PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton and his wife, Alison, joined KDKA’s Bob Pompeani and Rich Walsh on Friday’s edition of “Living Room Sports.”
The 2020 season is set to be Derek’s first year managing the Pirates, and he has high hopes for the team once the season gets underway.
Derek has spent the last 15 years coaching in Major League Baseball in a variety of positions for multiple organizations.
He was a hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays, as well as a quality control coach for the Toronto Blue Jays before his last stop as the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins for the last two seasons.
Derek credits his wife with giving him the motivation to take on a new challenge.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here as the Pirates manager if it wasn’t for her pushing me to get out of my comfort zone,” Derek said.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a whirlwind for everyone across the country, and Alison said the thing they miss most is their normal on-the-go routine.
WATCH: Part 2 With Derek Shelton And His Wife, Alison
“We realize how much we really miss our crazy baseball life,” Alison said. “It is exhausting, but it’s our life and we definitely do miss that part of it.”
As a family, they believe that Pittsburgh is the right fit for them, and this was the best time to take the next step in Derek’s coaching career.
“We definitely feel like we are in the right place,” Derek said. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity moving forward.”
Luckily, Derek got to spend a few weeks with his new team in Spring Training before the pandemic hit the country.
He learned a lot about his team while training in Florida.
“The biggest thing I learned about this group is how close they are. It was really kind of special the way they fed off each other,” Derek said.
WATCH: Part 3 With Derek Shelton And His Wife, Alison
Most fans are concerned about baseball returning to action, but Derek believes we will see baseball in 2020.
“Baseball is needed by people. It’s needed to help us heal. I strongly feel that it’s going to help bring us back together,” Derek said.
“Living Room Sports” airs each Friday on KDKA and CBSN Pittsburgh at 7:30 PM.