On Valentine’s Day, a bet was made:
— Benjamin Kabak (@bkabak) February 14, 2013
That seemed like a safe bet considering Robinson Cano’s career-high coming into the year was 61 walks, set last season. Eighty walks is a ton, especially for a free swinger like Cano. It was a safe bet … at the time.
Ten days later, Curtis Granderson had his forearm broken by an errant pitch. Nine days after that, Mark Teixeira felt something funny in his wrist while taking batting practice with Team USA. We already knew Derek Jeter was slowly working his way back from offseason ankle surgery and Alex Rodriguez was going to miss at least half the season following January hip surgery. Just like that, four of the team’s top five hitters were gone. Robbie had no protection.
Right now, at this very moment, Cano is on pace to draw 79 walks this season. As I mentioned the other day, he’s picked up the pace in recent weeks. Since May 20th, when Robbie apparently decided to stop swinging at pitches off the plate, he’s drawn 34 walks in 49 games. That’s a 112-walk pace (!!!) over a full season. Needless to say, Ben has gotten a little antsy. The best part of this whole thing is that he gets nothing in return if Cano does not walk 80 times. It’s a really terrible bet. For him, anyway.
Because everyone enjoys a good hat-eating, we’re going to keep track of Cano’s walks in the sidebar via the Kabak Hat Watch from now through the end of the season. As soon as he gets that 80th walk — he’s only 35 away with 70 games remaining — Ben will dine on what I assume is fine polyester and cotton. I suggest he deep fry it, but others think a saute is a way to go. Maybe he could turn it into a dessert dish. If you have a hat preparation suggestion, leave it in the comments. Until then, root for Cano walks as much as you root for Yankee wins.
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Here is your open thread for the evening. The Reds are playing the Braves on MLB Network (Latos vs. Hudson), and that’s pretty much it. Talk about whatever you like here. Enjoy.