With the news today that the Pirates have sought permission to speak to Rangers hitting coach and former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, I spoke to Russ Oates, who blogs about the Rockies at Purple Row, to let me know what he thought of Hurdle as a manager. Here's what he had to say.
I think the Clint Hurdle's post-playing career shows that he is a much better hitting coach than manager. Putting aside his losing record in seven of roughly eight seasons at the helm (no one could have won with the players he had), Hurdle constantly baffled the fans. Why use the bunt so often? Why did the pitcher come out to hit with two outs and then get replaced in the next half inning by a reliever? He got way too bogged down in strategy and forgot what he did best: teach guys how to hit. On the plus side, he's a preacher of fundamentals, which actually allowed the Rockies to have one of the best defenses in major league history during the 2007 season.
If Pirates ownership is willing to trust Hurdle as long as the Monfort Bros. did in Colorado, this could pay off. However, I doubt any manager will receive that long of a leash.