Olney: So if you're on a flight from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and you went 0-for-4 and have a couple of strikeouts, what would you most likely be doing on that flight?
McCutchen: Listening to Christian rap, which I do anyway. But sometimes if I had a bad day, I'll get up and sit with people who are in a good mood, people who are happy, singing or laughing. If I just sit by myself for five hours, all I'll be doing is thinking about the game I had -- replaying those pitches and those at-bats over and over. So I might get around somebody who had a better game than I had and talk to them because I know they're going to put me in a good mood.
Olney: When are you mostly likely to draw?
McCutchen: If we have a night game, I have a few hours that day after breakfast and lunch and I'm usually sitting around the hotel with nothing to do. I'll pick up a pencil or something. It helps time go by, and I just relax a little bit before I got to go out. It's really cool when you finish something, and it's like, Man, I did that. [Laughs] That's the reason I like doing it.
Olney: You're famous for your impressions, and when I worked on that piece last year, Neil Walker told me that a guy will come up from the minor leagues and within a day or two you'll have him down: you'll watch him take batting practice and you'll pick up on his stance, his mannerisms. How do you do it? Do you watch people in a way where you're actually trying to pick it up, or do you think it's just something you naturally see and can apply?
McCutchen: I think it's just something I naturally see. The older you get, you start to really figure out where you get certain habits from; more than likely from your parents or someone in your family. Now that I look back, I see that I imitate people -- try to talk like somebody -- because of my mom. If she's ever about to tell a story about somebody, she always tells it exactly like that person talks, in that accent; she doesn't even think about it. One of my best friends' mom is from North Carolina. The other day my mom was telling a story about her, and she says, "Yes, I talked to Miss Kim, and she was like, 'Well, Trina'" -- and she just starts talking like her, in her accent. My fiancée was the first one to point out that I do it, and she told me I get that from my mom. I never noticed until she pointed it out.
Olney: How much does all this help you go through a long season? Is it sort of an escape?
McCutchen: Yes, it helps out a lot. You fail more than you succeed in the game of baseball, so I have a lot of time dealing with the negative. Us as humans, we tend to look for negative things, even in a good situation. So even if I had a really good game and I went 4-for-4 with two home runs and then I hit a line drive off the wall, I'm going to automatically go, "Dang, if I would have just hit that ball a little further, I would have got the other one out too!" But what about those other two home runs I hit? Or another example: I'll read 100 comments on Twitter and 99 people will be "awesome, yay, yay, yay," and one person is negative, and I get upset.