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Brian McCann on New York: “I absolutely love it here”

Jul 8, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

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Braves first base coach Terry Pendleton told the New York Post earlier this week that he feels like Brian McCann — who’s struggled in his first year with the Yankees — will “never be comfortable” in New York because “New York is not Brian.”

McCann was asked about those comments before the Yankees’ game Tuesday evening against the Indians. ESPNNewYork.com has his response:

“I read the article. I disagree,” McCann said. “I absolutely love it here. I’ve got off to a slow start, but I absolutely love it here. It’s his opinion. That’s all I can say, it’s his opinion on it. I really haven’t noticed a big difference [between playing in New York and Atlanta]. It’s still baseball. It’s still put a uniform on, go out and put your best foot forward. That’s what I’m doing. It just hasn’t gone quite like I wish it would, but at the same time, we’ve got a whole half of baseball left. We’re in a pennant race and those are the things that I’m focused on.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi also weighed in: “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Sometimes it takes people a little time to adjust [to New York]. … I think he’ll be fine. I don’t think it will be an issue. I think he loves it here. I think he enjoys playing here. And I think Brian expects a lot from himself.”

McCann entered play Tuesday with a weak .230/.289/.379 slash line in 305 plate appearances. The 30-year-old catcher signed a five-year, $85 million free agent contract with the Yankees over the winter.

  1. bronxbomber213 - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    He’s actually been hitting well his last 6-7 games so the timing of Pendletons comments are ironic. Granted it’s one week but it’s still better production! I actually think he’ll be ok but we’ll see I guess.

  2. yahmule - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    His peripheral numbers are pretty well in line with his normal production. All free agents – except the straight up sociopaths – feel some degree of added pressure after they sign a big contract. I think he’ll hit much more like himself in the second half.

  3. Eutaw's Finest - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Is Randy Johnson the standard for “not adjusting to New York?” If so then McCann is doing just fine.

  4. genericcommenter - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    I remember when they just stopped playing Posada, took his mitt from him, and stuck him at DH, because his numbers were so bad… He OPSd about 150 points higher than that at age 38.

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    He’s certainly not going to say out loud he regrets going to NY even if it is true. NY knows when you don’t belong there and they will deal with that accordingly if they have to.

    • ayaseyano18 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:51 AM

      “NY knows when you don’t belong there and they will deal with that accordingly if they have to.”

      Like they’d throw away that 85 million 5yr contract this early in the year, Still plenty of years ahead of him so this is highly unlikely.

  6. pete2112 - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    I’m not sure why everyone is so down on McCann. He’s not the only Yankees player to have a slow start this season and beyond that, he’s playing good defense, so it could be a lot worse, in my opinion. Yes he signed a large contract, but lets give him more than half of season before writing him off as a bust and saying he can’t handle New York, which I think is crazy. Players like Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Kenny Rogers, etc., didn’t care for the craziness of New York, but I just don’t get that feeling from McCann.

  7. shyts7 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    As a Braves fan I can say I’m glad the Yankees were willing to overpay for a declining catcher that won’t be a catcher in a couple years. Gattis, up until his injury, has been outplaying McCann in every way. McCann chose big money over winning. He should have seen that the Yankees are an old declining team who is going to fight for 3rd place at best for the next few years and won’t even really challenge for a playoff spot.

    • pete2112 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      That’s true that the Yankees are on the decline, but you can always count on them to be in the mix to pay for talent. Sure, sometimes these signings don’t work out, but they’re willing and able to spend more than a lot of other teams. I’m not saying that’s always a good thing but I would think that would be something that a lot of players would like to have their team do and it probably entices players to still come to New York despite not having a great team. Also, Nothing against Atlanta, but they haven’t won anything in a while so it’s not like a championship was a given if he had stayed. Let’s not get ahead of yourself there.
      As for McCann not being able to catch much longer, that may be the case, but I don’t see it as a problem to just slide him over to first base when Tex is gone or even DH for that matter.

      • shyts7 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Even if he gave a huge hometown discount to Atlanta, I still would have rather had Gattis. Gattis improved at every level and was ready to be the everyday guy. I lost a little respect when he said he wanted to win and chose NY and the huge contract. Atlanta may have not won anything in a while, but, we are not talking about the past. The next 5 years, Atlanta is more set to compete than the Yankees are. I’m sure he had other people offer him a contract other than NY, Atlanta, and Texas. Shoot, even Texas has better talent than the Yankees for the next 5 years. The Yankees are an old team that doesn’t have much young talent. They do have money which will help but most of the players they pay the big contract to, will only give them a few good years and then be in decline. Seems to me that the Yankees would start rebuilding their system with good young talent and save money.

    • TheMorningStar - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I feel the same, although i don’t think Cherington was ever serious about signing McCann; just wanted to drive the price up a bit ( like that really matters to Cashman).

  8. basedrum777 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    There are a ton of players who can’t handle playing in NYC. I hope he isn’t one of them. He’s a really good backstop and has been catching very well this year so far. Hopefully his bat wakes up a bit like this week. We shall see.

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