Home > 11 Year old Haley Smilow One on One with Pirates Andrew McCutchen

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11 Year old Haley Smilow One on One with Pirates Andrew McCutchen 
Following a career year in 2012, Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has his sights set on steering the Pirate ship to the playoffs and beyond.

Whether he wants to admit it or not, Andrew McCutchen is the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.  In 2012, the Pirate center fielder enjoyed a career year that vaulted him into the discussion of the best all-around players in the game today. He also helped lead the Pirates to the team’s highest win total (79) in 15 years.

Pittsburgh held the top spot in the National League Central as late as July 18, but the team finished short of the playoffs. Without a playoff appearance since 1992, baseball is being revived in the Steel City, but McCutchen refuses to talk ‘me.’ It’s all about the team. “I’ve always been the type of player that just tries to do what he can to help the ballclub win and get better,” McCutchen said. “It takes more than one person to turn a ballclub around. It takes a whole team, coaching staff, trainers, all of that.… It’s great being able to see this place filled and fans excited about what we’re doing. We just have to keep going.”

Our Junior Reporter Haley Smilow had the chance to site down and put Andrew on the hot seat.

HALEY: Do you have a favorite ballpark other then PNC and why?  And is there a ballpark where you feel you always play well in?  

ANDREW: Coors Field in Colorado it’s a fun park and I seem to always play well there.
HALEY:  Growing up in Florida you could play baseball year round, do you think it gave you an advantage as a young ball player?  

ANDREW: Opportunity to play all year.  I could always go out and play and not have to wait for nicer weather.

HALEY: Have you ever played any other position?  

ANDREW: I played shortstop and pitcher.

HALEY: Who is the biggest practical joker you have ever been on a team with? Have you ever been the victim of one of his practical jokes?  

ANDREW: There are not many on the Pirates, but I would have to say that AJ Burnet is the biggest practical joker on this team.  I have not been a victim as of yet, but in the minors I was.  Guys would put tape in between the spaces on the metal bench and then hold a lighter to the tape, which made the metal really hot and it made your butt really hot when you sat on it!!
HALEY: Do you have any superstitions or rituals?  

ANDREW: Not really.  If I have a good game, I tend to eat the same things, like if I ate a sub from Subway then I would eat the same sub the next day.

HALEY: How often do you change bats and what do you do with the old ones?  

ANDREW: They don’t last too long, usually about two weeks or they break.  The authenticators usually take the bats and that’s the last I see of them.
HALEY: Do you have any pets, and what is your favorite animal?  

ANDREW: No pets.  I had a black lab named Buddy, but he was too big for our family and we gave him to another family.  My favorite animal is a cheetah because they are fast.

HALEY: What is your favorite thing to cook?  

ANDREW: I don’t cook a lot, but I would have to say pasta.  I make baked spaghetti.  I put sausage and beef in the sauce, add the pasta, put cheese on top and then bake it.  That’s how you get baked spaghetti.
HALEY: Who was your favorite team growing up?  Who where some of the players that you looked up to as a kid?  

ANDREW: I was a Brave’s fan because the Marlins and Rays were not in existence until I was about 10.  Ken Griffey Jr. because he was a power hitter and he could run down balls.  

HALEY: Can you describe what do you before a game when you are on the road? (Eat, Sleep, Shop…) 

ANDREW: Lots of rest and sleep.  It’s when I get a chance to catch up.  If it’s a night game, we usually head to the field around 2:00 and if it’s a day game I wake up around 8:30 and head to the stadium around 10.

HALEY: I read that you love to collect unusual and funky socks.  Are you wearing any today? 

ANDREW: No today I am wearing normal socks.  Note:  Haley was wearing funky socks, which Andrew liked and also she brought him a pair of socks with bananas on them, which he said matched the road uniforms. 

HALEY: Do you have any other favorite sports besides Baseball?  

ANDREW: I like to watch football and basketball and I played both when I was younger.

HALEY: What types of community service or charity work are you involved in? 

ANDREW: This year I hosted my own baseball camp “Camp Cutch” and had about 300 local boys and girls come out and work on baseball fundamentals.  I am also involved in 4 or 5 programs run in conjunction with the Pirates organization and myself.  
HALEY: If you were not playing baseball, what else could you see yourself doing?  

ANDREW:That’s a tough question.  I would probably do something in music, since my mother is in music.  I would probably be a producer.

HALEY: I heard you do Yoga, what is your favorite pose.  

ANDREW: I don’t know the names of many poses, but one I think is downward facing dog.

HALEY: I understand swimming is part of your work out routine what do you do specifically?  

ANDREW: Anything that gets your heart rate up like high steps, running, jumping, etc.  Anything that gets your heart beating.

HALEY: Did you watch the Olympics?  What was your favorite Olympic event? What Olympic event would you compete.  

ANDREW: I watched a little of the Olympics, but it’s kind of hard since it was in the middle of the season.  I like track and field, diving, swimming, and gymnastics.  I would compete in track and field.  Those guys are real fast, so I would probably lose.

HALEY: 5 songs in your Ipod that are on repeat?  

ANDREW: I don’t have an Ipod, but I listen to Christian Rap – Lecrea and KB and Usher.
HALEY: Favorite Ballpark food?  

ANDREW: We don’t eat it, thank God!!  When I played for Altoona in the minors, I did eat the Altoona Burger.

HALEY: I heard you’re a good beat boxer who is your favorite?  

ANDREW: Maybe Dougie Fresh because he started it, but there is a lot of great young guys now.  I can’t remember his name but there is this kid in London I really like.

HALEY: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?  

ANDREW: Chocolate but I don’t eat a lot of ice cream.

HALEY: What is the meaning behind this hand sign?

ANDREW: Zoltan from “Dude Where’s My Car.” and it is flashed when a player gets an extra base hit or home run or does something to rally behind.  Neil Walker started it when we were in Atlanta and had the move on in the clubhouse.
HALEY: What advice would you give to young players?  

ANDREW: No days off, always have fun doing what you do, and keep working hard.

Intro by: Nathan Clickenbeard of Baseball Youth Magazine
A portion of this interview appears in Baseball Youth Magazine
Thank You to Andrew McCutchen, John Fuller, Jim Trdinich and the Pirates

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Twitter @Smilow
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