‘Take me to your leader.” OK, where’s the mirror?

Clint Hurdle’s Leadership Council is catching on. This will be the third season the Pirates manager will remain attuned to clubhouse doings through bi-monthly meetings with representatives — chosen by the players themselves — of every team niche (starting pitchers, relievers, infielders, etc.)

The Leadership Council is going college. Thanks to the connection with Larry Broadway, the Bucs’ director of Minor League operations and a former Blue Devil, Duke baseball coach Chris Pollard has instituted his own Council, telling the Pittsburgh Trib, “We discussed how the Pirates are handling leadership. The concept allows us to take advantage of the diverse group of leaders we have on this team.”

It’s an excuse to give Hurdle a hat-tip, and to point out Pollard is no Bobby Knight.

In covering Tony La Russa’s ARF [Animal Rescue Foundation] Benefit in Vegas back in November, I had the privilege of being allowed a bit inside the head of the legendary Indiana basketball coach.

Knight was asked during a panel discussion including others sports legends (Joe Namath, Willis Reed, etc.) how he chose Hoosiers captains.

“My objective was ‘What could they do for me?’ Because they weren’t the team’s captain. They were my captain,” Knight responded. “I needed guys who could steer the other players to my way of thinking.”

Did Knight give the players freedom to make any decisions?

“Oh, sure. Like if we got into a town for a road game, I let them decide whether we practice at 2 o’clock or 5 o’clock the day before,” Knight said. “I let them decided things I didn’t give a damn about.”

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