Mike Tomlin's Message to Pirates: ‘Be Where You Are’
The Steelers' head coach paid a visit to Pirates' spring training to impart some wisdom and share a few laughs.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 28, 2016
Given the Pirates' performance over the past three seasons, it's a safe bet manager Clint Hurdle is no slouch when it comes to delivering locker room pep talks. It's a trait he shares with his local counterpart in professional sports, Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin.
To begin the last full week of spring training, Tomlin shared some of his wisdom with players in the Pirates' locker room in Bradenton, Fla.
"Be where you are," Tomlin said while making his annual visit to McKechnie Field. "When you get toward the end of a training session, it's human nature to pack your bags mentally and physically and sit them in the hallway. I always make a conscious effort not to do so.”
Utility player Sean Rodriguez told KDKA's John Shumway that he appreciated Tomlin's message.
“Essentially, he was emphasizing on finishing, you know don’t pack your bags mentally. Try to get every last drop you can out of spring training,” Rodriguez said.
Tomlin and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert say their annual visit to the Pirates' spring training facility is as informational as it is recreational.
"I enjoy the opportunity to get behind the curtain, if you will," Tomlin said. "Those are the things that I really appreciate about coming down here and watching them grow, the team-oriented things, things that I can learn from and maybe take back to my group.
"It's really exciting for us. We're in the beginning phases of formulating thoughts and ideas about what our group's going to look like. To see a group in the midst of team development is exciting for us. We always appreciate them opening their doors to us and allowing us to witness it firsthand."
As far as his own baseball skills, Tomlin described them as “minimal.. but pretty good in my mind.”
When asked if he would ever want to stand in the batter's box and face a 95 mile-an-hour fastball, Tomlin replied: ”Everybody's got a little something dirty about their jobs, that's an element of baseball I respect.”
Tomlin acknowledged that he's part of something special in Pittsburgh.