Yesterday was Andrew McCutchen day down in Pirate City. McCutchen obliged the media with some quotable, newsworthy insights.
Adam Berry reported on McCutchen’s disdain for the single game wild card format. What’s to like? When you have one of the best records in baseball and get sent home after a one game playoff, it is difficult to like. Commissioner Rob Manfred was on hand when the 98 win Pittsburgh Pirates went down to the 97 win Chicago Cubs in a one game battle royale and said that he didn’t see serious tweaks coming. But he was open to the idea reseeding teams to change who played who as an “idea worth talking about.”
Berry also highlighted that the Pirates star was seen wearing Roberto Clemente themed t-shirt that had a bit of a statement on it. Check it out.
Matt Gajtka at DK Pittsburgh Sports went with the theme that McCutchen trusts the guys at the top. McCutchen had this to say about Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington and team President Frank Coonelly: “We’re not going to understand everything they do. I’m sure there’s some things we do on the field that they wonder why we did them.” Well said, McCutchen. It’s been a common rejoinder among fans and players. We need to trust the system that has produced such a fantastic turnaround. DK Pittsburgh Sports is providing some great spring training coverage day in and day out. Certainly, it will help get the juices flowing if your getting excited for baseball season.
Tim Williams was beating to a different drummer: it’s too early to start talking about a McCutchen contract extension. Not only is it too soon, it’s also fairly obvious that – despite McCutchen’s protestations that he wants to remain a Pirate for life – that it probably is impossible.
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Rob Biertempfel’s coverage at the Tribune-Review was pitching themed. One a quick story on Gerrit Cole throwing a 20 pitch bullpen session following reports of a rib inflammation and a more in-depth piece on Francisco Liriano’s goals for the season, include throwing at least 200 innings.
I love it when a plan comes together and blockbuster seasons from Cole and Liriano would go a long way to a fourth consecutive playoff appearance.