After taking the Pittsburgh Pirates to the postseason for the first time since 1992, Clint Hurdle was awarded the National League Manager of the Year honor Tuesday. Hurdle deferred recognition for the award and instead credited the Pittsburgh organization and his “men” in the Pirates clubhouse.
One of those men happens to be a finalist for NL Most Valuable Player, given out Thursday evening. Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen finds himself in the race with St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Hurdle joined Jeff Joyce and Mel Antonen on MLB Network Radio‘s MLB Roundtrip and discussed why McCutchen is deserving of the honor.
He modeled the right behavior day in and day out. One thing that nobody talks about is the way he gets down 90 feet down to first base all the time. Other people notice it, but when you have your best player [working] the hardest everywhere he goes in what he does it just makes everybody’s job easier. He’s got an infectious smile. He is a part of that clubhouse. He’s that guy that has basically become the lightning bolt when things don’t go well, he’s ready to accept responsibility. A.J. [Burnett] is ready to accept responsibility, [Jason] Grilli is ready to accept responsibility, but this young man has become the face of our franchise. He wanted to be a Pirate, he made that commitment to get it right here and get it done here. He has taken the lead, taken the charge and I’ll go to the mat for the young man as the MVP of the year for the 2013 season. He can beat you five ways.
The 27-year-old centerfielder hit .317/.404/.508 over 583 at-bats in 2013. He was named to his third All-Star game and took home his second Silver Slugger. McCutchen finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2009 and third in MVP voting last season.
MLB Network Radio has the offseason awards covered all week long. Keep it tuned to Sirius channel 209 and XM channel 89.