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Clint Hurdle stopped chewing gum, but he wouldn't explain why

Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle blows a gum bubble as he stands in the dugout during the second baseball game of a doubleheader baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, April 25, 2012. The Pirates won 5-1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

If anyone has stock in bubblegum commodities, now might be a good time to sell, because Clint Hurdle has stopped chewing gum.

According to'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:

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: