{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Hurdle has mind on NL Central title, not Wild Card

Hurdle has mind on NL Central title, not Wild Card

|
Hurdle has mind on NL Central title, not Wild Card

MILWAUKEE -- Major League Baseball's double-Wild-Card-playoff format is in only its second year. But Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has already seen enough.

Last October, in the single-game first round under the new arrangement, he saw the Rangers and Braves go down after 93- and 94-win seasons, respectively.

"Our vision is to win the division," said Hurdle, whose team entered Labor Day action sharing the National League Central lead with St. Louis. "I watched two teams crushed with a one-game Wild Card game. You put in 162 days of hard work, get to play one game, and if you don't play a good game that day, you go to the house.

"That's a hard pill to swallow. A division win gives you more opportunity to show what you've done throughout the season. We are committed to doing some big things, and we feel we are capable of doing them."

Given that commitment, Hurdle has been understandably tactful about answering the growing questions about the Bucs being on the verge of ending a streak of 20-consecutive losing seasons.

"Our goal isn't to just be better than last year [when the Pirates finished 79-83]. Some guys have been here a week," Hurdle said, "some guys have been here a couple of years. This is my third. We haven't been here 20 years. We honor the angst, but we don't want to carry that baggage around."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
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