BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 The Fan) – Clint Hurdle has been hard at work getting the Pirates prepared for the upcoming 2013 season.
However, he took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with The Fan Morning Show about Spring Training and what he’s looking forward to this season.
“I believe you need to give players the freedom to play,” Hurdle said. “You just pay attention. Our society has changed a lot, athletically in the world of sport, and just the world in general. There used to be a lot more use of your eyes and your ears. Now, there’s a lot more use of our mouths. I think we need to revisit that from time to time and just let people play. A lot of times it does figure itself out, and if it doesn’t, that’s when you can become involved. We all have a desire to let everybody else know how much we know, rather than letting other people show you how much they know, how much they’ve learned.”
Hurdle preached hard work in practice to “be the best you can be” and worrying about the game when the game comes, mentioning that when Steve Kerr was a general manager, he would tell his players that he had felt more than ready for games during his time with the Bulls because he guarded Michael Jordan in practice.
Hurdle has also learned lessons from last season’s late slide as he gets his team ready for 2013.
“Our guys played so well for four months plus. The ebb and flow of the game is challenging and I think when you get in the mindset that, ‘We’re going to win what we can, we’re going to win what we can, we’re going to win what we can!’ the next step is, ‘We’re going to take what we want.’ And that’s what I’m getting the feel of around here this spring, watching the guys walk and talk. And there’s still a sense of angst in the clubhouse about the way we finished, because you feel you’re better than that, but you know what, the reality of the game shows you that you weren’t.”
When asked about how many wins he’s looking for out of the Pirates this season, Hurdle didn’t back down.
“When people ask me a number, 95 is the number I throw out there, and people go, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of-’ and I go, ‘Yeah, you’re right it’s a lot of games!’ I get it, but you know what? If we win 95, we’re going to be in a good place. So how do you win 95? Where do you go recreate 16 games? That’s kind of the mentality we’ve used,” Hurdle said.
Hurdle thinks the team has learned some things about how to sustain success over the course of an entire season.
“They have a better understanding now that you know what, you get to a place in time in the season by doing things a certain way,” Hurdle said. “You stay true to your routine. You stay true to getting a little bit better every day. You don’t think about, ‘Where are we going to be at the end?’”
Listen to the full interview here: