Andrew McCutchen blamed short grass at PNC Park for his defensive deficiencies last season. He blamed Clint Hurdle for making him play too shallow. McCutchen pointed fingers at everybody but himself.
The “short grass” excuse is laughable: At McCutchen, not with him.
The grass at PNC was the same length for everybody. It isn’t a putting green, and isn’t the rock-hard Tartan Turf of Three Rivers Stadium. But PNC’s grass will be longer this season. Bet that. That will be a bone thrown McCutchen’s way, along with hitting third (where metrics dictate he shouldn’t).
McCutchen complains about disrespect, and about frustration. He’s an expert at martyrdom, a $14 million victim.
Since his move to right field got announced, McCutchen has done nothing but gripe. But McCutchen is in decline. Starling Marte is in the ascendancy. Marte playing center field is better for the Pirates, and any corresponding narrative is just distraction.
That’s the truth. Here’s more truth: McCutchen is a whiny baby who is overrated, past his prime, and has accomplished little beyond his 2013 NL MVP. McCutchen has never won a division, or a playoff series. He’s played eight postseason games and doesn’t have a home run or RBI.
McCutchen ain’t Clemente. Or Bonds. Or Kiner. Or anything close.
But it will all be over soon. McCutchen won’t finish the season with the Pirates. Unless he has to, because nobody else wants him. If McCutchen doesn’t do considerably better this year than he did last, that’s very likely.
Perhaps the Pirates held onto McCutchen too long. How ironic.
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