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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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Jason Rollison

Jason Rollison has been analyzing baseball and the Pirates in one way or another for 4+ years. Jason's previous stops include rumbunter.com, Pittsburgh Sporting News, Call To The Pen and several print publications. He also covers the State College Spikes for the Centre County Gazette (State College, PA) When it comes to analyzing baseball, he likes to take a middle-of-the-road approach, with one foot on the analytics side of the fence and the other on the old-school side. Having said that, he is a sucker for pitchf/x. Jason has appeared as a phone-in and in-studio guests in numerous outlets, including Trib Live Radio and 93.7 The Fan (CBS Sports Radio)
  • redrage97

    Might also come down to who is available. Are Clint and Neal the best at their job? probably not, but they might be the best available and already understand the problems here. Could they bring in a Mattingly? yeah sure.. but do you think don would thrive in this type of situation? I doubt it.

    I doubt anyone would disagree that both Clint and Neal have made mistakes.. between loosing Juan, questionable (at best) liriano deal, calling up people too early/late, signing Hudson… Leaving Locke in the game 5 pitches too long, leaving cutch in the 3 spot when he couldn’t hit a grapefruit… etc…

    But over the bigger pitcher they have done more good than bad for the team and city continuity? Maybe but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. Now if Neal’s first off season move is to trade Cole for a bag of beans to pay for his own salary.. well then….