‘I Couldn’t Be Happier Right Now’: Mets Catcher James McCann Looks Forward to First Season with Team
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — James McCann, the newest catcher for the New York Mets, has spent a month with the team so far and says he is looking forward to the regular season.
McCann, who signed a four-year contract with the team in December 2020, spoke with Ed Coleman on Tuesday for our Mets 2021 Season Preview Special, saying he’s had an amazing time with the team so far.
“It’s been a really good first month,” he said. “The organization, the people within the organization – I couldn’t be happier right now, it’s been a lot of fun.”
Prior to starting spring training, Coleman noted that McCann wanted to befriend Jacob deGrom and “be in his back pocket.” McCann says now that they’ve worked together, their relationship has grown.
“Jake’s a phenomenal guy,” McCann said. “He’s always joking around, he’s always having a good time. But, he gets his work in and he works hard.”
Despite the fact that it’s only his first year as a Met, the catcher thinks that he has a lot of experience that he can bring to the team.
He particularly notes that, as a veteran player – he has been playing professionally since 2011 – he hopes to inspire younger players to overcome their weaknesses and push on for a good season.
“I’m a big believe that things happen for a reason. And one of the things that’s happened in my career is I’ve had the ups and the downs. I’ve had good years and I’ve have bad years. And I really think that part of that journey and part of my job, as a guy that’d been around, is to share my experiences and share what I know. You know, be a veteran guy that can help those young players to realize that everyone’s going to go through a slump, everyone’s going to struggle at times. But what helps you come out of those bad times is what makes you a good player,” he tells Coleman.
He also has been learning a lot from his own idols, such as former Met Mike Piazza, who spoke highly of McCann in an interview on Monday.
“I definitely knew who Mike was. I definitely loved his game as a kid. I can remember being in the front yard, pretending to swing like Mike Piazza and now, here I am, talking baseball with him… trying to pick his brain and see what he thought about this and different things like that but, he’s been really, really good to me,” McCann said. “I fully expect to be in contact with him and bounce different things off of him throughout my time here.”
McCann says he is looking forward to the 2021 season and says he plans to trust his instincts, noting that he has been playing for several years and plans to stay true to himself.
“I think, for me personally, my approach never really changes. I’m going to be the same guy, no matter where I’m hitting in the line, no matter who I’m facing, whether there’s runners on base or runners in scoring position, or nobody on base – that’s part of my revelations as a hitter: Staying within myself and not trying to do too much,” McCann said.
Neil A. Carousso produces special coverage of New York Mets baseball for the WCBS Mets Radio Network.