Over the off season the Rangers hired Clint Hurdle to become the Hitting Coach for the 2010 season. Hurdle was relieved of his duties as the Colorado Rockies manager in late May of last season and spent the rest of the season as a Studio Analyst for the MLB Network. The Rockies had gotten off to a rough start and within the organization they felt as if it were the right time to make a change.
Jim Tracy replaced Hurdle as the interim skipper and led the Rockies to their second playoff appearance in two years only to be beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies in the division series. Tracy ended up winning the National League Manager of the Year award for 2009 after only coaching the Rockies for four months. Tracy was eventually named the Manager of the Rockies.
Once the 2009 season was complete and Rudy Jaramillo had the time to contemplate the previous season, he felt that it was also time to make a change. It was announced that the longest tenured hitting coach and the longest tenured Ranger’s coach ever had decided to leave the organization after 15 seasons. He eventually joined Lou Pinella’s staff to become the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs. This opened up the door for Hurdle.
Hurdle was drafted by the Kansas City Royals as the 9th pick in the first round of the 1975 amatuer draft. He made his Major League debut on September 18, 1977 and appeared in parts of several season before making his last MLB appearance on June 26, 1987 for the New York Mets. In his big league career Hurdle sported a .259 average with 32 home runs and a 193 runs batted in. During his MLB career he played first base, third base, catcher and appeared as the designated hitter.
After a brief career as a minor league coach Hurdle joined the Rockies coaching staff as the hitting coach prior to the 1997 season and remained in that capacity until he was promoted to the manager during the 2002 season. He then was the manager until late May, last season. His biggest accomplishment as a manager was in 2007 when the Rockies won the 14 of the team’s last 15 games to force a one game playoff with the San Diego Padres. That game went into the 13 inning before Matt Holiday slid face first into home busting his chin open along the way. After replays it was never clear if Holliday ever actually touched home plate before being tagged and if he was actually safe on the play. The Rockies then swept their way to the World Series before being swept by the Boston Red Sox.
As the Rockies hitting coach, Hurdle helped the team improve every season. This is explains why he was promoted to be their manager. It is beneficial for the Rangers and Hurdle to be the hitting coach. For the Rangers they obtained a proven manager and hitting coach. As for Hurdle, he came back to his roots, the position on the staff he knows the most about, so he gave himself the best chance to excell and prove his worth if another manager position were to come open in 2010. Depending on the outcome of 2010 and the new ownership group of the Rangers, Hurdle maybe the next Rangers manager. It was a former big league manager in Jim Tracy that replaced Hurdle after his dismissal from the Rockies.