PITTSBURGH -- "I met a man ...," Clint Hurdle began, and for a beat it sounded like the Pirates manager was about to launch into one of those amusing limericks of his.
But, no -- Hurdle was focusing on a Pittsburgh snapshot the morning the city had arisen to find its Pirates in a first-place tie on July 4.
"From talking to people, looking at some e-mails I've gotten ... people were pretty emotional [Tuesday] night," said Hurdle, reflecting on the fallout from the 8-7 comeback victory over Houston. "They shared with me that they hadn't felt that way in 20 years. That has meaning."
Like everybody else involved in the daily grind of the game, Hurdle is not a halfway kind of guy. You don't step outside of the circle to assess your position within the circle.
Still, he could appreciate the vibes.
"When you can add joy in somebody's life, through baseball or whatever other means, that's pretty significant," he said. "The depth of it, I don't think our guys can understand because they haven't embraced it the last 19 years. So I don't think we can understand the impact we can make. But giving them a competitive team, a team they can be proud of, yes, I do think they get that."