By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, April 9, 2012
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 http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/columnists/s_790471.html#ixzz1rYTVVSRZ