Rum Bunter Rumblings – Andrew McCutchen Mania


As the Pittsburgh Pirates finished their first full week of spring training in Bradenton, we here at Rum Bunter are just as anxious as you all are for real games against real opponents.  This past week saw a lot of talk about the possibility of an extension for Andrew McCutchen, after reports surfaced of the team being willing to consider a much higher salary for the 2013 NL MVP.

Co-editor Jacob Misener started off our coverage in his initial reaction to the news:

"Flanked by the likes of Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, McCutchen is one-third of perhaps the most talented outfield in all of Major League Baseball – and as the team’s leader, he’s set for a major payday. The question of whether or not he will remain productive throughout his 30s is a major concern for ownership, but Bob Nutting says he’s up for the challenge."

FanSided MLB Editorial Director David Hill took the opposing stance, as evidenced by his comments:

"Teams like the Tigers and Yankees have the financial wherewithal to afford such contracts and still spend. The Pirates, unless something drastically changes, do not. Andrew McCutchen, for as great as he is currently, could completely hamstring the Pirates financially if they follow through with this extension."

Our most refreshing piece in recent memory is an ode to the joys of Pittsbugh Pirates baseball on the radio by Matt Bower.  This is a must read.  An excerpt:

"Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Homer Simpson has Moe’s Bar. Incarcerated Hannibal Lector has memories of Florence, specifically the “Duomo, seen from the Belvedere.” Here, on my deck – with a Pittsburgh Pirates game on the radio – I’m exactly where I should be."

Fresh staff writer Tyler Waite made his RumBunter debut by examining just how clutch McCutchen really is.  From his RumBunter premiere:

"In 2014, Cutch had a clutch stat of -0.30. That would qualify as below average among Major League hitters, ranking 86th out of qualified batters. In his NL MVP 2013 season, he had a clutch rating of -0.87, ranking 113th. Over the last three seasons, Cutch ranks 177th out of 223 players. Clearly the clutch statistic isn’t friendly to the face of the Pirates franchise."

After such a serious topic, some fun is needed.  Enter Rum Bunter Founder Tom Smith, who continues Rum Bunter’s annual coverage of the Pirates Photo Day.  Believe me, you’ll want to click this link, especially if you are a Jared Hughes fan.

Co-Editor Jason Rollison chimed in this week with his look at the Pittsburgh Pirates starters who MUST start 30 or more games for the team to be successful.  It’s a very surprising list, in more ways than one.

Last up for this week is a feel-good piece from David – Our favorite Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia.  We still want to see yours.  Show it off in the comments or on social media!

Next week on Rum Bunter we will have more great content for you as well as the second episode of our Rum Bunter Radio podcast, featuring an interview with Jesse Spector, national baseball writer for The Sporting News.

Thanks for joining us as we chart the way to Opening Day.