ST. LOUIS -- Clint Hurdle's return to Texas, where as the Rangers' batting coach in 2010 he spent "a very good year, personally and professionally," will be nice. Getting to return with a contending club will make it even nicer.
"We are basically where they were in '10," said the manager of the Pirates, heading to Arlington for a Monday-Wednesday series with the Rangers. "That's when they got over the hump, and they've built on it ever since."
Those 2010 Rangers made the franchise's first World Series appearance -- losing to the Giants in five games -- and the club now is competing for its fourth consecutive postseason berth. The Rangers entered Sunday 1 1/2 games behind Oakland in the American League West.
"They're pretty much in the same situation as we are. I have a lot of respect for what they've done, but we also respect what we've done," said Hurdle, who still won't allow himself to show up back in Rangers Ballpark with any personal swagger. "I'm not going to walk in there like, 'Look at what we've done.' That's not the way I work. I'm a small part of what's going on.
"Now, going back with a good ballclub? Yes. When your hard work starts producing tangible results? Yes, that's meaningful.
"I'm absolutely looking forward to it," Hurdle added. "I made a lot of friends. The makeup of the club has changed quite a bit -- but there are still some stalwarts there … [David] Murphy, [Ian] Kinsler, [Elvis] Andrus. [Derek] Holland, [Matt] Harrison on the pitching side. And basically the entire coaching staff."
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.