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.