Andrew McCutchen Has Pittsburgh a Little Too Excited
With the Steelers and Penguins reigning as champs of their respective sports, it's certainly a fun time to be a Pittsburgh sports fan. The trouble now, with the Penguins season over and Steelers camp still a month away, is that the only game in town is the Pirates. That's fine for a baseball geek like me, but many more casual Pirate fans are trying to make this rebuilding club, barely hanging around .500, into something they're not.
All those fans had their fires stoked a bit this week when Beaver County Times columnist Bob Hertzel decided to compare Andrew McCutchen, the Bucs' exciting rookie, to the golden standard of Pittsburgh Pirates, Roberto Clemente.
... It's ridiculous because, plain and simple, there will never be another Roberto Clemente. Some players have the ability to capture the imagination of fans that transcends mere baseball; Clemente was one of those players.
... It's every fan and writer's tendency to compare each exciting new player to players past, especially in a place like Pittsburgh where the Pirates' history is so rich and their present is so empty. But that doesn't mean that any young player should be saddled with a comparison to one of the all-time greats. McCutchen may well go on to have a great career (as a Pirate fan, I certainly hope he does), but it's more than enough pressure being the last great hope of a downtrodden franchise. Let's not heap any more onto his plate.