Robinson Cano on errors, contracts, and the media

Joba a reliever until at least '09
Melky in the minors, for now

The heat was on Robinson Cano Saturday, when he left the clubhouse early after the Yanks 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays. He had committed an error, which allowed Toronto to get back in it. So, of course, the beat writers wanted to have a few words with him. They were none too happy to find that he wasn’t around for comment. Our buddy Mark Feinsand caught up with Cano, though, who later explained his actions.

(Yes, I’m breaking the tabloid ban. I like Feinsand, and he’s got some good quotes in here.)

According to Cano, he used the media’s obsession with Alex Rodriguez as his out. Having seen reporters assembled around No. 13’s locker, Cano took the opportunity to sneak out undetected. That sly fox. Only he claims that’s not the case.

“People think I just left because I didn’t want to talk to the media; that wasn’t it at all,” Cano said, clearly bothered by the situation. “I would rather talk to (reporters) when I make an error than when I’m swinging good. Why wouldn’t I want to talk to (the media)? I’m there every day.”

Honestly, I don’t think he should have to talk to the media in any event. It’s just my personal bias, I suppose. I’m not in favor of mandatory media appearances for players. All we get are sugar-coated platitudes. When was the last time you heard Derek Jeter say something meaningful? If fans want quotes from players, well, dig through the archives. Whatever Jeter and Co. are saying has been said thousands of times before.

If you don’t believe me, check out Cano’s next quote:

“I don’t want to make errors; I want to be perfect. But things happen in the game,” Cano said. “People say that I’m not focused, but this stuff happens in games. I’m not going to be the first guy or last guy it happens to.”

I don’t want to make errors, but they happen. That’s the kind of insight I look for every morning in my newspaper.

Finally, Cano offers up thoughts on his play in relation to the contract he signed this past winter.

“People say (the bad year) is because I got my contract, but I made the same kinds of mistakes in my first few years,” Cano said. “Sometimes, I forget I even have the contract. I still see myself as a young guy, as a rookie. I don’t see myself on the level of guys like Jeter, Giambi or A-Rod. I’m the guy that has to keep fighting, to get better every day.”

You have to like the last sentence, though actions certainly speak louder than words. If he truly is working to get better every day, well, then he should have a monster 2009. Also, given what we perceive about Robbie — that is, his carefree (or careless) play — doesn’t the line about forgetting his contract make you chuckle?

Most importantly, it’s time he stops thinking of himself like a rookie. Until he starts seeing himself like Jeter, Giambi, or A-Rod, he’s going to be prone to the same old mistakes. Thankfully, he’s at an age where he’s supposed to be growing up. I’m just six months older than Robbie, and I’ve started to see plenty of positive changes in my attitude over the past year, year and a half. Let’s hope Robbie’s just slightly behind.

Joba a reliever until at least '09
Melky in the minors, for now
  • Dave Johnson

    Real happy they beat the Tigers but still on longshot for the playoffs…Its ashame their starting pitching is so horrendous..Ponson? ughhh. I still have faith. Twins not playing great. Could leapfrog them and Boston for wildcard with a good run. Just bet them +15 to 1 to make the playoffs at this site:
    Seems like a steal to be able to bet them at that price. Still alot of time. Opinions?

    • steve (different one)

      you might as well light your money on fire.

  • pat


    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I appreciated the Q, it was a nice touch.

  • Ivan

    Remember during the AS break, Cano went to DR to watch video of his swing/approach/mechanics with his dad. I mean he does want to get better and become a terrific player. Also, he’s having a pretty unlucky season if you research deep into the #’s.

    Yea Robbie Cano should mature a little bit better, but at the same time people (especially the media) need to understand that part of his persoanlity is being relax and cool and smiling all the time. Brandon Philips of the Reds, when he was in the Cleveland organization, said that people in the Cleveland organization would get ticked and furious when Philips made an mistake and he was just laugh/smile and he was always had a “just chilling approach” and Philips would say hey I am working hard it’s just that’s my persoanlity and basically who I am.

    Same applies with Cano. Yes Cano is having a bad season but he should get criticize for it but I do think the media tends to be unfair to the guy. Cano has two things that can be dangerous, Big talent and a layback approach. It just seem that if you make a miscue they media say the same bs, lazy, not trying hard etc. Pedrioa is the guy is sorta the media darling, he dives for everything (cuz he lacks randge/talent) a little guy with a brash attitude. It’s all steriotype stuff.

    I think Cano will not only have a much improve 09 but a big year in 09. Cano is too much talent for him to struggle this year.

    I like Cano alot, and persoanlly besides A-rod, he has the best pure bat in the lineup when he’s going right.

    Next year this time, I think alot of media/fans are gonna eat alot of the negative words they said to Cano.

    • Old Ranger

      Let me second that!
      Cano is the guy I saw in the minors, with a sweet swing and a very good (like Yogi) bad ball hitter…he can hit it where ever you pitch it (if he can reach it). I have seen nothing to make me change my mind; except the pressure he put on himself (contract).
      As stated above; Cano is the way he is, that is him, that is his personality. Sorry to say, not everyone can be so dedicated and single minded as people such as Joe D., Ted W., Munson, or Donnie. 27/09.

      • Ivan

        I just think he’s having a bad/unlucky year this season. Hey what ya gonna do about except work harder and review and fix some things.

        I do think Cano is deticated of being better and works hard at his craft and want to applies himself as a complete player.

        I just feel he gets misunderstood by the media/fans alot. Hey he’s a layback guy with a smile on his face alot. He has a “just chillin” approach to the game. Also, that same persoanlity is the reason he’s at the Show and has become a All-Star second baseman excluding this season.

        Look at JD Drew. I always felt he gets unfairly treated by the fans/media because of his persoanlity but he does wanna win and work hard. Same can be said for Cano. That is also why I think the story with needing Larry Bowa is absolute BS. Sure can he mature as a player (improve plate disipline) and as a person, but you don’t wanna change the guy. That is who he is and leave the dude alone.

        • pat

          batting average of balls hit in play

          2005 .318
          2006 .359
          2007 .329
          2008 .276

          I agree, Id say luck is playing a very large factor this season as his line drive percentage 19.5% is pretty much exactly where it has been since he entered the league.

          • Ivan

            Robinson Cano LD% is the same as Pedrioa, if not slightly higher.

            • Will

              I think you may have misread that. Pedroia’s LD% is actually 119.5%, and it’d be higher if he weren’t busy saving small children who had tragically fallen down mineshafts and wells. Or at least that’s what Peter Gammons just told me.

            • pat

              07 LD% 18.5 babip .333
              08 LD% 21.8 babip .334

              i really dont know what you can empirically deduce from these stats except that if you have a .06 better babip ( the difference between pedroia and cano) that means u get an extra 6 hits every 100 AB’s (i think). Spread over the course of the season if robbie had widdle dustys luck he’d be batting about .326 and we probably wouldnt be having this conversation

              • Ivan

                Totally agree, it’s just that I was making a more of a point of how unlucky Cano has been. I mean both hitters have very similar LD% and one is hitting over .320 while the other is under .270. This is really more Cano just having a season of below average luck.

                How many times we have seen Cano this season hit balls really hard and it goes straight at somebody’s glove for a out. It’s happen often with him this season.

  • Cam

    It’s tough for a young player to be in a city like NY. Imagine being a millionaire at the age of 25 while living in the biggest city in the world, full of some of the most glorious distractions. Add on top of that that most people know who you are. Not everyone can handle their on the field and off the field “business” in the way that Jeter has throughout his career. This has probably been Cano’s most trying year in terms of what’s gone on in the games, and also with things like Melky being sent down. And now, being slightly older, hopefully it will help him grow a little bit. This is one of those sticky situations a lot of Yanks fans get themselves into. We want younger and more athletic players, but aren’t willing to let them grow and adjust because we want results now. Hate to point them out, but Tamba Bay has a lot of the guys they had a couple of years ago. They just let them grow and mature as ball players. Now the Yanks are looking up at them in the standings. Let Cano get through this year. If he regresses even more next year, then I think there are major problems.

    • Ivan

      Rome wasn’t built in one day.

  • ChrisS

    If I was a GM, I’d be doing everything in my power to acquire Cano this offseason.

  • Pops

    Keep Cano. Deal Melky and IPK for Holliday

    • pat

      aaaaand phil hughes and austin jackson, then maybe colorado would listen

      • Ivan

        and Joba would be icing on the cake.

  • Steve S

    I would like to see them to pursue Matt Kemp. That rumor was floated closer to the deadline and I dont think its the worst idea. I doubt the Billingsley rumors would ever manifest but the Dodgers do seem obsessed with trading Kemp, as he has been mentioned in every rumor possible. If they could get an Orlando Hudson through free agency, then Kemp would be perfect, even if Austin Jackson develops the year after, Kemp has a good enough bat to be in left or right.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      If we’re pursuing a middle infielder in free agency, I for one would prefer to sign a defensive plus shortstop so that I could move Jeter’s bat to the outfield, rather than signing a defensive plus second baseman so that I could deal Robbie Cano, a guy who still projects to win a batting title or two for us.

      Can O-Dog play short?

      (Fun Fact: Orlando Hudson’s middle name is “Thill”. Not “Thrill”, mind you… “Thill”.)

      • Jamal G.

        Rafael Furcal is a better option in my opinion. Does not come with any draft compensation (O-Dog is a Type-A), was on his way to a breakout season, and you can sign him to less guaranteed years due to his back problems. I know those scare a lot of people away, but Furcal does intrigue me.

        • steve (different one)

          if we are working under the premise that the Yankees will be signing at least one starter who will likely be a Type A, how much should we worry about signing additional Type A FA’s?

          you can only lose your first round pick once. and the Yankees already have protected picks in the first and second rounds. and that is before all of the additional picks they may collect from guys like Abreu and Pudge.

          this is the perfect year to go nuts on the market.

          not that i am advocating signing Hudson. Cano should be the 2Bman next year.

  • JimT

    Why wouldn’t the Yankees consider moving Cano to a corner outfield spot. I really wonder if he will ever be an above average 2nd baseman.

    • steve (different one)

      is this a joke?

  • Brad K

    Bad luck……..I love it.

  • AndrewYF

    Cano, Hughes, Kennedy for Kemp and Billingsley?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Sure, sounds good.

      And then, when it doesn’t work out, we just hit the reset button and start a new season mode over from scratch, and instead, we sign Reggie Stocker and package him with Pavano and Giambi for Brandon Webb and Chad Tracy, and then autosimulate.

  • JimT

    Its ironic that many of those people who complained about Pedroia’s selection to the All Star team are now contemplating Cano’s future with the Yankees. BTW Pedroia is leading the AL in runs, hits and BA. He should win a Gold Glove and is getting serious consideration for AL MVP.

    Not bad for a guy that didn’t deserve to be on the All Star team.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      JimT you forgot to mention “dreamy” in your platitudes.

      • steve (different one)

        Its ironic that many of those people who complained about Pedroia’s selection to the All Star team are now contemplating Cano’s future with the Yankees.

        right, except the argument about the All-Star game wasn’t about Cano. it was about Ian Kinsler.

        so, i don’t think the word “irony” really applies.

        i don’t think anyone was arguing that Cano should have made the All-Star team over Pedroia.

    • AndrewYF

      The only reason he “should” win a gold glove is because the gold glove is actually a clone of the silver slugger award.

      Mark Ellis is by far and away the best defensive second baseman in the league. Pedroia is pretty good, but not as special as all the media outlets want you to think. The reason he has to dive for so many balls is simply because his range is below-average.

      • JimT

        I agree with you that the Gold Glove award has historically been more a popularity contest than a true recognition of the best fielder. You could well have a point about Mark Ellis, I haven’t seen enough of his play to argue.