Got a hold of Clint Hurdle this afternoon. Well, actually, I interruputed his tropical family getaway – but reporters can be annoying like that.
I was curious to get his thoughts on a few recent developments.
How does he feel about suddenly being the second-longest tenured manager in the 15-team National League? Terry Collins’ first season with the Mets was also 2011, but he’d been hired on Nov. 21, 2010 — six days after Hurdle. So, technically …
“It speaks more to the turnover rate,” Hurdle said.
Turned right over Don Mattingly yesterday — parting with the Dodgers, he became the year’s third dismissed manager who had seniority over Hurdle, following the Brewers’ Ron Roenicke and the Padres’ Bud Black.
“I’ve been here five years,” said Hurdle, doing the math, “and the entire organization has made tremendous progress in that time. I’ve just been along for the ride.”
Gabe Kapler, still the Dodgers’ director of player development, is the front-runner to succeed Mattingly. Ex-Angels assistant GM Scott Servais has already traded in his civvies for the uniform as Mariners’ manager and Tim Bogar, a special assistant in the Angels’ GM office, has done likewise to become Seattle’s bench coach.
Who knew Dan Jennings was a trailblazer?
“It does seem to be a trend,” said Hurdle, coming from the pay-your-dues set without any rancor. “They don’t have to go through what I went through. I had to go through what I went through. As I always say, tradition can be a vision-killer.”
Speaking of visions getting bumped off … a couple of weeks ago people were bowing to the Bucs, Cards, Cubs for the MLB-first of having the top three teams in the same division. Were we seeing things? We certainly aren’t seeing them anymore in the postseason.
“Maybe we used up a lot of energy, in a lot of different ways, pushing each other all season,” Hurdle said. “The idea of the postseason being a ‘second season’ could be true, but you also have to remember we knew one of us would be gone after the Wild Card Game. Then either the Cubs or the Cards had to go in the Division Series.
“As for the NLCS …. the Mets are playing unbelievable ball now. They’ve all dialed it up.”
I again apologized to Hurdle for dialing HIM up, and wished him a nice weekend in Paradise. Maybe I’ll text him in the morning to let him know how Game 6 of the ALCS turned out. I don’t think he’ll be tuning in.