Feb 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) battles for the puck with Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew McCutchen Isn't Sidney Crosby. He's John Tavares

Feb 21, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) poses for a photo at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew McCutchen is the best player in the National League. Not a bold statement. When you win the MVP Award in the league you are playing in you are given that accolade usually. Is Cutch the best player in the game? I still give that nod to Mike Trout. Even being the 2nd best player in the business is a terrific honor yet I think McCutchen is lacking in one area that other stars of the past (Barry Bonds) never lacked. He doesn’t put fanny’s in the seats. He doesn’t move the needle.

Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout are draws. Same goes for Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard – two players who are way past their primes. AM22, as great of an all-around athlete as he is, doesn’t make people come to PNC Park to see him. It took the team winning and not collapsing in August for the fans to finally show up last season. The local ratings for Pirates games in Pittsburgh are better than they used to be, but still are behind the hockey team. Name another market in America where that’s the case? Even in hockeytown, USA the Tigers still get higher ratings than the Red Wings. The reason for this is because the Penguins have the most marketable player in the NHL in Sidney Crosby and he equals ratings. Eight years ago when Crosby was still in Junior and the star player on the Pens was Ryan Malone, you couldn’t get 10,000 people to attend a Penguins game if the tickets were free. So Pittsburgh isn’t this great hockey town people say it is, they just have the “it” performer in the sport. They have hockey’s Mike Trout.

The 2nd best player in the NHL is New York Islanders Center John Tavares (no, not Frank Taveras’s son). Alex Ovechkin doesn’t make anyone else around him better and Geno Malkin is lucky he plays where he plays. Put him on the Florida Panthers and he’s a scrub. Tavares is on a team full of scrubs and he took them to the playoffs last season. But Johnny T doesn’t draw. Nobody watches Islanders games even in the New York market and you can have archery practice at the Nassau Coliseum. Does this sound familiar? World class player, young, great teammate and better person – zero drawing power whatsoever. Yes, Andrew McCutchen and John Tavares are the same dude.

I love Cutch – don’t get me wrong. I just don’t believe when the time comes he should get that huge 200+ million dollar contract from the Pirates. Some team will give it to him if he hits free agency. Some team gave Robinson Cano 200+ Mill and he stinks. But for the Buccos, who are bargain hunters and thrift shop shoppers, they shouldn’t be the team to overpay for Andrew.

This isn’t Barry Bonds we’re talking about!

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Tags: Andrew McCutchen John Tavares Pittsburgh Pirates Sidney Crosby

  • Sidney

    This is an absolutely ridiculous article by a clear wannabe sports writer. To say Cano and Malkin “stinks” or are “scrubs” is asinine. They are probably both considered top 10 players in their respective sports. You clearly let bias influence your writing and sound like you know nothing about what you’re talking about.

    • Daniel A. Neiwert

      Cano does stink. He’s highly overrated. He played in a little league ballpark and his numbers are inflated like Grandersons. Plus, he’s always struck me as the type of guy who will stop trying once he got his money.

      And how is he going to do out of a pennant race by May? How’s he going to do with Logan Morrison protecting him and not Mark Texiera? There are 25 Major Leaguers I’d take over Cano. Including Gerrit Cole, Cutch, and Starling Marte from the Buccos.

      As for Malkin, he plays on a team with Crosby and everything that goes along with it (the numerous powerplays, the ball-licking from the NHL office) and rarely ever plays against the opposition’s top defensive line. He’s a very good player but he’d get lost on a bad team like Florida or Calgary. Tavares plays with NOBODY. Okposo is just now coming into his own but the Isles have nobody else. Their goalie is 40 and wasnt very good when he was 30, the defense is weak and once Vanek is dealt the 3rd best forward for the Isles is Josh Bailey. Hate to say it but Josh Bailey is terrible. He wouldnt even make the Anaheim Ducks or Chicago Blackhawks roster. Tavares is a special player who doesnt draw fannys in the seats.

      He’s Andrew McCutchen.

    • Sidney

      Your argument about Malkin is way off base. He has won an MVP and a Conn Smythe. He has played just as well when Crosby has been injured and was the driving force behind the Penguins Stanley Cup win. His 36 points were the most in the playoffs since Gretzky. PLEASE stop talking about hockey because clearly you don’t know shit if you think he wouldn’t be coveted by any team in the league and be the number 1 center on almost every team.

    • Daniel A. Neiwert

      brad richards won the Conn Smythe trophy too. And without playing with St. Louis and Vinny L he hasnt been very good. He was ok in Dallas and bad in New York. Malkin is a valauable player, but he isnt top 10 in the league.

      I have Malkin listed at my 14th best NHL player.

      1. Crosby
      2. Tavares

      3. Getzlaf
      4. Ovechkin
      5. R. Suter
      6. Pietrangelo
      7. Cory Perry
      8. N. McKinnon
      9. H. Lundquvist
      10. D. Keith
      11. J. Towes
      12. P. Kane
      13. E. Karlsson
      14. Malkin

  • JBubs

    Daniel, your argument seems to be: McCutchen may be the 2nd-best player in the baseball. McCutchen doesn’t draw fan support in Pittsburgh like other impact players on other sports teams. Therefore any team other than the Pirates will give him a huge contract.
    Maybe I’m thick, but I am not sure if you are being sincere or if you are writing satire. In any case I am not sure if you are indicting McCutchen, the Pittsburgh fans, the Pirate brass, or all three.

    • Daniel A. Neiwert

      A team like Boston doesnt need to draw fans. They print money. Spending 250 Million on Cutch in 4 years would makes sense because winning is everything for them. Winning is secondary to the Pirates. Putting money in Nutting’s pocket is first and foremost. So why give Cutch 200 Mill when his current contract runs out? He’ll be 31 and never drew a dime. Nutting will never give him 200 mill . Now, if he were as marketable as Sidney Crosby is, and he meant sellouts and high ratings, he might change his mind. Nutting has proven this offseason that he just doesnt care about rings. He cares about his ski resorts and turning a profit.

    • Daniel A. Neiwert

      ski resorts,

    • JBubs

      Well, that certainly clarifies your opinion on these things…