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The Pittsburgh Pirates dominated the local sports news cycle yesterday with dual four-year extensions for Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle.
As you can imagine coming off of a very disappointing 2017 season, reaction was decidedly mixed.
Supporters of the extensions will often point to the continuity inherit in extending the current regime.
But at what point is continuity being put in place just for the sake of continuity? Within a couple of weeks, Huntington will have celebrated the tenth anniversary of his hire.
Some may ask: how much more continuity is needed?
The issue is compounded by the local Pittsburgh sports scene. The Pittsburgh Steelers are well known for their organizational continuity with just three head coaches over the past 48 years. That kind of continuity is beyond rare in sports.
The Pittsburgh Penguins rightfully deserve praise for taking a sound approach to their front office and coaching staff. When it was clear that the Ray Shero/Dan Bylsma regime was no longer working, they cleaned house. They then made a coaching change again when it became clear that Mike Johnston wasn’t getting the most out of his players.
In the Penguins’ case, they could have easily stayed with what won them a championship in 2009. However, they were able to see past their ..past success and understand that a deep organizational change was needed.
The Pittsburgh Pirates might be at that same point. They might not be. With a talented core and young players ready to take this team into the future, the 2016-2017 seasons may end up being a mere blip on an otherwise competitive radar.
But one would hope that the organization is not prioritizing continuity just for continuity’s sake.
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