Now that Derek Jeter has retired, there is not only a physical hole at shortstop for the Yankees, but a symbolic one too. Since Jeter was named captain by George Steinbrenner in 2003, he has lead the Yankees like every captain should, with poise, dignity, and class. But now, Jeter is gone, and one can only speculate as to who may make take that illustrious step up, to role of the captain. The Yankees are full of veterans, all of whom you could make cases for. One guy who really stands out however, is catcher Brian McCann.
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McCann signed a 5-year deal with the Yankees last off-season. McCann struggled mightily during the first half of this season, but really turned it around during the second half, ensuring that he finished with respectable numbers on the year (23 HR, 75 RBI). During his nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves, McCann was known as a fiery competitor, never afraid to vent his feelings. The most notable example of this came during the 2013 season, when the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez hit a home run against the Braves. McCann felt that Gomez watched the homer too long, and then Gomez noticeably spit in the third baseman’s direction, as he was rounding the bag. McCann confronted Gomez at home plate, and the two nearly came to blows, before the dugouts emptied, and the umpires broke it up. That kind of “no crap” attitude, along with his good numbers as a Brave, was what enticed the Yankees to go after McCann.
With the departure of the Captain, Brian McCann becomes the obvious choice and voice as the new leader of the post-Core Four Yankees heading into 2015. Will that garner the second-year Yankees’ backstop the title of Captain before his contract is up? We will just have to wait and see…