Pirates manager Clint Hurdle

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Bernstein: Shoot Clint Hurdle To The Moon

The Hurdle-led Pirates' headhunting has to end before someone is seriously hurt.

Dan Bernstein
July 31, 2019 - 1:11 pm

(670 The Score) I have the first assignment for the newly created United States Space Force: Shoot Clint Hurdle to the moon.

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It's one small task to ask that would be one giant leap for ending the bottomless pit of stupid the Pirates' skipper is all too proud to create, finally putting a stop to the ridiculous and potentially lethal continuation of his traveling cavalcade of macho insecurity.

You thought it might be just the Cubs? Nah. Hurdle's team has a 97-mph fastball aimed at the head of everyone on his list of transgressors, those who may have admired a home run for too long or too obviously or perhaps even hitting one at all. Then there's the ensuing escalation of retaliations for all the ancient and indefensible reasons. Truth is nobody gets to know why or how they earn an attack from one of Hurdle's pitchers until after he's given the nod. The culture is already in place, the orders understood.

Let reliever Keone Kela "explain."

"People could say it’s overdue," Kela said after buzzing the Reds' Derek Dietrich on Tuesday. "At the end of the day this is baseball, and I have to protect my teammates."

From what or whom we have no earthly idea, of course, but the nebulous concept of protection is what knuckle-draggers like Hurdle use to justify the arbitrary use of deadly force. These guys are so sensitive as to not want their feelings hurt by an opponent celebrating success or stealing a base when well in the lead, then feel justified in displaying what they believe to be toughness by reacting with brute petulance. It's nothing but weakness, of course -- and stupid weakness at that -- but such warped baseball mythology persists.

Now watch MLB snap into action by doing nothing about it. There will be the usual and perfunctory meting out of fines and suspensions to the perpetrators and those in the various ensuing scuffles, but no certain and swift move to end it, not until a player is maimed or killed. Commissioner Rob Manfred could have Hurdle sitting in front of him and faced with a career-threatening ultimatum, one that's followed by new system of far more serious punishments. The union needs to do what it's designed to do too -- literally act to protect its members from harm. Hell, even the NHL has done a better job of actively ushering fighting to the dustbin of history than baseball has curtailing its own superfluous sideshow.

Having Clint Hurdle in charge of a team means anybody facing them could be next in the line of fire for whatever reason he decides, a fact that does nothing to make his team more likely to win a baseball game.

Enough. Strap Hurdle to a big rocket. Count it down and fire it off to somewhere dark and cold.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.