Colorado Rockies: Part two of our tribute to Clint Hurdle

DENVER - APRIL 04: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Colorado Rockies protests a call with home plate umpire Rob Drake #82 in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day at Coors Field on April 4, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER - APRIL 04: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Colorado Rockies protests a call with home plate umpire Rob Drake #82 in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day at Coors Field on April 4, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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DENVER – MAY 14: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Colorado Rockies looks on from the dugout against the Houston Astros during MLB action at Coors Field on May 14, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Astros defeated the Rockies 5-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER – MAY 14: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Colorado Rockies looks on from the dugout against the Houston Astros during MLB action at Coors Field on May 14, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Astros defeated the Rockies 5-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

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With being the reigning National League champions, Hurdle was obviously invited to come back to manage in 2008 but they did not have the “Rocktober” magic that they had in 2007.

They stumbled to a 74-88 record and after a 18-28 start in 2009, Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd pulled the trigger and fired Hurdle after spending parts of eight seasons as Rockies manager. He was replaced by bench coach and former Dodgers and Pirates manager Jim Tracy.

"“It was been a tremendous ride. It has been life lesson after life lesson,” Hurdle said at the time of his firing. “And I will tell you this, the last seven weeks I have said the serenity prayer more times than I did in the last seven years.”"

Like he did when Buddy Bell was fired in favor of Hurdle seven years prior, Rockies cornerstone first baseman Todd Helton said that it was because the lack of performance from the players that caused Hurdle to get the axe.

"“Obviously, he takes the sword for us,” first baseman Todd Helton said on the day of the firing. “He didn’t have any bad at-bats, he didn’t throw any bad pitches. He’s the same manager he was two years ago. So, we realize that ultimately we’re the reason he got fired.”"

Hurdle was offered a position to stay in the organization but he decided to become an analyst for MLB Network, which was in its first year as a network. He became the hitting coach for the eventual American League Champion Texas Rangers in 2010 and he became the Pirates manager in 2011.

The 2009 Rockies ended up making the playoffs as they went 74-42 for Tracy once he took over. Even with that success, Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd later said in 2016 that the day that he fired Hurdle was the most difficult day in his career and it was the biggest regret that he had in his career.

"“If I had to do it all over again, I probably should have left with him,” said O’Dowd."

Final Thoughts

While Hurdle hasn’t completely closed the door on returning to baseball, it seems like he does not want to return to the field as a coach or manager.

Next. Who will the Rockies protect from the Rule V draft?. dark

He still has 17-year-old Maddie, 15-year-old son Christian, and his wife, Karla, at home so after 45 years of being in baseball, it is at least time for a break for Hurdle and time for him “to give back to my family.”

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