McCann credits older brother’s hitting tip

PHOENIX – Before his two dramatic homers Tuesday – one to tie the Astros in the ninth inning, one to beat them in the 11th — Brian McCann went 25 games and more than 90 at-bats without hitting a ball over the fence.

The Elias Sports Bureau said the Braves catcher became just the second player in major league history to hit a pinch-hit, game-tying homer in the ninth and an extra-inning walkoff homer in the same game.

A day later, McCann credited older brother, Brad, for helping him reclaim his power stroke.

“Made a couple of adjustments in my swing to free myself up,” McCann said before Wednesday night’s late game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. “I talked to my brother for an hour. He called me [Monday]. He’s watched me play for my whole life. He told me what I needed to do.

“It was the day before I hit the two homers, so….”

Brad McCann, 28, is 14 months older than Brian and works as a hitting instructor at Windward Baseball Academy in Alpharetta. The place is run by their father, Howie McCann, long the hitting coach Brian turned to during slumps.

But this time the call to the star pupil came from Brad, a former Marlins minor leaguer who hit .295 with 28 homers and 106 RBIs in Class-A in 2005.

“He stays in the background,” McCann said of his brother. “But I’m so lucky to have a family that understands the game of baseball and understands my swing, people I can come to when I’m struggling. He was an All-American at Clemson two years in a row. Sixth-round draft pick. Minor league player of the year with the Marlins.

“Hhe’s a very, very smart hitting guy. He told me what I was doing wrong. I was getting my hits, but I wasn’t hitting for power. So this is a key adjustment, and I hope I can just keep going. I’ve been seeing the ball great all year, but I had been cutting myself off in my swing. So I got back to freeing myself up.”

McCann, a five-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, is batting a solid .293 with 23 RBIs and a .359 on-base percentage. But he only had two homers before Tuesday, and none since April 14.

He doubled his season total in two at-bats against Houston, on a day when he was supposed to be off. McCann hit a pinch-hit, two-out, tying homer in the ninth, then a game-ending two-run drive in the 11th for a 3-1 win.

Coincidentally, the only previous player to hit a tying pinch homer in the ninth and walkoff homer in the same game was also a Brave – Jeff Heath of the 1949 Boston Braves.

27 comments Add your comment

Bigwheel

May 18th, 2011
8:49 pm

Good story. Wonder why brad mccann is out of baseball?

Feeach

May 18th, 2011
8:49 pm

Wow. Great story !

Darryl Blackberry

May 18th, 2011
8:51 pm

Had no idea about his brother. Excellent stuff.

Runner-

May 18th, 2011
9:05 pm

Fire Parrish and hire McCann’s brother for doing Parrish’s job!!

bruce

May 18th, 2011
9:08 pm

So that makes it a double Mac

Bryan

May 18th, 2011
9:10 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3618086

Seems like a lot of speculation here … So take it with a grain of salt. This article implies temper is an issue with the older McCann.

McFann ;Ô; ;Ô;

May 18th, 2011
9:11 pm

Thanks for this article, Chief!! I love these kinds of stories about the McCann family.

McClutch

May 18th, 2011
9:15 pm

http://sportscrack.com/tees_mcclutch.html

It looks like the creators of the famous J-Hey Kid shirt have come out with a new one for B-Mac called McClutch. Excellent t-shirt!

Bill

May 18th, 2011
9:23 pm

agree with McFann..great story Chief…Keep up the good work McCann and Roll Braves…………

Blog comments are retarded

May 18th, 2011
9:25 pm

Bryan, did you read the article you posted? He basically debunked the “temper issue” story and his near the end he said, “I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed two guys I’ve liked more than Brad and Brian. Certainly not two who were related.” Even the Marlins (who rarely have anything nice to say about anyone) said, “We had no disciplinary problems with Brad. He played hard for us.” So, I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

phil

May 18th, 2011
10:05 pm

Atta boy, Parrish!

Braves Fan

May 19th, 2011
12:09 am

McCann can hit the ball sometimes, but he cannot catch a cold, much less a baseball. He is not very strong defensively.

Get em on..Get em over... Get em home

May 19th, 2011
7:45 am

Braves Fan Yea that is why you lay on your couch eating your pork rinds and drinking your PBR because you are such an expert at all things baseball.

kristy

May 19th, 2011
8:18 am

well i for one am i huge b mac fan he is a wonderful catcher theres a reason why hes a all star and sluggar awards. great story i love the fact that he doesnt take credit he gives it to his bro what a wonderful honest player and we know we will c excellent stuff from bmac in the future.

Lemke's Knuckler

May 19th, 2011
9:23 am

This brings up an interesting dilemna parents are facing today. Why is Brian McCann such a good hitter and a very successful major leaguer? Because his Dad runs a baseball academy and he had access to the right facilities and training to get him where he is today. Not taking away from his natural abilities, but you can’t argue that the things he’s had access to over his life have been a huge advantage to get him where he is today. I have no problem with that, he seems like a great guy and his parents obviously raised him to be that way. They’re just a family that loves baseball.

But here’s the problem. I remember growing up, I didn’t play baseball until I was 7. Now, we start them at 4, and have them going to baseball clinics and we pay trainers to work on their swings at age 5. I coach my son’s t-ball team, and was talking to one of the other coaches and he mentioned he takes 4 or 5 of his t-ballers to the local baseball academy 3 times a week, in addition to the other practices and games these kids participate in. So here’s the dilemna, what do you do? I’m the type of parent that wants to wait for my kids to be old enough to decide what they want out of life and then provide them the support they need to succeed. But let’s say for argument my kid decides when he’s 8 that he wants to be a baseball player. He’s already 4 years behind the kids whose parents chose baseball for them and have been taking them to professional trainers for years.

I just want my kids to be able to play sports and have fun. If they’re good at something by the time they’re 7 or 8, then they can get hard core about it. But it’s all just out of control now. Too many parents choosing sports for their kids and trying to “create” phenoms instead of just letting them be kids. But the saddest part about all of this…it works. Kids who have access to this type of instruction at an earlier age will be ahead of the other kids, which means more access to top-notch instruction, which means more access to travel or AAU clubs, which means more access to scouts, etc. That is the dilemna, and now that my son is 6 and in sports, I honestly struggle with it more than I thought I would.

batblind

May 19th, 2011
9:36 am

Do yall reckon he can help Uggla? This guy needs all the help he can get. Call somebody fast.

Roja

May 19th, 2011
9:45 am

Wonder why brad mccann is out of baseball? Maybe it’s the old “trueism” that them that can — DO. Them that can’t — TEACH. Perhaps he is a great hitting instructor… not such a great hitter??

Sort of the opposite of TP???

Does Kimbrel have an older brother that is a pitching instructor?????????

BravesLover

May 19th, 2011
10:03 am

Lemmer’s K…you have exactly the right attitude in allowing your boy to “play” now without the intense extras. At that age boys (and girls) need to explore all sports and other activities. He will find his niche in time and there will be plenty of time to work on the advanced skills and nuianses of whatever game he wants to excel in. The past decade is filled with high school and college athletes that walk away because they’ve just had enough. I expect pro athletes to be immersed in their chose sport and just shake my head at parents who try the same thing with juveniles. These are also the parents who scream at their kids and umpires during the games. I pity the parents who vicariously live through their kids and I pity the kids who don’t have a chance to just play for the sake of play and love of the game.

Capt. Obvious

May 19th, 2011
10:21 am

Venters for Closer, please.

Coach13

May 19th, 2011
12:16 pm

Lemme’s knuckler- kids that young aren’t developed enough to have private lessons really make much of a difference. At that young of an age the parent is doing it for themselves not the kid. Kids at that age are chasing bees in the OF and need to playing to have fun. I’ve been a high school coach for 12 years and I can assure you my son will not be in lessons until he is at least in middle school. Parents wonder why their kids get burned out and/or injured?? Ask them how many games their 7 yr old’s travel team plays and how often he goes to lessons.

Coach13

May 19th, 2011
12:16 pm

The best part is when a kid who has been taking lessons for a few years gets cut and the parents jump up and down and say “Jonny has been taking lessongs for 5 years and his hitting instructor was shocked when we told him he didn’t make the team.” Two things that doesn’t occur to the parent.

1) Just because you take lessons doesn’t mean you are actually good.
2) Your instructor is running a business and you are a paying client. Do you think he is going to say “jonny stinks, take up soccer” and lose that $50 an hour???

Coach13

May 19th, 2011
12:17 pm

BravesLover- couldn’t agree more.

Matt

May 19th, 2011
12:18 pm

If Brad McCann was so good then why is he not playing anymore? Injury??

Bob the Blogger

May 19th, 2011
3:17 pm

I don’t think it’s necessary to go to a lot of clinics to make it to the majors. Look at all of the players from Latin America and South America who have come from poor families and made it. I’ll bet Martin Prado’s parents didn’t drive them all over Venezuela in a minivan going to camps and clinics, and pay thousands of dollars for private tutoring. But, I’d bet he’s played thousands of games and put in many more hours of practice, and had some good coaching along the way as well. Obviously, it helps to have access to those resources, but it’s not a necessity.

T. Bartirome

May 19th, 2011
3:22 pm

McCann is the man ! Great catcher, hitter and teammate. Glad he is a Brave. I wish his brother was a Bravo too. Great Great Family.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Texas2step

May 19th, 2011
3:28 pm

The Latinos and Venezels are in batting cages while our American born kids are playing nintendo and guitar hero and being pampered, Thats why they are great ball players and they don’t get into trouble near as much as Americans, and owners love them, they come to work and take care of their family, and they don’t bust slack or do crack, just sayin.

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