We could argue that a team like the 2018 Pirates needed to fashion a fast break out of the starting gate to have a realistic chance at contention.

Perhaps 'need' is a strong word here, but with young players taking on additional responsibility after two high-profile players were traded in the offseason, early positive feedback might be more significant than for other more experienced, more established teams.


Clint Hurdle is a believer in that theory, as he firmly stated Sunday in his office at PNC Park.

"I'd say probably 100 percent of the time," he said. "Think about your life. What was important to you (on) your first year on the job, your first day on the job, compared to how you prioritize your days now? You probably ...

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