He did it again.
For the fourth year in a row, Andrew McCutchen has been named to the National League All-Star team, which is something he insists never gets old. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t find out like a lot of other players do (i.e. getting called into the manager’s office).
“They do it a little different here,” the Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “They put us all out in front of the clubhouse and (manager Clint Hurdle) makes a big announcement in front of all of us as a team. So we all celebrate together. It’s a lot of fun. It definitely is still a great feeling when you get that phone call, that announcement.”
Gottlieb is skeptical. This is the fourth straight year that McCutchen has gotten the nod, and he was the NL MVP last year. Wouldn’t he just rather have the week off?
“It’s a privilege,” he said. “It’s an honor just to be on the team. And this year is a first for me because I’m starting. I’m definitely looking forward to doing that and enjoying every moment of it.”
That includes guiding first-time All-Stars through the process, including teammate Josh Harrison. No, McCutchen won’t assist with tickets or travel or food. He’ll help with something far more important – to the players, anyway.
“The only thing that players worry about is what to wear,” he said. “How do we have to look? They don’t really think about anything else except what they need to pack in their suitcase. That was pretty much the main question.”
“I always say look nice and pick something out that you know you’re going to like,” he said. “And when you see it years down the road, (you’ll like it and won’t have) regrets about it.”
And no, McCutchen is not one of those players who packs a video camera and records the entire weekend.
“No, with the technology that we have nowadays, all you need is your phone,” he said. “A phone’s just as good, so I just go out there with that and create some memories with it. It works just as good.”
McCutchen, 27, is having another great year for Pittsburgh. He’s hitting .316 with 14 home runs, 56 RBIs and 13 steals. The Pirates, however, haven’t been as dominant as they were last year. In 2013, they were 55-36 through 91 games; this year, they’re 47-44 and 4.5 games out of first place in the NL Central.
Then again, maybe it isn’t fair to compare. Last year was about getting respect, while this year is about keeping it. Despite the eight-game difference in records, McCutchen feels his team has done just that.
“Well, it’s the same in the aspect of our goal is to play to win a championship,” he said. “What’s different is teams come at us differently because they know that they’re going to get a ball club that’s going to give them a hard game. If they take us lightly, we’re going to beat them. So I think that’s what’s a little different with us, and I think that’s what’s different with our fans and all around Pittsburgh. They expect us to win, they expect us to make the playoffs again and we expect to go out and win a championship (and do) whatever it takes. I think that’s what we got going for us.”