Senin, 09 April 2012

Extra cash won’t change Cutch

Monday, April 9, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a walk-off RBI single in the 9th inning in front of Brian Schneider #23 of the Philadelphia Phillies during the game on April 8, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Andrew McCutchen is an extraordinarily wealthy young man, you might have heard. That six-year, $51.5 million extension he signed with the Pirates a couple of months ago launched him into a spending bracket most of us can't fathom, much less attain.

As McCutchen loosely acknowledged Sunday morning, "It's a heck of a lot of money. A lot more money than I'd ever be able to spend on my own."

Must be nice, huh?

But here's another way to think about all that cash: If McCutchen takes 500 at-bats a year over the life of the extension, he'd be paid $17,167 for every time he steps into the box.

That can exact a price of a different kind.

It can bring pressure.

It can have a player squeezing his bat to sawdust.

"Really? You think so?" McCutchen offered through a playful smile when I raised the topic. "You think that's me?"

Um, well, no.

And if it recklessly crossed my mind ever so briefly in seeing McCutchen go 1 for 7 and bounce into two double plays through two games of this opening series with the Phillies ... well, all was set right by Sunday afternoon: The Pirates' best player went 3 for 4 with a double, a walk and, oh yeah, a walkoff single slammed off the center-field fence in the ninth.

Pirates 5, Phillies 4.

The outcome was a thing of beauty, a second walkoff in as many days and two of three from a National League power armed with great arms.

But it was no prettier than the final at-bat alone, one that Pedro Alvarez adroitly said, "just shows the kind of player Cutch is."

Read more: Kovacevic: Extra cash won’t change Cutch - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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