"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: Robinson Cano
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Little Big Man


This is one of those slow news day, hot-talk-radio items, that doesn’t really interest me, but since it’s going around, figure I’d post it:

In his new autobiography, “The Closer,” Rivera writes about how much affection he has for his former teammate, but adds, “This guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start… There is no doubt that he is a Hall-of-Fame caliber (player). It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don’t think Robby burns to be the best… You don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”

As for his favorite second baseman, Rivera says Red Sox Dustin Pedroia is “at the top of the list” of players he admires, adding: “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for twenty-seven outs. It’s a special thing to see.”

He later writes, “If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”


Look Out Dyckman, Here Comes Robbie

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Robbie Cano, one of the great Yankees of his time–and arguably the greatest second baseman in team history–returns to the Bronx tonight.

Be nice to see him again, though odd to watch him playing against the Yanks.

[Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports]

Whadda Ya Know?


Doug Glanville on Robbie’s fresh start in Seattle:

His number one protégé is Justin Smoak — a young player who gives you the sense that he has played forever, but just short of his potential. Critics wonder when he will put it all together. He has power, he switch-hits, he can field, he has a good sense of the strike zone. Cano won him over from the start, and he made it clear to Smoak that he would be demanding more from him.

Cano broke out the Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long’s book on pregame ritual. He shares the same drills with his new teammates, making everyone accountable and providing access to tips that helped him year in and year out. And he is continuing his reputation of playing every single day, just as he did in New York, acknowledging that “ironmen” can teach lessons by showing it, not just talking it.

As Smoak described it, “I always knew what I needed to do, but with Cano here, I see it getting done.” Cano has actualized possibility. He personifies the hopes and goals of a team that has been counted out, and he’s made it real for players who have had the talent, but just needed to make it tangible.

In many ways, that may be another way to honor a legacy: to pass it on and prove that it can work in another environment. It is a way to celebrate it on a larger scale, to show that the lessons are applicable in other clubhouses, in new cultures. I would imagine Kevin Long or any hitting coach would be happy to know his drills help all players because they embody a universal truth. The ultimate compliment to a teacher.

[Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]

Why Is This Man Smiling?

*Feb 21 - 00:05*

Because he’s going to sign a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners.

Love watching Cano play but I’m glad the Yanks didn’t sign him to that deal.

Hope Is the Thing With Ducats


Here’s a Friday baseball open thread fuh ya. While there is word that things aren’t going so smoothly for team Cano in Seattle Jon Heyman reports that the Yanks are close to signing our man Hiroki to a 1-year deal.

What’s Cookin’?

 Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

According to Jeff Passan at Yahoo! the Yanks have no plans to give Robbie Cano a $200 million deal:

It’s not like Cano is the sort of marketing machine his team has portrayed him as in meetings with the Yankees and Mets. Beyond setting his price tag at more than $300 million in during-the-season negotiations, the biggest mistake thus far has been emphasizing the off-field exploits of Cano when reality says otherwise.

He didn’t stem hemorrhaging ticket sales or TV ratings during the Yankees’ down year. His jersey wasn’t exactly jumping off shelves; it ranked 19th in sales this season – and fifth in New York, behind Mariano Rivera, Matt Harvey, Derek Jeter and David Wright.

“We’re not the Brooklyn Nets,” one Yankees official said. “We don’t need Jay Z’s marketing expertise.”

The Yankees like to say that Dustin Pedroia re-signed with Boston for $110 million and Wright with the Mets for $138 million, but there is a difference: Cano is a free agent, and a premium exists with those free agents, even if New York is where he wants to be. And it is. Cano told friends in the Dominican Republic this season that he would re-sign with the Yankees, though perhaps he was expecting the dollar figure to be closer to the $200 million-plus that at one point the Yankees were believed to be willing to offer.


[Photo Credit: Marcus Haydock]

Dare, Dare

 New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox

Do the Yanks dare to let Robbie Cano go? No, they don’t. They’ll sign him. But Tyler Kepner thinks it is a decent idea:

Losing a superstar is not always as devastating as people fear at the time. Two winters ago, the St. Louis Cardinals watched Albert Pujols leave for a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. They responded by signing Carlos Beltran for two years, giving contract extensions to Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, and using their compensatory draft pick on Michael Wacha. Discipline sometimes works.

The Yankees are willing to give Cano $23 million or so for each of the next seven years, a $161 million package that is already too generous. That kind of deal has put the Yankees in their present state — decaying and injury-prone — and the team needs to break the cycle.

An influx of fresh talent from the farm system is the best way to start. The Yankees do not have those players, but that should not make them desperate. Desperate teams make the costliest mistakes.

[Image Via: Rob Tringali]

Comfortably Well Off

Ali Baba Bunny (10)

That’s what Robbie Cano will be once he signs a contract this winter. His asking price?

Okay, I know you needed a laugh.

Meanwhile, the Yanks signed Brendan Ryan and according to this report may want a reunion with Raul Ibanez.

New York State of Mind

Will Leitch on the Knicks trade and why New York teams fail:

The Knicks, essentially, not only took a contract albatross off Toronto’s hands — new GM Masai Ujiri was desperate to rid himself of the failed first overall pick — they paid the Raptors for the privilege. If the trade were just Camby and Novak for Bargnani, it would be a wash, two teams handing over each other’s soiled linens. But the Knicks threw in three draft picks because … well, because in New York, the future isn’t just something that doesn’t matter, it’s something to be actively avoided.

This has always been a thing in New York. For whatever reason, there is this sense among sports owners in New York City that rebuilding — or, rather to say, the process of compiling and amassing talent and resources that can be used to sustain perpetual success — is something that the fanbase will just not stand for. If your team is not competing for a championship that very year, obviously your franchise is a failure and unworthy to wear the words “New York” on the front of your jersey/uniform/sweater/hot pants.

This mindset leads to lunacy like just about every free agent acquisition the Mets have ever made — with the ironic exception of Carlos Beltran, the one many fans were the most angry about — or the Yankees giving Alex Rodriguez a 10-year contract or the Knicks trading for someone like Andrea freaking Bargnani. The logic behind the Bargnani trade, behind so many New York sports teams’ moves, is that if the move makes the team even slightly better today, it’s worth mortgaging whatever possible future there might be. Is having Bargnani on the team for the 2013-14 season better than having Camby and Novak? I find that an arguable point, but if the Knicks think so, and they do, then why not throw in three draft picks do make sure the deal goes down? We weren’t using them anyway! They’re draft picks!

So should the Yankees trade Robinson Cano, or what? They won’t but it’d be the ballsy move.

[Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]

Can’t Knock the Hustle

Report: Robbie Cano kicks Scott Boras to the curb. Jigga, baby.

Let’s Make a Dope Deal

According to Wallace Matthews the Yanks and Robbie Cano’s agent, Scott Boras, have been in touch.

Let’s say they sign him. What do you think the deal will be for in years and dollars?

It’s Not About the Money…Stupid



[Photo Credit: Jared Wickenham/Getty Images]

More Bounce to the Ounce

The Yankees were down 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning and Robinson Cano was at the plate, a man on base, two outs. Jerome Williams, in his first start since coming off the disabled list, threw a 2-2 fastball that tailed away from Cano.

It was what they call a pitcher’s pitch. Not only did Cano swing at it and make solid contact, he drove the ball deep to left field. As fortune would have it, the ball landed on the top of the fence and bounced over the bullpen into the bleachers.

I don’t know how many left-handed hitters could drive a pitch like that out of the park to the opposite field–Joey Votto, of couse; who else?

I was reminded of something I once read by Tom Boswell about Don Mattingly in his book Heart of the Order:

For historical reference, the Musial analogy works [with Mattingly]. Left-handed hitter. Eccentric closed and coiled stance. Sprays the ball. Tons of doubles. Not too many walks. Hard to strike out.

“He doesn’t look like Musial, but he hits like him,” says Orioles manager Earl Weaver. “Musial was the best at adjusting once the ball left the pitcher’s hand. He’d hit the pitcher’s pitch. Williams was the best at making them throw his pitch. He didn’t believe in adjusting. If it wasn’t what he wanted, he knew enough to walk to first base. That’s why he hit .406.Once every coupla games, a Musial or Mattingly is going to adjust and put that tough pitch in play instead of walking and you’re going to get some extra outs. But he’s also going to drive you crazy by popping a perfect fastball on the fists down the left-field line for a double.”

Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer later on, Cano singled home Alex Rodriguez in the sixth (more good luck as his ground ball up the middle knocked off second base), Freddy Garcia was decent and the bullpen was even better. Rafael Soriano struck out Mike Trout (three hits) in the ninth and got Albert Pujols on a check-swing strike zone to end the game.

Final Score: Yanks 5, Angels 3.

Hughes Betcha

Well, I missed the whole damn affair. Family gathering upstate. Had to be done and it turned out to be a nice time. I checked the score from time-to-time and was thrilled to learn that Phil Hughes, after giving up a couple of runs in the first, was stingy. He went eight innings and a two-run home run by Robinson Cano–yes, that man again–broke the tie as the Yankees beat the White Sox, 4-2.

Cano is surging, is in the prime of his career, and more than capable of carrying the team for weeks at a time. It’s also been great to see Hughes, Nova and Kuroda pitching well, am I right?

Zach Schonbrun has a nice write-up in the Times.

Coupled with a Baltimore loss the Yanks are now six games ahead in the American League East. That’s the way to beat the heat. Nice job by the Yanks after losing the first two games of the series–the White Sox got two runs in the last couple of games.

Say Word:

And on Old Timer’s Day (covered here by Harvey Araton), Derek Jeter, C.C. Sabathia, Curtis Granderson and Cano were selected to the All Star Game. Sabathia was replaced by C.J. Wilson. Also, the Yanks picked up a reliever today and over at River Ave Blues, Mike Axisa can’t figure it.

[Featured Image via: Kathy Willens/AP Photo; interior pictures by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images and Willens]

Cause I’m Not New To This (I’m True to This)

R.A. Dickey’s scoreless streak ended in the third inning tonight when Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly score the first run of the game. Nick Swisher followed with a three-run home run and with C.C. Sabathia on the mound, things looked good for the Yanks.

Nobody, however, had the good sense to alert Robinson Cano that there was a ball game going on. He botched a throw from Chris Stewart that led to a run and Cadillaced a routine ground ball into an error with one out in the sixth. The Yanks were ahead 5-2 but by the time the Mets were retired, Sabathia was on the bench and the score was tied.

Cano knew better than to smile.

If you are looking for a cheesy redemption story, Cano was happy to oblige. He hit a long solo home run against Miguel Bautista to lead off the eighth inning. It proved to be the difference.

David Robertson worked around a two out base runner–and a balk–in the eighth, and Raphael Soriano did the same in the ninth (his strike out against David Wright to start the inning was a tense, exciting confrontation).

By that point, the rain poured on the field. The Yankees appeared to have the game in hand, then to blow it, but Cano–who was partially responsible for squandering the lead–came through with the biggest hit of the night.

Final Score: Yanks 6, Mets 5.

Yanks take the season series, 5-1.

[Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images]

He Threw a Trip on the Ace Now He’s Out, Son


Robinson Cano hit the first pitch he saw into the seats tonight. A misplaced fastball was good for a two-run home run, and with it went any dream of consecutive no-hitters from Johan Santana. The next inning, Cano hit the second pitch he saw, a hanging slider, into the right field seats and the Yanks were out to a 4-0 lead. Nick Swisher followed and he ripped a home run to left, and not wanting to be left out of the festivities, Andruw Jones followed that with a bomb of his own.

It was enough to get the Yankee dugout fired up–especially Mr. Swisher (jeez, settle down, Francis)–not to mention the Yankee fans in the seats. It sure was more than enough for Hiroki Kuroda, who was terrific, throwing seven shutout innings. He allowed just a single base hit and that didn’t come until two out in the sixth.

Kuroda’s night ended on a strange play. Daniel Murphy hit a line drive that caught Kuroda’s foot and shot up in the air to Alex Rodriguez who made the catch to end the seventh. Kuroda had the foot wrapped and was sporting crutches after the game. Perhaps he could miss a start. He had x-rays and they were negative.

Just about everything else for the home team was positive.

Yanks take it, 9-1.

[Photo Credit: Aimeri]

Picture This

This week we’re featuring the work of the painter Dave Choate.

Check out his site to enjoy more of his work. It’s good stuff.

The Magic Number

Guess who moved up in the batting order?

Peter Kerasotis has the story in the Times.

Here’s more Yankees notes from the Post on GrandyFreddyJoba, Hiroki,Swish and Cust.


Don’t Cha Know?

I was flipping around the channels the other day and found a baseball game on the MLB Network. And there was Robinson Cano playing for the American team in Taiwan. It took me a moment to adjust to seeing him in uniform. It was like seeing someone still wearing their Halloween costume. Then I wondered, “Hey, should you be playing? Don’t guys get tired or hurt if they play in November?”

But I remembered that he’s a professional baseball player and that’s what he does. Then Cano smiled and I felt relieved and turned back to the football game.

Over at YES, Jack Curry has a little piece on Cano in Taiwan.

[Photo Credit: Washington Post]

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver