DENVER, CO - AUGUST 09: Manager Clint Hurdle #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates exchanges line ups with manager Walt Weiss #22 of the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 9, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Pirates 10-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
KUSA - There is no major league certification process to become a manager, no aptitude test that provides a definitive answer whether a person can manage a baseball club. And you'll never truly know if you can until you get the opportunity.
Walt Weiss, surprisingly to some, got the rare chance and is quickly learning, not only if he can hang, but the basics of the trade.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle knows exactly how the first year coach feels, being in the exact same position just four years ago. He has confidence that despite rough times since the All-Star break, including tying a franchise record for their worst road trip in franchise history (1-9), Weiss will be more than alright as a manager.
"I really believe he's the right man for the job. I believe he is going to get challenged and stretched out of his comfort zone like never before," Hurdle, who was also the Rockies manager for an eight year span, said.
There is little a manager can do that is definitively right or wrong. Each move, lineup and pitching change that works in their favor doesn't mean it was the correct one. And likewise, an improper adjustment may actually work in your favor. You cannot go back and watch tape or take extra cuts in the batting cage, there are never two scenarios that are the same. Managing is an inexact science in a game overall ruled by exactness.
Despite his obvious lack of major league managing experience, Weiss' persona will satisfy the requisite of the role. Hurdle called the longtime Rockies shortstop a 'dig it out of the dirt kind of guy' which will easily translate to his club. He'll provide the leadership that is necessary but also allow the player to go out and just play without thinking too much.
"You're responsible for a lot more people, basically that's what it comes down to," Weiss said to the biggest difference he's felt as a manager. "As a player you are responsible for yourself."
As he continues to learn, gets more comfortable in this part of the game, Weiss will find his way and set his routines. It isn't a skill you can merely taught, it has to be acquired through trials of games on a day-to-day basis.
"There is no training school, there is no simulator that you can go to for managing at the major league level," Hurdle said. "I managed for six years in the minor leagues and that helped just a little bit. There are so many fresh things, and new things you have to figure out on the fly."
Weiss was inexperienced when took over as manager, and he's quickly finding his way. The first year manager won't be empirically challenged for long.
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