During this afternoon’s press scrum Pirates manager Clint Hurdle made some interesting and, at times, animated comments regarding the increased interest in the team and speculation about the sustainability of the winning. For the most part Hurdle’s comments will be presented unfiltered because I think they provide some very interesting insights into the Pirates’ manager's mindset as his team slowly becomes THE story in Major League Baseball.
How does he keep the team focused given all the increased attention and excitement surrounding the team? Is he going to change anything in light of the fact that team is receiving so much attention?
Think about it. What’s the hype? You’ve absolutely got to acknowledge that this is the best season in 20 years. So far.
Yes, we’re happy with what we’ve done. But we understand there are many more miles on this road to travel. And the lessons we’ve learned from the past two years are going to be instrumental and a strength for us moving forward.
It’s not going to change. In June, July or August we’re going to continue to do what we’ve done since Opening Day. Number one is control the grind. Number two is eliminate distractions. That’s why I turn down a lot of media requests. We’ll talk at the end if there is reason to talk. I don’t need to talk to everyone who needs a thought right now about the Pittsburgh Pirates. Because a lot of these people didn’t care about the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first two years. … And, lastly, they don’t break trophies in half. … So we’ve got to continue to believe in the process of what we’re building here.
Do you understand why people would be skeptical of, or interested in the question of the team’s sustainability?
Don’t you think every time I walk out there, you know how many times I still hear, “What’s going to happen later?” I don’t know. Watch. Stay tuned. I believe I know what’s going to happen. But there are people that are never going to believe.
Actually I do think there are some people here who hope we don’t pull it off. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? But in talking to people, I do get that feeling. They may not be real Pirates’ fans but it’s almost like, have you ever run into someone who likes not being happy? You know, some people just don’t want to be happy. It’s almost like they’d rather have something to complain about than something to embrace.
But I have had some conversations the last couple of weeks where I’ve been, “wow, you really think we’re just going to blow up again?" I don’t.
Hurdle made clear that the conversations he was referring to were with people from the public.
Finally, the Pirates manager said that he is just trying to "enjoy the ride" and not getting too caught up in the enthusiasm or skepticism.
I’m trying to just enjoy ride, just the perspective of it all, and knowing that there is a going to be a day when this city is rocking and people are going to be happy. And it’s all going to be real good. That’s what I believe.
That’s why I need to stay focused on what I need to stay focused on. Somebody’s got to hold the wheel (laughter). I didn't do a good job holding the wheel last year.