BRADENTON, Fla. — Clint Hurdle's extension was apparently a long time coming.
The Pirates have discussed the appropriate time for an extension for Hurdle since they hired him after the 2010 season, Neal Huntington said.
“When is the right time to put that extra year in place?” Huntington said. “We felt now was the right time.”
No doubt Hurdle has had a positive impact on the Pirates. The 22-win improvement in his first two seasons is the most tangible evidence of that. Hurdle’s gregarious personality also seemed to help the clubhouse and attract fans.
Keep in mind, though, that the 22-win improvement came as Andrew McCutchen matured as a player and A.J. Burnett rediscovered success in his mid-30s. Under Hurdle, the Pirates fell from contention for two consecutive years, last season doing so after “Finish” was the spring training mantra.
“It’s on all of us,” Huntington said. “I’m ultimately responsible for everything. Clint’s going to tell you he’s responsible for everything on the field. All of us have to be better at our jobs and we’ve got to get our players in a position to be able to carry that through for six months and work into that seventh month, which is the playoffs.”
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