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Clint Hurdle’s message to Pirates: ‘Team-first mentality is real’ | TribLIVE.com
Pirates/MLB

Clint Hurdle’s message to Pirates: ‘Team-first mentality is real’

Kevin Gorman
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Kevin Gorman | Tribune-Review
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talks with reporters on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talks with reporters on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Pirates conducted their first full-squad workout of spring training on Monday at Pirate City, a day that manager Clint Hurdle calls his “favorite day of the spring, by far.”

Pirates chairman Bob Nutting was present for practice, and spent time chatting with outfielders Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco and catcher Francisco Cervelli, introducing himself to newcomer Lonnie Chisenhall and commiserating with broadcaster Steve Blass.

While Nutting did not address the team, Hurdle sent a message to Pirates players that their focus should be on making practice productive.

“We want to be the best team we can be,” Hurdle said. “If each individual player and pitcher takes it upon himself to tee this day up and improve somewhere along the line, it’s going to make us better collectively.

“We also touched on the fact that this team-first mentality is real for the outsiders, maybe the new guys coming in. We all have the same goal. There needs to be conversation. We need to have connection. There needs to be communication. We talked about as a team staying hungry, being hungry and the discipline it takes each day for us to show up and sharpen each other.”

Mostly, Hurdle said, it was time for him to stop talking and for the Pirates start playing. Their Grapefruit League opener is Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater.

Hurdle likened the first full-squad practice to the first day of school.

“It is for me,” Hurdle said. “As I told them as we finished up the day, ‘I’ve said enough.’ You have to put plans in place. You have to have narrative throughout the winter. You have to have discussions with players, with staff. We did a lot of that. I want to make sure, at the end of the day, when everything is said and done that more is done than said because more often than not, more gets said than done.

“Now we need to be intentional in the work. I don’t need to be talking anymore. I need to be watching. You need to be working. Ask questions with the coaching staff. It is my favorite day of the spring, by far.”

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Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
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