CLEVELAND (AP) — Contrary to what some people believe, Brian McCann loves New York.
McCann addressed a story in which Atlanta hitting coach Terry Pendleton said McCann, who played eight seasons for the Braves before signing with the Yankees in the offseason, would “never be comfortable” playing in New York.
McCann, who is batting .230 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs, doesn’t agree.
“I absolutely love it here and I know I got off to a slow start, but I absolutely love it here,” McCann said. “It’s his opinion, that’s all I can say. It’s his opinion on it. I respect him a lot, I had been with him a long time.”
McCann, a seven-time All-Star with the Braves, signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees in December.
Pendleton made his comments to the New York Post on Monday before the Braves opened a series against the Mets at Citi Field.
“New York is not Brian,” Pendleton told the Post. “That’s my opinion. I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about. He’ll never be comfortable with that.”
McCann read Pendleton’s comments.
“The only part of the article (that bothered him), was ‘I’m not a New York guy,’” he said. “That was the only thing I didn’t like. I absolutely love it here and it’s been great so far.”
McCann, who had three hits Monday, believes his numbers will pick up. He’s hitting .368 in five games this month. He had a career .277 average going into this season.
″(If) I’m sitting here hitting .300, this isn’t a story,” McCann said. “But I’m not, but at the same time I feel like I’ve gotten some mechanical things figured out. I’m back to attacking the baseball. The last four or five games I’ve felt like myself and I felt like I can drive the ball to all fields.”
Pendleton also said in the article that McCann would become accustomed to playing in New York and is better than he’s shown.
“We’ve talked about it in New York, sometimes it takes people a little time to adjust,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I think people are just looking at his average sometimes when they talk about his numbers. But I think from a production standpoint he’s been pretty decent. I think he loves it here, I think he enjoys playing here. I think Brian expects a lot from himself, so people expecting a lot from him isn’t going to bother him.”
McCann hasn’t noticed a big difference playing in New York.
“It’s still baseball,” he said. “You still put a uniform on, you go out and you put your best foot forward. And 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 I’m focused on.”