I love unexpected fat asses, especially in sports. I love watching enormous athletes who have a lot of power but take a long time to gain a head of steam, guys you expect to be faster than they are–Dave Winfield, Keyshwawn Johnson, Bernard King come to mind. And of course I love just straight up fat asses like Dave Kingman, Rob Deer, Pete Incaviglia or Adam Dunn too. Hey, Alfonso Soriano is a fat ass in a skinny body. Being a fat ass is a state of mind more than anything else.
Klap’s got an article today on our boy Robbie Cano. The Yankees’ second year second baseman has smooth moves and a cocksure disposition. But evidentally, Cano’s gotten mad, uh, puffy in the off-season (think Shelley Duvall singing, “And he’s Large,” in Robert Altman’s very weird “Popeye” movie):
There’s no mistaking how much bulkier he looks, especially in the trunk area. One scout who’s been watching the Yankees recently said: “I wouldn’t call Cano fat, but he’s going to be slower than last year, and he was slow to begin with.
“If he’s going in this direction at his age, what’s he going to look like at 28?”
I laughed out loud when I read this thinking, yup, Cano’s definitely in the all-time fat ass club, and he’s just a second year player. But the Yankees aren’t blind to it becoming an issue–they’ve got Captain Jeter, MVP Alex Rodriguez, and Sgt Red Ass on the case:
Third base coach Larry Bowa, appointed as Cano’s personal tutor, made a point of watching videos of his pupil. Bowa noted how many of Cano’s errors were the result of poor concentration, particularly dropped throws from Jeter while standing on second base.
“What Robbie needs to learn is to concentrate every single pitch, every single inning. That will come in time,” Bowa said. “He’s a good kid and he wants to learn, that’s encouraging. He is definitely not lazy. That’s one word I heard used about him when I came here — lazy — but I haven’t seen it.”
…Little by little, the Yankees hope to turn Cano into a miniature version of Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, two of the team’s hardest workers. A-Rod’s fitness lifestyle borders on obsession, while Jeter takes more ground balls during batting practice than any other Yankee.
…The kid can go either way,” said [a Yankee] executive. “It’s totally up to him.”
I’ll be rooting for Cadillac Cano. Be interesting to see if he embraces the Jeter/Rodriguez work ethic, or if he’s content to eat ice cream, hit dingers, and whiff alot like our boy ‘lil Soriano, or that chucklehead Mondesi.
On a more personal note, I remember my favorite part of playing baseball in high school was staying late after practice, in April through mid May, until it got too dark to see the ball anymore, taking ground balls. I played second base and it seemed that so long as I wanted to stay out there the coach would be there to hit them. It was something I could do with a lot more confidence than hitting. So I was particularly amped when I read the ending of the Klapisch piece:
“I’m going to teach Robbie that when he’s done taking 25 grounders, we’re not done. There’s 25 more,” Bowa said. “There’s always going to be 25 more.”
That’s dope. Got a lot of Fast Eddie Felson circa “The Color of Money” to it. It’s so cheesy, but so great. Got to love what Bowa’s bringing to the team so far, right?