07.08.14

Pendleton : Brian McCann’s The New Ed Whitson

Posted in Baseball at 5:22 pm by

OK, that’s not really what former NL MVP Terry Pendleton had to say about former Braves C / baseball etiquette enforcer Brian McCann (above, right), off to a truly rotten start since signing a free agent contract worth $85 million over 5 years with the Yankees last winter.  But close enough!  “New York is not Brian,” current Atlanta first base coash Pendleton told the New York Post’s Dan Martin . “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.”

“If I had to choose where he went, nothing against the Yankees, they’re one of the best organizations around, but I think he’d be more comfortable in Texas,” Pendleton said. “But he wants to win and when he looks at that, you’ve got to go to the Yankees.”

“Going from Atlanta to New York is a different animal,” Pendleton said. “Brian McCann is going to put more heat on himself and for him, trying to do more is the worst thing for him. I’ve learned that.”

“That money is hanging over his head,” Pendleton said. “A lot of guys say, ‘I’ve got to live up to that,’ instead of ‘They signed you to play your game.’”

“He became a pull hitter over the last three years or so,” Pendleton said. “When he got to the big leagues, he hit the ball everywhere. That’s what made him so good.”

Long fly balls he would hit to left-center wouldn’t leave Turner Field, though, and Pendleton believes that impacted McCann and caused him to focus solely on pulling the ball. And that’s when the shift began.

“It does affect him because last year he was getting [ticked] off because base hits were going right to the second baseman,” Pendleton said. “I told him to hit the ball to left field and he’d do it a couple of times, but he had it in his head he wanted to pull.”

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