BRADENTON (93-7 The Fan) – Pirates manager Clint Hurdle sat down with The Fan Morning Show at spring training in Bradenton this week to chat about getting his team ready for the 2015 season.
Hurdle praised his squad for the camaraderie it has developed.READ MORE: 'When I Finally Got To Be Elvira, That's When My Life Calmed Down': Mistress Of The Dark Peels Back The Curtain
“It’s as good of a clubhouse as I’ve ever been a part of,” Hurdle said. “These players, they’re significant to one another. They’ve connected. It’s not just communication, they’ve connected. I don’t know if I’ve ever been on a team that shares joy like the team that we’ve had here the past few years. I don’t know if I’ve ever been on a team where the players pull for each other, there’s so much joy when somebody else does well. I’ve been on good teams, but it seemed like there was a click here or there or everybody was just business-like. These guys love to see each other do well. They pull for each other, and they really put roots down when there’s adversity.”
Hurdle was quick to take aim at those who openly predict Josh Harrison to regress this season.
“You look for good, you find good,” Hurdle said. “You look for bad, you find bad. There’s a percentage of people in the world that never look for good. They’re always looking to tear down. Josh looks for good. Josh looks for ways to get better. Numbers are going to tell you one thing. The thing that nobody can figure out yet is the size of a man’s heart, the commitment level that he’s got. That’s why it plays out the way it plays out — safest bet in the world is to say that there’s going to be a regression just so you can say you’re right. ‘I was right!’ Great. How many times do the people that get out in front of these things say, ‘I was wrong!’ — they’re not accountable.”
As for new arrival Jung-Ho Kang, Hurdle told the guys that Kang is becoming more and more assimilated with each passing day.
“Every day something new happens with somebody new that’s kind of a tipping point in a good way, whether it be learning a language, whether it be a custom,” Hurdle said.READ MORE: Remember, Reflect At Tree Of Life: Commemorating The 11 Lives Lost 3 Years Ago In Synagogue Shooting
Hurdle is confident that the Pirates know what they’re doing with Kang, even though many have questioned the wisdom of signing him.
“I didn’t read anything anybody else wrote, I talk to our people,” Hurdle said. “External? That’s noise for me. Now there are times you can pick up some things. I just haven’t found out anything that was credible enough on this guy, other than our people. Nobody spent more time than our people on trying to get a good read on this guy. So everything else was kind of somebody throwing out an opinion.”
Finally, Hurdle shared his philosophy on attacking a 162 game schedule, saying that he wants his team to treat every game like it’s both a fresh start and a last chance.
“Every day’s an Opening Day,” Hurdle said. “Every game means something. The second Tuesday in August means something. Our guys don’t have another gear. It’s not playoff baseball when the season opens, throughout the rest of the year.”
The interview can be heard here: