Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 9/5/12
ATLANTA -- There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought Brian McCann would be the next face of the Braves. In my mind, he was the only candidate to replace Chipper Jones as the heart and soul of the franchise. He would be the guy in the commercials and doing the video announcements at Turner Field and spending his entire career in the familiar uniform. Who would be a better choice? It seemed a perfect and logical succession from Jones to McCann. Hes a native Atlantan who was drafted and reared by his hometown team. He is laid back and a hard worker and is respected by his teammates, especially the pitchers, for his ability to call a game. McCann has provided plenty of pop and circumstance in his seven-plus years with a tomahawk on his chest, going to six All-Star games and winning five Silver Slugger awards while becoming one of the best hitting catchers of his generation. No one else had those credentials. No one else fit the part. Even Jones seemed ready to anoint McCann in spring training, after announcing that his career was done at the end of 2012. Hes going to solely be the face of this franchise, starting next year, Jones told the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph before the season. Hes a great kid. Hes a great ballplayer. Hes the kind of guy youd want to build a ballclub around. Now, Im not so sure. In fact, Im not even 100 percent positive that McCann will be a Brave next season, although the percentage still remains high that hell return in 2013. We need to face the facts: McCann isnt the hitter that he once was, and might never be again. Hell be 29 in February, but hes having his second straight subpar year, with career worst marks in average (.228), home runs (18) and RBIs (58). Hes battling a bum right shoulder and intimated he might need offseason surgery. Its required a cortisone shot and some time on the bench in the past couple of weeks, but McCann is scheduled to return to the lineup on Wednesday after sitting out the past two games. Offensively, hes done little to prove he belongs. McCann is hitting .208 with five home runs since the All-Star break. Power? What power? He hit half of his home runs in July and hasnt hit a ball over an outfield wall since the final day of that month. McCann hit .181 with two RBIs in August and went hitless in his only game this month. He hasnt even sniffed a double (or a triple, for that matter) in 35 days. I once thought the Braves would face the dilemma of having to resign McCann for mega bucks after St. Louis gave catcher Yadier Molina his huge deal, a five-year, 75 million extension earlier this season. McCann is making 11.5 million this year, a total that will rise to 12 million in 2013 if the club picks up its option. Instead of resigning him, the Braves might now need to shop McCann around the majors this winter, but what could they get for what appears to be a catcher on the decline with a hefty salary? An AL team or three say the Yankees or Rangers or Angels with a stack of cash stashed under the mattress and a need for a left-handed hitting catcherDH could have interest. The Braves most likely will try to fix his shoulder or oblique or his eyes or whatever else is bothering McCann and bring him back next year. He continues to be a strong clubhouse presence. Hes jovial with his teammates, keeping them loose with his jokes and presence in the lineup. McCann also seems perplexed by his poor numbers this season and was hesitant to say too much when he talked about it last week. His future with the Braves once seemed a lock. Now its an open door of possibilities. Hes gone from the next face of this franchise to the potential of wearing the uniform of another one as early as next year. We must face the reality. McCanns time in Atlanta might soon be done.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false


Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA Skills Challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker