The Trib notices some weird similarities between Pirates team president Frank Coonelly's speech introducing new manager Clint Hurdle and the speech GM Neal Huntington gave when he introduced his last manager, John Russell:â†µ
Pirates president Frank Coonelly heralded Hurdle's "positive energy, enthusiasm and passion that he brings to the game," as well as his prior managerial experience with the Colorado Rockies.â†µ
If that line sounds familiar, it's because general manager Neal Huntington used the following words Nov. 5, 2007, upon hiring John Russell: "His positive energy, intense passion for the game and strong managerial experience set him apart from every other candidate we considered."â†µ
Whoops. Look, I'm as excited about the Pirates' potential as anyone (which is to say that I'm very tepidly excited), and I don't have any problem with Clint Hurdle per se, but these manager searches are a charade. The Pirates want a guy who is loyal (as both Russell and Hurdle are known to be). And they needed a new guy in order to buy time for Coonelly and Huntington because the last season ended so badly. But that's about it. They hired a new manager who had had one winning season in Colorado, because he's new, and he's a way of saying that the Pirates had struggled so much in part because of Russell. I don't think anyone has deceived himself or herself about Hurdle being a savior for the Pirates, but he doesn't even resemble a savior so much as an interchangeable part. That's fine, but I bet the Pirates wish the Trib hadn't busted them treating Hurdle that way.