Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has retired from baseball, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Acee says Hurdle interviewed with the Padres for the hitting coach job recently and instead decided to call it a career. Hurdle, 62, managed the Pirates for nine seasons before being let go last month. The team went 735-720 during his tenure, which included Pittsburgh's first winning season in two decades (94-68 in 2013) and three consecutive trips to the postseason (2013-15).
The Pirates have slid down the standings in recent years, however, and reports of clubhouse discord surfaced late in 2019. The blame falls on the manager to some degree whenever that happens. A change felt inevitable for much of this past season.
Prior to joining Pittsburgh, Hurdle spent eight years with the Rockies and led them to the 2007 National League pennant. He retires with a 1,269-1,345 (.485) record in 17 seasons. Hurdle was named the 2013 NL Manager of the Year for his work with the Pirates.
Hurdle was a significant prospect as a player back in the day. The Royals selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 1975 draft and, three years later, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the caption "This Year's Phenom."
Hurdle played 10 years in the big leagues as a utility man with the Royals, Reds, Cardinals, and Mets (two stints). He retired following the 1987 season as a career .258/.341/.403 hitter with 32 home runs in just under 1,600 plate appearances.
The Padres named Rangers front office staffer Jayce Tingler their new manager earlier this month. The Pirates have not yet named a new manager to replace Hurdle. They have to find a new general manager before they do anything else.