Pirates' Hurdle faces ex-team Rockies at home
Four years ago, Clint Hurdle managed the Colorado Rockies to the World Series. His home opener with the Pittsburgh Pirates will be against his old team.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy managed the Pirates in 2007. Heading into Thursday's game, Hurdle said it was a perfect setting.
''It's cool that we're playing them,'' Hurdle said. ''It drips with irony. It's perfect. Matter of fact it's a layup.''
Hurdle has the advantage of knowing the Rockies roster. He was fired by the Rockies in May 2009 and hired by the Pirates last November to replace John Russell.
''You can't write this stuff up by yourself,'' Hurdle said. ''Life takes care of things and sports takes care of things. Outside of that, I know the players better than the other teams we've played. I can help with our scouting evaluation.''
The lone drawback is there's no break. The Pirates are the only team in the major leagues opening with 10 straight games and no days off.
Pittsburgh finished a three-game series Wednesday in St. Louis with the Cardinals, who opened a day earlier but have two days off the first eight days.
''We're ecstatic about going home. I'm ecstatic about going to Pittsburgh,'' Hurdle said. ''I want to get in our home park. The boys, the men out there, the coaching staff, we want to get home and play ball in front of our people.''
The Pirates' Paul Maholm makes his second start and Esmil Rogers makes his season debut for the Rockies in the afternoon game.