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Pirates hire Clint Hurdle as manager

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The Pirates announced today that former Rockies manager and Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle will be the teams next manager, according to ESPN.com. The Pirates were looking for an experienced manager to handle the teams youth, and Hurdle's credentials go way beyond that. He turned a young group of Rockies prospects into an NL Champion over the course of one season, and since then they have remained in the division conversation every season.

The Pirates are no where close to contending in the NL Central, but over time the Pirates could see an improvement in the league standings and may be able to put up some respectable totals. The Pirates have not put up a winning season since 1992, and haven't come close to doing so since 1997.

However, with Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, and Neil Walker, the team has a solid offensive core that should only improve under Hurdle, whose primary focus is hitting.