#248: Don't Forget to Start
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has made that word the unofficial motto for the upcoming 2012 Major League Baseball season.
On the surface, of course, it makes sense. The Bucs were in first place at one point in July, playing pretty competitive baseball until melting down completely after the All Star Break. So, in order to make this season better, the team must focus on finishing.
Hurdle elucidated by saying, "Finish the play, finish the at-bat, finish the inning, finish your thought, finish the game. Finish!"
Again, as media talk is concerned, the message makes sense, seems to have its heart in the right place, and is something that players and fans alike can rally behind.
Practically speaking, though, the Pirates won't take anyone by surprise this year. The starting rotation was completely exhausted, and, to some extent, exposed by season's end. The offense similarly sputtered.
The game of baseball is about adjustments, from series to series, game to game, at-bat to at-bat, pitch to pitch. My overall opinion is tha the league will adapt to the Bucs faster than the reverse. The problem this Pirate squad will face this year is getting started.
Simply put, if the team can't start, it can't finish, and Hurdle's preseason message won't have a chance to get any traction.
On the latest episode:
- Tim Neverett joins in for a segment on the 2012 Pirates as Spring Training nears its end.
- Pitt basketball makes the most of an undesireable situation
- Power needs a jolt.
- Penguins and Flyers in the cards for round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Who will get the extra home game?