Andrew McCutchen is a Steel City savior.
Last season, he helped end the Pittsburgh Pirates’ two-decade run of futility, guiding the team to the postseason for the first time since 1992, winning the National League MVP Award in the process. And, as both the face (and the hair) of the franchise, the man affectionately known as “Cutch” has become a fixture at Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.
And when the stars take the field tonight in Minnesota for the 85th installment of the Midsummer Classic, McCutchen will be leading off for the NL and playing center field, the first time he’s been named a starter. But before the game, he warmed up with with Rolling Stone, discussing his love of old-school uniforms, “Thug Thursdays” and his deepest, darkest secret.
This will be your fourth All-Star Game. Does this one mean more because fans voted you in as a starter?
Oh, of course. It always feels good to make an All-Star Game, but this feels really good. To be voted in by the fans is a first for me, and it just shows that people are noticing what I’m doing out there on the field; not just me, but my teammates as well. It’s definitely an honor. So we’re going out there and trying to win.
What’s it like to watch the Home Run Derby from the field?
It’s fun, but you gotta understand, as baseball players, we do it for a living. So we see that every single day in batting practice. Just people launching home runs. So after about the first round you’re like “Well, alright. I’m going into the clubhouse. I want some pizza.”
Also, there are throwback uniforms this year!
I like it. I think the New Era caps are great. They give you a throwback feel, and I’m into that. I wish we could wear more stuff like that. Right now, [the Pirates] only have three [uniforms]: a home, an away and then our Sunday jerseys. I like changing it up, you look forward to wearing something different.
You also wear Lil Wayne’s Trukfit clothing. So have you heard Tha Carter V?
I haven’t! But I’m sure it’s going to be good. I should hit him up, try to make that happen.
As the reigning MVP, do you get to decide what music gets played in the clubhouse?
No, we have different days. Like, Tuesday is techno, Wednesday is country, Thursday is “Thug Thursday;” all the rap and hip-hop. We get salsa in there, too. I love it, because all the Latin guys get up and they start dancing; they’ve been teaching me.
Are there any musicians that you think would make good athletes?
I don’t know him personally, but I saw a video of Waka Flocka playing basketball. Man, did you see that?!? That was impressive. If I was playing pickup, I’d want Waka on my team.
This is a Pittsburgh-specific question: How many Primanti Brothers sandwiches can you eat in one sitting?
I’m not too big on Primanti Brothers, to be honest. It’s a lot of sandwich. They did have something there that I had never had before, an egg-and-cheese sandwich with fries on it; it was really good. I ordered that for like a week straight. There’s a sub place called DiBella’s that I like going to when I’m feeling like I need to get my carbs up. Pamela’s is a big breakfast spot I like to go to; I get the French toast.
Another important one: Wawa or Sheetz?
I gotta go with Sheetz, because there’s more of them around Pittsburgh. Nothing against Wawa, but when I was in Double-A ball in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz was all they had, so that’s all I would eat. You could order a meal while pumping your gas? Why not?
On July 5, you tweeted the following: “Furries.” Why?
[Laughs] It’s pretty self explanatory. There was a huge convention they had going on around Pittsburgh, so they were on every corner, just walking around, Furrying it up.
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What’s your favorite TV show?
Devious Maids. Because my fiancée watches it; I’m sitting in there, like “Oh, I guess I’ll watch it,” and, you know what? It’s not bad. There’s not a plot – I mean, there is, but there isn’t. There’s maids who clean the houses, and they just eavesdrop on everything that’s going on in the families, and there’s mistresses, there’s people killing people, but the maids are always in the middle of it. If you watch it enough, you get addicted to it.
You feel embarrassed when people ask you what shows you watch, and you go “Oh, Devious Maids.” But, I’m telling you, just watch it.