Now Commenting On:

Hurdle proud of progress, stung by finish

Hurdle proud of progress, stung by finish

Hurdle proud of progress, stung by finish
PITTSBURGH -- You can't sugarcoat it. Not that Clint Hurdle ever tried. But when you remove the gray of the Pirates' progress, leaving only the black-and-white of their finish, Hurdle admitted "Yes, yes," this is the toughest-to-take finish of his decade as a Major League manager.

"I'm not happy with the finish at all," said Hurdle, whose midseason contenders broke the tape with a sub-.500 record. "I don't think you can just walk away from all that we were able to accomplish, but we continue to demand a lot of ourselves. Winning something of value, some tangible evidence -- a championship, a division. A playoff opportunity."

Hurdle alluded to the Pirates' image improving in Major League circles; "street cred," he called it.

"We're striving for excellence, not looking for external acceptance," Hurdle said. "But the conversations I've had with opposing players and managers ... in their perception, we're gaining traction."

The sum of the 2012 Pirates' positive parts definitely did not add up to a satisfactory whole.

"The pitching, overall, continued to evolve in a much better fashion,"said Hurdle, running down his top takeaways. "The increased power. In the bullpen, we had our men go post to post.

"Individually ... the emergence of [Andrew] McCutchen, [Neil] Walker was about to have his breakout season [until herniating a disc in late August], [Pedro] Alvarez became a factor. [Garrett] Jones had a strong bounce-back season."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español