BRADENTON, Fla. — I sat down with manager Clint Hurdle this morning at Pirate City to talk abouut what he saw this week in minicamp and what he expects to see this season from the ballclub. “I’m very pleased with the participation and the commitment level from everybody,” Hurdle said. “Those are things you’re always looking for, attitude and effort. … (Minicamp is about) just getting out on the field and let them run around. You make some mental notes, as they’re going through their programs, about things we might be able to give them as they (begin) their next level of preparation before they return (for spring training). We’re not trying to over-coach or get too creative right now.”
»»» As players took hacks in the indoor batting cages, Hurdle chatted with an observer and discovered she grew up in Australia and now lives in Washington, D.C. She asked Hurdle how he likes living in Florida. “Oh, I don’t live here,” Hurdle replied without hesitation. “My home is in Pittsburgh.” Again — it’s those kinds of little moments that show how Hurdle has bought into his job and seems ready for the long haul.
»»» Hurdle will fly back to Pittsburgh on Friday, then return to Bradenton in two weeks to begin final preparations for spring training. Many of the players indicated they also plan to be in camp several days before the official reporting dates for pitchers/catchers and position players.