LADY AT THE BAT: Girardi's Faith In Yankees' McCann Might Be Misplaced & Not Rewarded

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Girardi's Faith In Yankees' McCann Might Be Misplaced & Not Rewarded

In our previous post, Bernadette expressed her hope that Brian McCann will turn things around this season. Christina, however, is not so sure:

The New York Yankees are a bad team right now. After another frustrating loss to a division rival on Tuesday night, the Yankees fell to 41-41 and 2-8 in their last 10 games. Their expected win-loss record of 37-45 is a lot closer to where they should be and, if they keep up their atrocious play, the .450 winning percentage is exactly where they will wind up.

There’s nothing more that can be said about the Yankees lack of offense. There’s only so many times you can shake your head in frustration at Brian McCann’s dropping batting average and missing power, at Alfonso Soriano’s inevitable strike-outs and at Brian Roberts’s popups. It’s tiring to talk about and infuriating to watch, particularly with McCann.

During Tuesday's broadcast on the YES Network, Michael Kay said that Joe Girardi is not worried about McCann and that he is confident he’ll come out of his offensive doldrums to have a solid second half. It’s fair to wonder, after McCann pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning and struck out looking with the tying run on 1st base, whether Girardi actually believes this or whether he’s just being a good manager and expressing confidence in his struggling player.

He expressed this same kind of confidence in Hiroki Kuroda. After Kuroda gave up a hit in the 8th inning, Girardi jogged to the mound, had a quick conversation with Kuroda and then headed right back to the dugout.

With a pitcher who admittedly tired at the end of last season, who had a rocky start to the 2014 season, and in a game the Yankees desperately needed to win, Girardi would have been well within his rights to pull Kuroda. Instead, he left him in there. Even after it was 1st and 3rd with one out, Girardi left Kuroda out there. Part of it was surely how overworked the Yankees bullpen has been but the bigger message from Girardi to Kuroda was “I trust you” and Kuroda made his manager look like a genius as he worked out of the jam.

That’s a player rewarding his manager’s faith in him.

With McCann, Girardi’s faith just might be misplaced and certainly doesn’t look like it will be rewarded. The Yankees expensive backstop looks lost at the plate. His average is dipping down towards .200 and it’s hard to imagine any player who needs the All-Star Break more than he does.

In fact, it might not be a bad idea to give McCann an extended break. Sit him in that Sunday night game against the Baltimore Orioles as the Yankees close out the unofficial first half of the season. In fact, send him home early (he’s certainly not going to Minnesota) and tell him to relax, take deep breaths and come back ready for the 2nd half.

The Yankees need McCann to play well. Girardi has faith that he will. It’s time for McCann to back his manager up.

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