PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle joined The Fan Morning Show on Wednesday. He told the guys that there was so much good that happened with this team this season and although they fell short of the goal to win a World Series ring, it was a season to be proud of.
“Pleased, but not satisfied,” Hurdle said. “We are heading in the right direction, but we have more to do.”
The Pirates were able to put together 97 wins, win a home Wild Card game and a home playoff game in the NLDS.
They failed to win their first playoff series since 1979 by falling to the Cardinals in five games.
Hurdle said they had everything they wanted with their best player Andrew McCutchen at the plate with a chance to win Game 4. Could you imagine what if?
“I would probably be still laying in the bottom of the dugout.” Hurdle said.
The Pirates were eliminated in St. Louis in Game 5, but Hurdle said the levels of experience these guys gained will go far.
So, what is the next step for the Pirates?
“Win the division,” Hurdle said. “We want that guaranteed spot. We would like that safety net.”
Although, he said the atmosphere at that Wild Card game against the Reds at PNC Park may have been the most fantastic venue he has ever seen.
“It was a goosebump moment,” Hurdle said. “It’s as good as it gets outside winning a World Series.”
Hurdle also knows that it’s about sustaining what they were able to do this year. It’s what separates the good organizations from the great ones. He said there are a ton of people in the industry that really loved what happened this year in Pittsburgh.
Before the Pirates can take the field again comes the questions of who stays and who goes and what free agents or trades may happen. One of those questions is about free agent pitcher Aj.J.Burnett.
Hurdle said he would love to see Burnett back with the team. He loves the way he competes, but admits they butted heads a bit.
“Wouldn’t life and sports be boring if everyone is the same?”Hurdle said;
He said they handled it well and they are on good terms.
He doesn’t think the decision not to start him in Game 5 will factor in his decision to come back, but if it does, he is still comfortable with the choice he made. He said he would like to have him back, but if not there are some good arms knocking on the door to get here.
Hurdle also shares his off season wish list with the guys.
Listen to both parts of Clint Hurdle with The Fan Morning Show here: