Brian McCann responds to former hitting coach Terry Pendelton’s comments

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When Brian McCann read the New York Post article regarding Terry Pendleton‘s (McCann’s former hitting coach with the Braves) comments, he was shocked. The article stated McCann’s offensive struggles were probably due to the big contract hanging over his head and that McCann would “never be comfortable” playing in New York City.

McCann spoke to the media earlier this afternoon and said there was one thing that bothered him about Pendelton’s comments: McCann loves New York.

“The only part of the article is that I’m not a New York guy, that’s the only part that I didn’t like,” McCann said. “I absolutely love it here and it’s been great so far.”

McCann doesn’t feel his contract hanging over his head and he’s enjoying New York more than he’s letting on. He did say he’d like to do a better job of taking the ball the other way but his struggles are more mechanical than a mental thing.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” McCann said. “That’s his opinion, that I became a pull hitter. I’ve got off to a slow start. If I’m sitting here hitting .300, this isn’t a story. But I’m not, and at the same time, I feel like I’ve gotten some mechanical things ironed out. I’m back to attacking the baseball, and the last four or five games I’ve felt like myself. I felt like I could drive the ball to all fields. K-Long, we’ve been working real hard to get to where I’m at. I’ve made some major adjustments. I’m no longer toe-tapping and I was just doing four or five different things in my swing that were unnecessary. K-Long pointed them out to me, we sat down and got to work. … I got rid of the toe tap, I’ve gotten wider, I’ve gotten more into my base. Basically I’ve been doing four or five unnecessary movements to get to the baseball. I kind of ironed those out.”

McCann doesn’t believe his new contract/team/city is causing him to struggle, but he knows he has to play better.

“I think that’s the easy way out,” he said. “I think that’s the easy thing to say and that’s kind of a crutch. It’s not. It’s a matter of going out there, producing, and so far I haven’t done that. As of late I’ve been feeling a lot better at the plate and that’s all I can say, really.”

Some Notes

Carlos Beltran said he woke up this morning and felt his knee was significantly better. However, the Yankees are keeping him out of the lineup just as a precaution. He is available to pinch-hit.

— If you haven’t heard the news, Shane Greene is staying in the Yankees rotation prompting Joe Girardi to put Chase Whitley back into the bullpen. Whitley is already close to reaching his season high in innings and it’s not even the All-Star break yet. Girardi said this will give him a little breather.

Brandon McCarthy reported to the Yankees today and Bruce Billings was sent down as the corresponding move. McCarthy will wear No. 38 while with the team and he seemed really excited to be here.

 “It’s the Yankees,” McCarthy said. “It’s a team that’s in contention. It’s a team that’s known for winning. There really is no other answer other than, it’s the Yankees. To be a part of that and get to say that I played here and contributed to something, it’s pretty special.”

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