FORT MEADE, FLA –
Mr. McCutchen arrives at the Fort Meade City Hall looking dapper in a grey suit with his hair tied back. He approaches the podium without a smile. Clearly something is weighing heavily on his mind. He adjusts the microphone and points to the first reporter.
Dayn Perry: “So…uh…you’re not playing baseball, huh, what’s up with that?!”
Andrew McCutchen: “Yes, I felt that, in my current state I wouldn’t be helpful to the ballclub.”
Dayn Perry: “What do you mean, ‘in your current state,’ Andrew? Is that simply a reference to Pennsylvania?”
McCutchen stares at Perry for an extended period of time, seemingly trying to figure out if the halfwit is just messing with him. As Perry waits with his eyes wide for an answer, he realizes that no, he is not messing with him and he is, in fact, likely retarded.
Andrew McCutchen: “No Dayn…not Pennsylvania. I’m referring to my emotional state. Next question.”
Michael Lupica: “Hey Andrew, Mike Lupica from the New York Daily News. When you say ‘emotional state’ is that due to the piss-poor production you’ve given the Pirates thus far in 2011?”
Andrew McCutchen: “No, it’s not related to my underachievements thus far. There is a far greater issue…”
McCutchen trails off and looks off at the sky, clearly lost in his own thoughts.
Ken Rosenthal: “Mr. McCutchen, could you please elaborate?!”
Andrew McCutchen: “I…um…sure…”
McCutchen pauses and takes a few deep breaths and then a long drink of water before continuing.
Andrew McCutchen: “I recently learned some very depressing news. Something that shook me to the core. Something that will likely change the rest of my life…”
There is a rumbling in the audience as many of the reporters speculate about what could be causing so much distress on the young superstar. McCutchen takes another long drink of water and then readjusts the microphone.
Andrew McCutchen: “I learned late last week that…”
Dejan Kovacevic: “Come on, Andrew…you can tell us.”
McCutchen pauses gain and makes a solemn head nod. He’s clearly toughened up enough to spit the words out.
Andrew McCutchen: “I learned late last week that I had been traded to the…the…money grubbers.”
The reporters in attendance let out a universal groan. Everyone understands the plight that has impacted the light of the would-be superstar. Andrew McCutchen, just 24-years-old may be already be at a crossroads in his career. After two stellar years in the big leagues, he is now under the management of the famed tyrant, Mike Kunkel.
Kunkel is notorious for treating his players like cattle. He runs ‘em into the ground, gets what he wants from them and then ships them off for a better return. It is also widely known that many players in Kunkel’s employ over the years have fallen to lingering injuries that do not warrant a trip to the disabled list, but simply linger and impact performance negatively.
The reporters understand why McCutchen left the team. He is clearly distraught and knows that his career may be as good as over.
Dejan Kovacevic: “Andrew will…will you go back?”
Andrew McCutchen: “I suppose I will. I am still under contract and I love to play the game. I know the risks associated with playing for Mike Kunkel, but it’s a risk I’ll have to take.”
Ken Rosenthal: “How is Mr. Kunkel taking your temporary leave of absence?”
Andrew McCutchen: “I told him my dad was sick and I was coming to check on him. He’s too busy staring at himself in the mirror and flexing and mocking other members of the Salmon League to read the papers, so he won’t know about any of this. I’ll return to the team in a few days and there’s a good chance he won’t even know I was gone.”
Erin Andrews: “I’ve heard he eats live puppies for breakfast.”
Andrew McCutchen: “I’ve heard the same thing. The man is a monster, no doubt about that, but I’ll do my best and hopefully, he’ll shuttle me along down the line at some point and I can resume my career without fear that I’ll randomly get struck down with temporary blindness or social anxiety disorder or rickets or pink eye or barking crabs or twisted sister or any of the other random maladies that his club has been struck with in recent years.”
McCutchen hangs his head and saunters off stage to a round of applause from the reporters who appreciate the young man’s bravery in such dire times.