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McCutchen's All-Star snub draws rant from Hurdle

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By John Grupp
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
 

Clint Hurdle held his tongue for one day. Then the fireworks flew.

The Pirates manager ripped into anyone involved with the All-Star voting process after center fielder Andrew McCutchen was omitted from the National League's 33-man roster.

"I think everybody whiffed on this one," he told reporters during an animated pregame media session in his office at PNC Park. "Absolutely whiffed."

Hurdle singled out NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants, who had nine discretionary picks; the NL players, who voted for 16 spots, including three outfielders; and the MLB's commissioner's office, which left McCutchen off the five-man list for the "Final Vote."

After the Pirates' 5-3 victory, Hurdle once again was asked about the issue.

"The numbers don't lie," Hurdle said. "It's unfortunate. A manager (Bochy) had a chance to go get him. That didn't happen. ... I think Bruce whiffed on him. As for the final five, how he doesn't get in that mix, I have no clue."

The Final Vote candidates - the 34th and final NL all-star spot is based on internet voting -- are outfielders Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, Mike Morse of the Nationals and Shane Victorino of the Phillies; first baseman Todd Helton of the Rockies; and pitcher Ian Kennedy of the Diamondbacks.

Bochy used one of his "at-large" picks on Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, and the players voted in outfielders Jay Bruce of the Reds, Hunter Pence of the Astros and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals.

"The players, they whiffed," Hurdle said. "Everybody whiffed on this one for me. Being his manager, I'm going to ... remind everybody what a whiff-job they did with him not being on the All-Star team."

McCutchen is batting .294 with 12 home runs, 46 RBI and 15 stolen bases. He ranks in the top 10 in the NL in on-base percentage, walks, doubles, extra-bat hits and stolen bases, and is tied for the NL lead with eight outfield assists.

"Cutch has been the leader of our team all year," said closer Joel Hanrahan, the team's lone All-Star representative. "To me, he's one of the most exciting players in the game, and he deserves to be there."

Hurdle knows the All-Star manager can't make everyone happy. He was in charge of the NL's best in 2008 at Yankee Stadium. When snubs Pat Burrell, Jose Reyes, Ryan Howard, Johan Santana and even Xavier Nady were left off the NL roster, Hurdle heard about it.

"When I was done, I got calls and noise from a lot of different places about players that didn't make it," he said.

The 24-year-old McCutchen could still make his first All-Star Game if another player withdraws because of injury. He took the omission in stride when the rosters were released Sunday.

"I'm not going to get upset about it," he said.

Hurdle said the national perception of the Pirates probably hurt McCutchen's chances.

"The name on the front of the jersey has some challenges with it," he said.

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