Question 2: "Who is the best player in the Major Leagues today?"
"I got to know him a little bit through the years," McCutchen said, "but, sure, it was still cool to hear him say those things."
McCutchen's exact comment about Griffey in mid-November when he was named recipient of his own 2013 National League MVP Award:
"He's someone I wanted to emulate, someone I wanted to be like. He was definitely a big influence on myself when it came to playing the game and choosing baseball. I feel like I can be an influence in that."
Task accomplished, it would appear.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.