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Monday, August 12, 2013

Yankee captain Robinson Cano: I don't think so.

He blew it.  Robinson Cano had the leadership of the New York Yankees sitting there for the taking and Cano was not up to the task.  Cano blew it on two fundamental levels.

1. Cano didn't play well enough when the team needed him most.
2. Cano didn't hustle all the time.

OPS (On base average Plus Slugging average) in 2013:
April .977
May .796
June .812
July .909
August .697

2012 .929
2013 .862

A few years ago Cano was part of possibly the best hitting infield of all time along with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.  This inspired Detroit manager Jim Leyland to describe the Yankees as Murderers Row and Cano.

As the injuries to the 2013 Yankees piled up Cano faded rather put the team on his back and carry it.  When Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and for a while captain Jeter returned Cano showed signs of life.  Cano seemed incapable or unwilling to handle the responsibility of being the best Yankee player and the leader of the team when he was alone with no other stars.

Cano cannot become Yankee captain while Jeter still holds the title as an active player.  But Cano could have become team leader in Jeter's absence and captain in waiting.  For decades the Yankees would not name a captain out of respect for Lou Gehrig who retired suddenly and two years later died tragically young.  In 1961 new Yankee manager Ralph Houk named Mickey Mantle team leader.  Finally, the Yankees ended the practice by naming catcher Thurman Munson captain.  Jeter was precipitously named captain several years by owner George Steinbrenner.  Jeter's captaincy has been lackluster.  He leads by example almost exclusively.  His interviews are predictably boring except for one of his standard juvenile wisecracks, which do not seem appropriate for a veteran leader, especially a captain.

Cano persistently does not run hard after hitting the ball.  Not all the time but far too often to be acceptable.  Jeter and Rodriguez both lead by always hustling.  They are the highest paid Yankees and they show their leadership qualities with their hustle.  Cano does just the opposite.  That undermines Yankee manager Joe Girardi.  It negatively impacts a younger player like Eduardo Nunez who has not known the number of outs while playing shortstop beside Cano, then laughed about it in the dugout with Cano.

Sunday, August 11, 2013
Why boo the your own players?

Does anyone think Rodriguez does not try?  No.  If that were his offense then why don't Yankee fans boo Robinson Cano who often and with specific commentary by Yankee announcers does not run hard out of the batter's box and elsewhere on the bases?  Cano is in his walk year and due for the biggest contract of his career, which makes his lack of leadership by example all the more inexplicable and unacceptable.  He has the chance to become the leader of the Yankees and has failed.  More on this in a future post.
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Thursday, July 11, 2013
Cano isn't worth a huge contract.

Robinson Cano may be the all time Yankee second baseman but the Yankees should not break the bank to sign him when he becomes a free agent after the season...

Cano was born October 22, 1982, which means that when the 2014 season starts he will be 31.  The Yanks should make him a nice offer for four years at which time he will be 34 in the final year of that contract.  Cano would be 37 in the final year of a seven year contract   Older than that and the Yanks are right back where they are now with Derek Jeter 39 and Alex Rodriguez almost 38 struggling to get out of the minors and join the Yankees after major injuries.

The Yankees are correct in trying to get their total payroll under $189,000,000 for next season.  Then they will avoid the luxury tax and be able to sign young free agents like Giancarlo Stanton or Mike Trout or Bryce Harper in the next few years...

But some people state that the Yankees should pay Cano $25 to $30 million dollars per season for at least seven years.  That's nuts, especially for a guy who's good, but not that good.
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The Steinbrenner kids may well be nuts enough to succumb to media and even some fan pressure to offer Cano a huge bloated contract.  We can only hope that they do not compound that mistake by also naming Cano Yankee captain.  And since he clearly does not deserve to be Yankee captain should they give him the huge contract?

I don't think so.

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