Farewell, Cutch: Why Losing a Division Foe Makes Me Feel.. Weird

Lew

The news out of Pittsburgh is cold by now, but the Pirates have decided to continue their fire-sale and trade the face of the Franchise to the City by the Bay. And while this is by no means a Pirates blog, there is something to be said for the relationship fans of an MLB ballclub form with the superstars of their division rivals.

This isn’t the NBA where divisions are seemingly meaningless and rosters are thin. This isn’t the NFL, where you see your most hated rival twice every 365 days and the typical career is 36 months long. This is Major League Baseball. In a given season, we’re watching Cutch torment us 15-20 days a year. And we watched him do it with incredible durability during his nine year run in Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen has 637(!!!!!) career plate appearances against the Cubs. That’s more than Ian Happ, Albert Almora, Tommy LaStella (and damn near Willson Contreras) have put on tape FOR the Cubs. There’s a reason why the exit of the soft-spoken, high-socked McCutchen hit home for the Wrigley faithful.

During McCutchen’s run, the Buccos were putrid, excellent, and everywhere in between. Number 22 was the constant in the lineup and in the clubhouse. In a dugout full of hot heads (hello Sean Rodriguez, Josh Harrison), roid heads (too soon, Starling?), and loud mouths, (well I guess Gerrit Cole is gone now, too) Andrew McCutchen was always the most like-able guy on the diamond. He had a quiet stance and a loud bat. I think I speak for all of  the North Side when I wish McCutchen the best on the West Coast. The Steel Town subsidiary of the best (ok, maybe the most fun) division in baseball will be missing the captain of its ship next year.