Can Andrew McCutchen help the San Francisco Giants contend in tough NL West?

This story appears in the Spring 2018 issue of Sports Spectrum Magazine. Support our ministry and subscribe here.

Baseball leaders & Jesus followers

No team has won more World Series titles over the past decade than the San Francisco Giants. They went on an even-year run that brought championships in 2010, ‘12 and ‘14. Then again, no team was worse than San Francisco in 2017, as the Giants and Detroit Tigers tied for a league-low 64 wins.

But hopes are high again in the Bay Area after some big offseason moves. The Giants aim to jump right back into the NL West race, even if it is one of the toughest in the majors, considering Los Angeles, Arizona and Colorado all made the postseason in 2017.

The Giants’ biggest acquisition was outfielder Andrew McCutchen from Pittsburgh, where the five-time All-Star was the face of the Pirates franchise. He hoped to be one of the rare players who stayed with the same organization his entire career, but after nine years and only eight postseason games, the 31-year-old is eager to join an organization with World Series experience.

“There are a lot of emotions that, of course, come along with this,” McCutchen said during an conference call with media after the trade. “I was there for nine seasons. You’re going to have those emotions. A lot has happened. To put it all in a nutshell, we have a lot to be excited about, and we have also a lot to be thankful for.”

Pittsburgh is where McCutchen met his wife, Maria, and the couple had their first child (a son named Steel, who McCutchen insists was not named after the Steel City). It’s also where, in May of 2013, Cutch really dedicated himself to the Lord.

“I was going through some things,” he said in an interview with The Increase, a community of Christian pro athletes that is part of the Sports Spectrum network. “It got to a point to where I got on my knees and told God, ‘I submit. I give it to You. I know baseball doesn’t rule me. And I want You to know that if I didn’t have baseball, I know that I would still have You. I love this game that You gave me, but I know just as quickly as You’ve given it to me, just as quickly You can take it away. But I know what You can’t take away, and that’s my love for You and Your love for me.’”

From that moment on, McCutchen went from going out on the field to just perform and play well, to playing and making a difference in His name. He ended the 2013 season by leading the Pirates to their first playoff berth since 1992, and McCutchen was named the 2013 National League MVP.

He remained an All-Star and MVP candidate in ‘14 and ‘15, while the Pirates again earned wild card berths. But the team couldn’t stay above .500 in ‘16 or ‘17, which led the organization into rebuilding mode, which led to trading McCutchen.

“I’m just very happy to be a part of [the Giants] organization, an organization who knows what winning is all about,” McCutchen said on the conference call. “I’ve seen it over the years, played against it for many years.”

McCutchen will make an emotional return to Pittsburgh the weekend of May 11-13.

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