Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mccutchen: City Will Still Be Home

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mccutchen: City Will Still Be Home

Article excerpt

After 13 years in the Pirates organization, Andrew McCutchen knows when his career ends, he will look back on that period with appreciation. After the recent trade that sent him to the San Francisco Giants, though, he can't help but think about the chance he had to spend his entire career in black and yellow.

"Right now . I'm just thinking about the Derek Jeters, and the Cal Ripkens, the guys I grew up admiring the most in baseball - and how much I've always wanted to be like them," McCutchen wrote in an article for The Players' Tribune, an online forum started by Jeter that allows players to address the public without going through the media. "How much I always wanted to be my own version of them, for this franchise . for this city. It's almost like this word association thing: New York . Jeter. Baltimore . Ripken. ...

"And I always wanted to be that guy for Pittsburgh.

"So it just stings a little, now, to know that's not in the cards for me."

General manager Neal Huntington said last week that informal conversations with McCutchen and his representation made it clear that the Pirates, in their estimation, could not afford to both keep McCutchen and put a solid team on the field around him. Whether that is more because of McCutchen's desired salary - he reaches free agency after the 2018 season - or the Pirates' own internal decisions on payroll is impossible to say.

McCutchen described his final home game in Pittsburgh, Sept. 27 against the Baltimore Orioles. McCutchen shut out the noise to the point that he didn't quite consider that that game could be his last. The fans woke him up.

"They just erupted," McCutchen wrote.

"They just got out of their seats, and stood up, and started cheering for me like crazy. ... I mean, I've gotten cheered loudly before . but this was out of that world, and into another. ... And I swear, man, on that night . it's like they just knew."

McCutchen found out about the trade, he wrote, after he and his wife, Maria, put Steel, their baby boy, down for a nap. Huntington spoke with him twice, once to shoot down a report that the trade was done and again later to tell him that the trade was done. …

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