BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates still have 42 players in camp. By 3 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon, they will have to get down to 25. That subtraction will add up to a busy five days for general manager Neal Huntington -- and numerous trying conversations for manager Clint Hurdle.
Most likely on Tuesday morning, a procession will begin into Hurdle's office, and players will take a seat opposite the manager's desk to hear that they have not made the team, and why not.
"It's the most challenging part of this position," said Hurdle, who often heard that speech during his playing days. "I've been the guy that sits in that chair and been cut, as late as the Opening Day of the season. Those [talks] are tough, but they are real. You've got to honor the person sitting in that chair.
"You treat them like men, you talk to them, you tell them the truth. The ones that stay in the organization, you continue to challenge them to be the next guy called up. 'We're gonna need what you have at some point in the season.' And you let them know you appreciate the effort and laying out, and that right now just wasn't the right time."
Above all else, Hurdle will encourage those men to not leave the office with any extra baggage.
"Don't become a self-fulfilling prophet," Hurdle said. "If you go with bitterness or are angry, you won't play well and won't be attractive to anybody."
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.