2012 Home Run Derby Contestants: Andrew McCutchen Must Capitalize on Limelight
Is McCutchen powerful enough to win the derby?
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place in the National League Central by one game over the Cincinnati Reds and even more importantly to Bucco fans, they’re 11 games over .500. But even if they snap their 19-year losing streak, for the vast majority of the league, they’ll still be just the Pirates until they make postseason noise. In the 2012 Home Run Derby, though, McCutchen is in position to inject the ballclub with more hype than they’ve had in decades.
NL captain Matt Kemp called on the Pirates outfielder to replace an injured Giancarlo Stanton in the MLB All-Star weekend classic competition. Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that McCutchen was contemplating declining the offer until his girlfriend talked him into it.
Pittsburgh fans, if McCutchen wins the derby, feel free to hit up your local Hallmark and send her a thank you card.
In a town nicknamed The City of Champions, the Pirates are
often always forgotten compared to perennial powerhouses in the Steelers and Penguins. While the city itself has rallied around the club, they’re starving for national attention. McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan becoming the first Pirates to get voted into back-to-back All-Star games since Jason Bay and Freddie Sanchez is a nice start, but it’s only a small step in the right direction.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reported that McCutchen himself admitted that the Pirates still aren’t exactly a hype machine despite their recent winning ways. He said:
You play for the Pirates and you're not going to get as much attention as somebody who plays for the Yankees or the Rangers. We're at the bottom of the totem pole. We're not on TV all the time. The only time you're going to see us on TV is if [Justin] Verlander almost tosses a no-hitter against us or one of our guys does something incredible.
Would a win put Pittsburgh back on the MLB map?
A victory in the Home Run Derby, though, would be a huge step in the right direction.
According to MLB.com, last year’s “Social Media Derby,” which allowed participants to use Twitter during the event, drew an audience that sent almost 5,000 tweets per second by the time the final round rolled around—the seventh-highest rate in Twitter history at the time of the feat.
Kemp, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Robinson Cano, Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder and Mark Trumbo are some of baseball’s biggest names. If McCutchen were to outhit them on such a grand stage, Pittsburgh’s relevance would skyrocket. The visibility they’d receive would be incomparable to anything they’ve received in while.
If he doesn’t succeed: no big deal. Pittsburgh is on the rise regardless. But hopefully for McCutchen’s sake, he fairs better than the only other Pirate to participate in the event since Barry Bonds in 1992—Jason Bay who recorded a goose egg in 2005.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?