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Clint Hurdle: Pirates Have What They Need To Win A World Series

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BRADENTON (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates manager Clint Hurdle sat down with “The Fan Morning Show” at Spring Training on Thursday to talk about his and his team’s preparation for the 2014 season.

Here is some of what he had to say:

On his biggest goal in Spring Training:
“At the top of our list is to find a way to more consistently connect the dots on offense, to have better at bats throughout the lineup, to maximize productive outs.”

On what the individual hitters can work on:
“Nobody last year had a career year in my eyes from an offensive standpoint. I think everybody’s got the ability to do a bit more in a number of different areas.”

On recently emphasizing the importance of “now”:
“If we want to do what we did last year, we just need to do everything the same. That’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for any man in that clubhouse. The angst and the sting we felt in Game 5 in St. Louis was real. We earned that. We want more. More starts now.”

On Andrew Lambo:
“I see a young man that’s really embracing an opportunity. I think there’s some days he’s wrestling with it and some days he’s dancing with it. That’s on him. That’s something he’s got to figure out, the rhythm and the pace. The commitment is there. The consistency is what you look for out of every young player that’s got an opportunity like this in front of him.”

On what Lambo needs to refine:
“I think the work has been done at first base. It’s going to come down to the bat at the end of the day.”

On whether or not he’s going to make another win total prediction, as he did last year on the show when he said the goal was 95 wins:
“No. I’m throwing out, ‘We need to be better than we were last year,’ because we want to play longer. That’s what I’m throwing out.”

On maximizing his team’s potential:
“We need to continue to challenge, encourage, embrace, teach. I’m mindful of the fact that, these guys as a group, we have what we need in there to win a world championship. We have guys getting better every day. The challenge we have is to continue to be mindful of living in the moment, playing now. You talked about it, I shared with these guys the first day in, we take care of today, that’s the best place we can be, because if I’ve got a foot in yesterday, and I’ve got a foot in tomorrow, I’m taking a you-know-what on today. And we don’t play that game around here, that’s not how we work. We need to take care of today.”

“Everybody loves the beginning, right? The beginning of the season, Opening Day, there’s not a greater day – maybe Christmas, I don’t know. Everybody likes the end. We sprayed champagne last year. But, what really creates legacies, I believe, is the middle. What are you doing on May 20? How are you going to handle June 7? What about July 14, that rained-out doubleheader that you’ve got to go play? That’s where you make your difference, and that’s what we’re mindful of in there.”

The interview can be heard here:

The Fan Morning Show will be broadcasting live from Pirates Spring Training in Bradenton every day this week. Listen to them live 5:40-10 a.m. and visit 937thefan.com to get interview summaries and audio after the show.

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