Clint Hurdle stopped chewing gum, but he wouldn't explain why
If anyone has stock in bubblegum commodities, now might be a good time to sell, because Clint Hurdle has stopped chewing gum.
Big Gum up in arms since Clint Hurdle swore off the stuff. "Somebody at the park told me their stock dividends in gum is taking a beating."— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) August 28, 2016
According to MLB.com's Andrew Gruman, Hurdle, whose intense gum habit inspired its own parody Twitter account -- that's how you know it's real, after all -- informed reporters before Sunday's game against the Brewers that he is no longer filling his cheeks with the sticky pink good stuff.
"I've been asked that quite frequently. I have [stopped chewing gum]," he said. "It has been over a couple of weeks."
Hurdle's chewing was serious: An investigation by Star Pittsburgh in 2012 found that Hurdle chewed "on average 20 pieces a game," good for 3,840 pieces each season, including the Pirates' 30 Spring Training games. Our own unofficial analysis concludes that the Pirates manager was single-handedly propping up the entire chewing gum economy in western Pennsylvania.
And yet when asked why he quit, Hurdle was rather coy:
"That's all I've got to say about that. It is a waste of time talking about my gum chewing."
A waste of time? On the contrary, Clint. When a man goes from 4,000 pieces of gum a year to zero, it's bound to spur speculation, not to mention an outpouring of emotion:
As it turns out, though, Hurdle reportedly stopped because he was chewing so much gum, it resulted in a physical injury:
As they said on ROOT, Clint Hurdle stopped chewing gum recently because it hurt a muscle in his neck. More on this important matter later.— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) August 28, 2016
So we can hold off on the full-blown investigation -- at least for now. But if Pittsburgh needs someone to pick up the slack, we know just the guy: