NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yankees radio voice John Sterling is coming to Brian McCann’s defense after the catcher’s former hitting coach in Atlanta suggested he’d “never be comfortable” in New York.

McCann has struggled at the plate in his first season with the Bombers, batting just .231 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs. The Georgia native, a lifetime .274 hitter who had spent his entire career in the Braves organization, signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees this offseason.

“I think that is an absolute excuse and I don’t see it,” Sterling told 104.5 The Team in Albany on Tuesday. “In fact, I’m very friendly with Brian McCann, and I think he’s as cool as can be. He’s working hard at it.”

McCann was forced to respond on Tuesday to comments from Atlanta coach Terry Pendleton, who told the New York Post that his former protege is finding out the Big Apple “is a different animal.”

“I just think that’s just an errant excuse,” Sterling said. “And I don’t think that has anything to do with (his struggles).”

Besides, there are places where the 30-year-old McCann can feel right at home.

“If you’re a ballplayer — with the kind of money they make — and you play for the Yankees, you could live a suburban country life in Westchester (County) and never see the bright lights,” Sterling said. “All you do is get in your car and drive to the stadium.”

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