans over the young talent we have drafted, signed, and developed.

      Love games like yesterday where the kiddies show their capabilities when given the chance. Same way guys like Benintendi, Devers, Baez, Happ, Bellinger, etc, etc, have done for playoff caliber teams. Their teams brought them up, played them through the good and bad, and now are reaping the benefits.

          • Diaz shouldn’t be backing up anyone. I sinceresly hope he has such a great September and ST, that there’s no way he doesn’t at least split time 50/50 with Cervy next season.
            As for CH and NH, what can you say, they’ve done exactly what Mr. “Keep the Nut Small” wanted, so they’ll both be rewarded.
            Winning is secondary with PBC ownership. We’re not talking the Pens or even the Steelers here.

    • Weird from Hurdle’s end, too, isn’t it?

      I mean he has to see a very real possibility of a rebuilding effort in the next four years. Why would a guy his age sign on for that? He should be at the “World Series or retirement” phase of his career.

      • Totally agree. Attendance is down about 277,000+ in
        2017 vs. 2016 so far according to Baseball Reference (about 4,000/game). The fall off from 2015 is even greater. I’m assuming
        attendance = ticket sales. If I’m wrong, then take this all with a
        grain of salt. Their decline in per game sales is second only to KC
        Royals this year (292,000 decline). Their average ticket price was just under $30 for
        2016 (I assume higher in 2017) so that’s a potential loss of over $8,310,000 in revenue (just from
        ticket sales alone) vs. last year (and counting). If you use the fan
        cost index of $196/game for a family of 4, the lost of revenue for that
        277,000 lost ticket sales would be closer to $13,500,000+. Their TV contract I think expires soon so these declines can’t make for a strong bargaining position for a better TV deal. Now that’s hurt that even Nutting can feel.

        • They need to understand that the fans need an expectation of winning. 50% chance aint going to bring fans out in droves. They need 65 to 70% – this is Pittsburgh and we don’t like mediocrity… FIELD A REAL BALL TEAM… REBUILDING SUCKS.

        • Oh they’re still profitable, but there’s a reason they cut costs last year and never spent what they said they would this year, and you’ve hit it.

        • You don’t know Jaso will be back. I doubt he will. S Rod is not a stiff. He had a serious car accident less than 8 months ago and came back faster than expected. Everybody loved him and hated on the FO last year for not resigning him. It may take him a while to get back to the way he was last year. The signing was for next year. Just wait and see if they extend Stewart. We needed Stewart this year for catching depth! He was worse than historically, but so were a lot of guys on this team. Diaz, with his 287 OBP and .339 slugging, is unproven. .638 OPS in AAA, by the way. But you seem to know better.

  10. there’s little chance the extend hurdle and not huntington. so i expect to hear something about neal sometime soon

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