April Newsletter
April / 3 / 2017

MLB Opening Day!
Baseball is BACK. 
Happy Opening Day everyone! With the beginning of every season, thoughts of sunshine, warm temperatures, vacations and no school overtake our minds. But for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it's the start of a long, grueling season that will hopefully end with a ring in 'Buctober. Just like any organization, change is inevitable to improve the success of the business, but what happens when that change results in your "employee", one of the star players in the MLB and a fan favorite, being demoted to a new position after a less-than-stellar season? 
Hurdle Moves 'Cutch to Right Field

"After a detailed evaluation, various considerations and many conversations, we have discussed with each of our outfielders the defensive alignment that we will employ. That alignment will be Gregory in left field, Starling in center and Andrew in right. We believe this alignment will maximize our outfield production," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said in a statement.

"Our men were very professional and respectful of the team and each other throughout the process, and are selfless in helping us strengthen our team defensively."

The Story of the Switch: 
  • Gold Glove Winner in 2012
  • NL MVP in 2013
  • Worst Major League Season in 2016
  • CF to RF in Summer

The Mental Side of Underperformance
"The mental side of that was big...I was thinking about all the negatives"

"Will McCutchen bounce back? How could one of the most dynamic, reliable and best players in baseball, in his age-29 season, suddenly look so woeful last year? What kind of a future does he have in Pittsburgh, after the Pirates shopped him on the trade market all winter, unceremoniously demoted him from centerfield to rightfield for this season and will take calls on him every day until the July 31 trade deadline to end what once looked like one of the best franchise/player marriages in the game?"
Which Andrew McCutchen will the Pirates get in 2017?

Should we be worried about Cutch's attitude? 

McCutchen's terrific performance was the biggest reason the Pirates followed 20 years of losing with three consecutive playoff appearances. His mediocre performance for the first four months of 2016 was the biggest reason they had a 20-win drop-off and finished 25 games behind the first-place and world champion Chicago Cubs.

Which McCutchen will be there this season?

Read more

"In baseball's modern era, McCutchen's unexpectedly bad 2016 season ranks as one of the most shocking single-season mid-prime declines ever.

Dear Pittsburgh, 
 by Andrew McCutchen 

"I honestly didn't know where I was going to play baseball in 2017."
Dave Baker's Take on the Issue:

"It's the same with each of us.  In this world you are either constantly performing at an acceptable, preferably higher than acceptable level, or you're at risk 'to have your office moved'.  Growth is rewarded, slowing performance is tolerable, while stagnation causes immediate attention, and declining anything, unless it's expenses, always sounds alarms.  These are alarms, not bells and whistles - those are sounded for breaking records and top performance.  How do you ensure that you don't get 'Cutched' by your company."