Pirates manager Clint Hurdle: ‘We need to win more games … sell more tickets’
Clint Hurdle was deep in conversation about what a waste of time it is to try to change a person’s perception when the Pirates manager was asked about his own perception of where the Pirates are and what they need to do next season.
His answer: Win more games. Sell more tickets.
That’s painfully obvious, given that the Pirates (69-92) have both the second-worst record and second-worst attendance in the National League. They locked up last place in the NL Central long before the season finale against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday at PNC Park.
And Hurdle knows that it could cost him his job.
Hurdle cited a quote he attributed to Weeb Ewbank, who won back-to-back NFL championships as head coach of the Baltimore Colts and Super Bowl III with the New York Jets.
“They asked him what his job is as head coach. He said, ‘It’s to sell tickets.’ Think about it,” Hurdle said. “You want to peel back all the layers? You want to get raw with it? That’s where we are: We need to sell more tickets.”
With a total home attendance of 1,467,822 and only three sellouts entering the season finale, the Pirates improved slightly over last season (1,465,316). Their home attendance, however, was drastically lower than 2015, when they drew a record 2,498,596 in a 98-win season with a wild-card playoff berth.
The Pirates not only have the second-worst record in the National League – a game behind Colorado and San Diego – but the seventh-worst record in baseball. In nine seasons with the Pirates, Hurdle has a 735-720 record (.505) and three postseason appearances.
And he takes his share of blame for this season.
“Some of it absolutely fits here, man,” Hurdle said. “I mean, my goodness, you’re the manager of the team. When you don’t play well, the responsibility falls upon the manager of the team.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .