Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Video: Andrew McCutchen’s wife throws him his own All-Star party at home


Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen was in the midst of a solid season in the first year of his three-year, $50 million contract. He was hitting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in his first 59 games. Sadly, he suffered a torn ACL, ending his season on June 3 in San Diego.

For as much coverage as baseball players get, we don’t often talk about how tough these kinds of injuries can be to deal with. McCutchen got a little bit into that when he shared a video on Instagram. His wife Maria threw him a surprise All-Star party, but not just any party. Take it away, Andrew:

For those who can’t watch the video, McCutchen says:

Normal day at the McCutchen household. Well, at least that’s what I thought. I come home with my family from going to the family function today. My wife tells me to proceed down to the basement. So I do that. And this is what I see.

Hobblin’ down the steps, one foot at a time. I look up. Hold — hold up. [There are big standing letters spelling CUTCH emblazoned with stars in front of a red carpet.]

It gets better. That’s a red carpet. Then we have some family and friends in this area standing there. And I’m like, “Tell me that we having an All-Star party? No.” Then we go over here to the left. [He shows National League All-Star shirts with McCutchen’s name and number on the back and an All-Star hat.]

Balloons on deck. [Some look like baseballs.] I don’t even know how they did that. Then there’s a whole lot of food and snacks and a big ol’ baseball balloon right there. Sometimes that’s how a baseball look when you hot.

Then, they throw this up. [A “You’re Our All-Star” banner above the basement bar.]

This is one of the coolest things. Bop! [A picture, surrounded by bright lights, of McCutchen holding his son at his introductory press conference after signing with the Phillies. Another picture shows McCutchen posing in a Phillies uniform.] The lights on, man. Got me with my son, chillin’ at the press conference over here. Bop! The lights on ’em. It’s lit! Travis Scott voice.

Man, this was on the cake topper. I was seein’ photos of that later. [The cake toppers include him holding his son, both in Phillies gear, a scoreboard showing the NL winning, and a Phillies hat.] Look at that man, I was on the top of a cake. That was me and my son. They had the score on there — we won. Then — look, we got the hat.

I know I’m biased, I know I am. But I honestly feel like I got the coolest wife in the entire world. That’s honestly how I feel. Because she went and took the time out of her life to do something like this for me. And it means a lot. It means so much because you work so hard, and to have an injury like this to where it gets wiped away, all your work. Everything you prepared for, the year is just wiped away. And for her to do this for me, it means the world to me, honestly. It went from a regular day at the McCutchen household to one of the coolest days. One of the coolest days, man. Look at the McCutchen, bro! [Camera pans to the big letters in the back.] It’s over there! It’s “CUTCH!”

My wife said since my All-Star chances got wiped away she thought that she should bring the All-Star Game to me. I got the best wife in the world.

That is a really cool, heartwarming moment for McCutchen. He and his wife are officially #relationshipgoals.

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3


HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”