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McCann looking to next season

ATLANTA - Brian McCann will take a few weeks to rest up and then plans to do some traveling before he begins to think about next year.

The Atlanta Braves all-star catcher knows that one thing needs his early offseason attention, though.

Despite playing with glasses the last five months of the year, McCann still isn't comfortable with them.

"I think I may have Lasik surgery again," the Duluth product said.

Eye problems almost curtailed McCann's year, landing him on the disabled list in April and casting doubt on the future.

"I definitely was worried," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Without good eyesight, this game is impossible to play."

McCann, though, was able to make it back in May and went on to have his usual productive season. In fact, he set a career high with 94 RBIs despite spending the time on the DL.

"For me, it's my most satisfying year," McCann said. "I didn't know if I was going to lose my season or what was going to happen. But I was able to get through it."

McCann, who'd had Lasik surgery a few years ago, suddenly had dryness in his eye and blurred vision. Once he got the correct pair of glasses, he was able to return to the lineup. But issues remained.

"It's a problem with those glasses," Cox said. "With the humidity, they fog up on him."

"They definitely aren't fun to play in," McCann said. "When you haven't worn glasses before, they're hard to get used to."

McCann's play didn't suffer, though. He hit .281 with 35 doubles and 21 home runs, playing in 138 games. His fourth full year brought a fourth straight selection for the All-Star Game.

"He had another great year," Cox said.

Coming out of spring training, McCann was hoping for a little more. He'll certainly take it, though.

"I don't think I had one of my best seasons," said the left-handed hitting McCann, a career .293 batter. "But I was able to play through this eye thing and I was very pleased with that. I had some obstacles and I was able to overcome them."

McCann also had to deal with a sore left hand the final two weeks after being hit by a foul tip in New York. That took points off his average and hurt the Braves offensively during the final homestand.

A 15-2 stretch got the Braves back into wild-card contention. But they lost their final six games to finish 86-76 and third in the National League East.

McCann remains optimistic about next season.

"We had a great second half," the 25-year-old said. "There is a lot of talent in this clubhouse. I think we'll come out next year and have a really good season."

McCann got to experience the postseason as a rookie, hitting a memorable homer off Roger Clemens in the NLDS against Houston. But the Braves haven't been back since.

"It's no fun to miss the playoffs again," McCann said. "But I think we'll get back there next year. I'm sure there will be some changes, but (general manager) Frank Wren has made some good moves and I'm sure he'll make some more. This team is going to be right there next year."