Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Andrew Mccutchen

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Andrew Mccutchen

Article excerpt

You're entering your eighth major league season. What do you wish you knew when you debuted in 2009?

Man, there's so much. My mind's going crazy right now. Probably just to stay consistent with a routine. I think that's the biggest thing. Pretty much everything that you do is just being really consistent with it. Don't do something for a little bit and kind of pause, not do it. Just stay consistent with it, and that will carry you throughout the season.

Who instilled that in you?

Me. Myself. Just learning over the past years, you learn every year something new. I think that was the biggest thing I learned over time, just being consistent with it, being stubborn in your routine and not taking any days off with that. The more you do that, the better success you can have.

What surprised you most when you reached the major leagues?

How quickly they adjusted to me as a hitter. I faced the Cardinals one series and had some pretty good success. The next series, they'd be pitching me a totally different way. It's kind of an eye-opener. Man, it's different. The game's so much faster as far as how they adjust to you. In the minors, they throw you whatever pitch and you hit it. It wasn't like they pitched you any different. They threw you fastballs and they threw you off-speed pitches. But up here, it's like a game plan with everyone. You really have to think. It's almost like you're playing checkers in the minors and you're playing chess when you get to the majors.

How did you learn how to adjust in response?

Just kind of studying the game a little more. We've got so much video and so much that's out there, it's just using it, really. Knowing, all right, well, this is what they did to me last time, this is what I can probably expect is going to happen this time. It's just learning, really. Opening up a book and reading it as opposed to just going off of raw ability and playing. Just using the brain a little bit.

What has it been like to have reached the status of a sports icon in Pittsburgh?

It's been cool. When I was a rookie, I was sitting with one of my boys in the middle of the mall eating in the food court. I was like, 'Hey, if things go right, I probably won't be able to do this much longer. …

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