Girardi acknowledges talking to Cano about lack of hustle

Monday Night Open Thread
Thoughts following the day after the end of the season

Via Andrew Marchand: Joe Girardi acknowledged having conversations with Robinson Cano about his lack of hustle, particularly running to first base. “I’ve talked to him about it,” said the skipper. “He has played every day. He has been kind of nicked up. I’ve talked to him about it.”

Cano, 30, hit .314/.383/.516 (142 wRC+) with 27 homers in 160 games this year. He doesn’t always run hard down the line though … okay fine, he pretty much never runs hard down the line and many fans hate that. It looks terrible and isn’t exactly something you want to see out of your best player, especially when he’s asking for $300M. It’s annoying but I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Glad Girardi got in Robbie’s ear though.

Monday Night Open Thread
Thoughts following the day after the end of the season
  • forensic

    It sure did a lot of good too…

    • Pseudoyanks

      Heh. I was going to ask if anything changed (I confess, I missed a lot of games from around August 10th or so on…) From your response I would guess there was no visible (to fans) change.

  • Stratman9652

    Play smarter not harder. If a couple extra infield singles a year or diving stops on balls out of his reach comes at the cost of DL stints or health related performance loss, the cost is too high. The people who bitch about it would be bitching the loudest about him having to nurse a sore hand because he dove into first base like that scrappy dirt dog Dustin Pedroia. Does it look good? No. But it keeps him on the field performing at a high level year in and year out.

    • Mikhel

      Jeter ran hard since day 1, check how many games he missed with injuries related to running hard. He has missed more time because of HBP than by hustling.

      Usually the people who don’t see a problem with players not hustling are people who know squat about baseball and have never played it (videogames don’t count).

      • Mister D

        Jason Kendall ran hard since Day 1 and …

      • WhittakerWalt

        Please prove this claim.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        I played baseball from when I was 5 until I was 18. I’ve got Marcus Thames’ range, Ben Revere’s arm and Brendan Ryan’s bat (relatively to the kids I competed with) but I made varsity senior year because I busted my ass harder than anyone else on the team.

        As long as Robbie’s producing like the best second baseman in baseball, I could give a shit about whether he hustles down the line.

      • Kiko Jones

        Usually the people who have a problem with Canó not hustling on a bullshit ground ball to 2B are people who are projecting their shortcomings onto the greatest second baseman in Yankees history and the only current Yankee star in his prime.

        • trr

          Not sure what you’re trying to say here, it makes no sense

    • TheTruth

      And Pedroia signed a team freindly 8 year $110 million contract… What does Robbie want again???

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Well, Robbie is both a true free agent and much better than Pedroia at baseball…

    • Nick Social

      The chances of getting hurt running hard down the line are basically zero.

      • Kiko Jones

        Um, Manny Machado?

        •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger


          … and Jeter. Or Tex. Or ARod. Or any of the other various players that have pulled something busting it down the line.

          • trr

            Is your argument really that players shouldn’t hustle to first because they might get hurt???
            I’d say that’s funny, but it’s really kind of cringe worthy….

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              If they’re extraordinarily important to the success of the team, and that importance has almost nothing to do with speed or beating out infield singles, then yes, I would make that argument.

      • WhittakerWalt

        Chien-Ming Wang.

      • BFDeal

        You’re right. I’ve NEVER seen a player grab his hammy after running to first.

  • Matt :: Sec110

    I’ve got no problem with this. Would I like him to ‘bust it’ every time? Sure…but I don’t really care.

    He plays everyday, so it’s not like he’s ‘soft’….and honestly, are we mad because he doesn’t run 100% down the line on a ground ball to 2nd? Can you tell me, off the top of your head more than 1 or 2 (maybe) times where it cost him a hit or something?

    • Rob

      Agree it’s not all that much. Off the top of my head I remember this season it costing him a double, tried stretching in for what would have been an easy two but he was coasting until he rounded first. I think it costs him more at 2b bc he’s not all that fast down the line and not going to beat too any out. I don’t think he’s lazy for lackidazical on d or in any other facet, bc I hear people say that all the time, he just makes it look easy, but would def prefer to see him hustle to first. Right now he’s the team leader in production, but if he’s to be the team leader when jeter retires, which would be in some capacity expected if he re-signs I think I that’s pretty important. Great leaders lead by example as well, and that sets a poor example for young players and other teammates. Jeter mo pettitte and posada set the tone for the team and always have 100% effort in preparation and on the field, I think that’s where it’s important, and less the number of hits lost.

  • Yankee Dandy

    Apparently it didn’t have an impact, since he continued to loaf down the line… :\

  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    How many times would busting down the line make him safe? 2, 3 times a season (assuming the ball was hit to the infield)? Maybe running it out gets him hurt one day. Then you lose all that production. Not worth risking that for the small chance he might be safe.

    • Yankee Dandy

      I specifically remember a game earlier this season where he was thrown out at second on what should have been an easy double because he though the OF would catch it. Things like that piss me off; not so much the weak grounder to 2B that he has no chance of beating out…

      • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

        Oh well that’s a bit different. If its any ball hit out of the infield and clearly not a lazy fly ball, he definitely should be running full speed. But for a groundball to short, meh, not so much.

    • Mikhel

      It has costed him doubles, even triples when he stares at the ball waiting to see if its gonna be gone, his lack of hustle cost the yanks runs, remember when he got thrown at the plate because he went from 2nd to home? and before that Almonte was thrown at the plate and Cano didnt advance to third. And thats in the last 10 games of the season… surely you remember that, right?

      • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

        See above. I mean routine groundballs to the infield. If its clearly going to be at least a single if not more, he definitely should be hustling.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Selective memories are a wonderful thing.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Not making it to third had nothing to do with being lazy, and was a mental error. I was there, I watched it, he just didn’t have his head in the game at the moment. Yes, that kind of mistake is inexcusable, and I was as pissed as anyone.

  • Get Phelps Up

    “Cano, 30, hit .314/.383/.516 (142 wRC+) with 27 homers in 160 games this year.”

    I really couldn’t care less about him not running out routine grounders. This is why.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      He could stop and take a piss on the way to first base once every ten games for I care.

      • Shittyshittybangbang

        And you’d still pay him 10/300 ? Hmmm…..

        • Cool Lester Smooth


        • Get Phelps Up

          When did anyone ever say that?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Actually, successfully pulling that off AND making it to first base should earn you 300 million A GAME.

          Other than that, though, no one has paid anyone 300 million yet and I certainly made to reference to it, but that’s OK. Things I never said get attributed to me all the time. I’m just that hot.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            “made no reference.”

            Guess I’m not hot enough for the occasional typing-too-fast typo.

          • Shittyshittybangbang

            U da man shun !

          • Psycho Trish

            NO you just deny what you say after it’s proven wrong. Nothing to do with you being to “hot” just to stupid.

            • BFDeal

              Does being a psycho impact your ability to properly use “too”?

  • Mikhel

    Good to know that players listen to JoeG and do what they are told. Now we know why the team looked dead in the water vs BIG teams (awful record, by the way, vs Bosox since JoeG has been manager specially in NY).

    • Matt :: Sec110

      hate that championship they won in 2009. Oh that’s right…he doesn’t get credit for that, just blame for poor performances.

    • Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain)

      They’ve looked dead in the water against Boston because Boston is much better. It’s not easy to beat a team that is better than you at everything on the field. It has nothing to do with Girardi. When Jayson Nix was the clean up guy for a little bit, that says something.

  • Shittyshittybangbang

    It’s what it does to the team. It’s what it tells your younger players. It’s that it becomes the accepted norm and permeates the club-house. No es bueno friends.

    • Matt :: Sec110

      Funny…you don’t often hear of teams with poor clubhouses being bad teams. Likewise, all of the teams with great clubhouses seem to be successful.

      • Matt :: Sec110

        realizing I totally f’d that up…you get my point.

        • Shittyshittybangbang

          I got ya. Some people are approaching the game as if they were insurance underwriters assessing risk in a model of some sorts. Doesn’t work that way. Not being able to hit a curve is bad. Not hustling…, is inexcusable…, and boy that just irritated me all season. But, that’s just me, my opinion.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            Um, it does work that way. Risk-reward is a part of every damn profession, including being a baseball player.

            It’s fine that it irritates people. I understand why. I’m just saying, it’s not a reason, by itself, to get all hot and bothered and wish he’d go play somewhere else.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Robinson Cano’s been in the majors since 2005. When has this permeated the clubhouse?

    • The Big City of Dreams

      It’s what it tells your younger players


      What does it tell Nunez who Robbie has taken under his wing but he still runs hard every single time.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Yay I agree with BCoD! High Five!

  • Rolling Doughnut

    The fact that he’s a great player does not excuse his lack of hustle IMHO, but it doesn’t piss me off that much either. Has cost the team several times though.

  • Darren

    i can’t believe you guys are defending Robbie.

    Cano has a beautiful game but the lack of hustle is an ugly, ugly flaw.

    Trying to justify it with some lame excuse that he does it to avoid injury is ridiculous. He doesn’t hustle because he’s too cool for school, that’s all.

    PS – you too Tilapia! Did you forget who you were both named after? What would Jackie think?!?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m not excusing anything. I just think it’s a complete bunch of crap.

      Look at what the man is able to do on the field playing second base. That’s not hustle? It’s hustle when it’s done in one place, but it’s a lack of hustle when not done in another.

      It’s “selective hustle,” I guess. That should be in the DSM-V, with a special culture-bound version in the appendix under “Dominican.”

      • Farewell Mo

        Obviously Girardi doesn’t think it’s crap or he wouldn’t have spoken to him about it. Running hard for 90 feet at most 4 times per game certainly isn’t asking anything extraordinary.

  • Kiko Jones

    He could stop and take a piss on the way to first base once every ten games for I care.

    With those numbers and durability? Absolutely.

  • Darren

    Oh, it’s definitely selective hustle, but I don’t see why race should have anything to do with it. It’s a baseball thing.

    I LOVE Robbie’s play at second, his arm and glove and both absolute things of beauty. I’ve never seen him dog it at second and his smoothness is amazing, not something lazy. But failure to run hard? That’s a flaw. Like Posada sucking at blocking the plate, Jeter having no range (and never diving), or Bernie’s arm. Robbie’s seems the easiest to correct.

  • Laz

    I seriously don’t know how you can ask for $300M, when you hit 27 hr as a lefty in YS. Arod hit 54 and he didn’t get that #.

    •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Who gives a shit what he asks for? It only truly becomes relevant if someone loses their mind and is wllling to pay that?

    • MannyGeee

      Wow… how far we’ve come. If someone had told me 3 months ago that we’d be using Alex Rodriguez as our moral compass, I would have told them to shut their lying whore mouth… but here we are.

      And considering it was 7 years ago and he actually GOT $300M…

  • Tom

    A guy with an OPS of .900+ – who cares.
    A guy with an OPS of .700 – better bust his ass down the line? (or does it not matter for him either?)

    The folks saying who cares because of his performance – where is the performance line where we can get on people for not hustling?

    I also wish someone would have told Nick Johnson to not run hard down the line (though with his speed could you tell?); apparently the internet doctors in this thread think it is one of the keys to Cano staying healthy or are throwing it out there like it is somehow significant to him staying healthy. And apparently running hard to 1st (or hell even at 90%) is an injury risk?

    The diving/not diving I’m Ok with – when you dive there is a legitimate risk to either the throwing hand as you are bracing yourself or your glove hand/wrist (or even shoulder)

    Maybe Cano doesn’t need to go 100% every time, but would it kill him to go maybe 90%? (in the event a fielder bobbles a ball or the throw is lightly errant). He also coasts on balls hit near the line to see if it is fair/foul – that probably is more irritating then the popup or routine grounder back to say the pitcher.

  • Joel

    The point is that Robbie, good as he is, is not the best player he can be. His numbers are great and he plays a great 2b, but because he doesn’t always hustle, he can’t be counted on as a leader, and he’s costing himself numbers and the team wins. If Robbie, or any player, had his numbers and always hustled, you’d get the sense that those were the best numbers he was capable of, that he was giving it his all, all the time. But Robbie leaves stuff on the table, and that’s annoying. It’s the difference between a franchise cornerstone superstar and a very good player. It’s the difference between 7 years/150 million and 9 years/225 million. He might get the latter amount, but it won’t be from the Yankees. It will be from a team who hasn’t seen him lollygagging for years.

    I love Robbie, and there’s a certain amount of nitpicking going on here, but this is an actual issue.

    • Ortiz=Steroid

      Such a brilliant player shouldn’t have to bother himself w such mundane things like running to first base. In the spirit of “Joba Rules,” I propose “Robbie’s Rule:” If the great Cano determines thst contact has resulted in a sure out, then he should merely leave the box and saunter (gingerly!!Wouldn’t want to risk injury!) back to a lounge chair in the dugout. Maybe baseball should do away with running to first, ever, if a superstar determines he needn’t bother. His obvious disregard in this aspect of his game speaks to an unsightly arrogance.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead


        So Cano is apparently lazy and arrogant. Offense intended, you’re the one who sounds like you have an unsightly arrogance.

        Holy shit are people trying too hard with this “issue”.

  • RetroRob

    He’s 30-years-old, a millionaire about to sign a contract that will make him an uber-millionaire. He’s always run like that. He’s not changing.

    I have no doubt Girardi has talked to him many times as many others have. He might tick it up a notch after one of these talks, but overall he’s just not going to to change that part of his game.

  • JayJay

    Only a few of the commenters here have mentioned the fielding aspect of all of this. I’m not sure why. This really irritates me because there seem to be a bunch of balls hit to Cano’s left every year that he kind of lunges for but ultimately doesn’t dive for. These are plays where many other second basemen would dive and make the play. And I’ve seen Cano do it with a runner on 2nd and two outs. This probably doesn’t happen as often as it seems but he’s definitely cost the Yankees some games and you get the impression that he’d do the same thing in Game 7 of the WS.

    He’s still a great player (until the decline begins in the second half of Year 2 of the Contract) but I find it hard to ignore the way he gives the opposing teams hits that some other second basemen don’t

    • WhittakerWalt

      I see it happen maybe once, twice a season. Not exactly “a bunch.”

  • Farewell Mo

    The lack of hustle is easy to overlook while he’s great but wait until 5-6 years into his contract when he’s something like .250/.300./.350 making $25 million per year and he’s barely jogging down the line. I bet the fans will turn on him then.

    The real issue is how do you ask young players the Yankees hopefully will eventually have to hustle and play hard when your best player doesn’t? He should set an example of how to play instead of how not to play. Is it really that hard to run full speed for 90 feet at the most 4 times a day for 162 days a year when you’re a professional athlete making tens of millions?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Give me one example, since 2005, in which this has been an issue with another player on the team because of Robbie Cano. Go.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        But RT, it’s leadership 101!

  • LarryM Fl

    I’m one of the posters who does not appreciate Cano’s so call lack of hustle. When you argument is his numbers against the waltz down the first base line. The numbers are the winner.

    If you are to pay Robbie 7 years at 161-200 million dollars then you expect the hustle factor. If you watched all year. Robbie ran hard when a hit was possible. I have seen him thrown out at second on a half-ass attempt at a double, on double plays which I thought he could have beat the throw to first and caught between second and third. When a team is scrapping for victories his selective hustle is noticeable.

    My question to Girardi is if you know Robbie is hurt and can not go at 100%. Give him a day off! Their were plenty of games against select pitchers where Robbie looked bad. One day off adjacent to an off day is two days. No one should play 150+ games a year.

  • JLC 776

    I completely buy into the ‘team culture’ thing. I can’t prove it, but I hate the idea of a guy who’s supposed to be a leader not running hard for 90ft up to three times a game.

    Think about that. Running hard for 90 feet for the couple of times a game when he’s trying to beat an infield single.

    Yeah, guys occasionally injure themselves, but guys injure themselves in all sorts of freaky weird ways in baseball that you don’t see coming. Ask Mo. Ask Wang.

    Seriously. Just run hard for 90 fucking feet once in a while. Maybe the kids will catch on and do it too.

    This is leadership 101 for God’s sake.


    • JLC 776

      *I can’t prove it, but I think it does influence the younger players when a guy who’s supposed to be a leader does not run hard (is what I was trying to say).

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Who, out of our young players, doesn’t run hard?

        • JLC 776

          That’s a pointless question. I’m speaking about team culture and the influence a supposed leader can have on everyone. When leaders half-ass their jobs, it can snowball – I’ve seen it happen in the military and in private industry.

          Now, for the record, I don’t think that’s happening right now on the Yankees because there are other leaders on the team and a pretty damn good manager that ensure it doesn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean you let it go. If Girardi, Jeter, etc let it go than it’s as good as supporting it.

          Again, this is leadership 101 here. Baseball is not immune.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            But is Cano really a leader? Has he ever been? He’s been on a team of leaders his whole career, he’s never had to take that mantle.

            If you’re arguing moving forward, then fine. But I’d argue that his work ethic off the field, how he deals with the pressure and the media, how much time he spends watching film, are WAY WAY WAY more important than if he hustles to first base.

            Of course baseball is not immune to leadership. I never said it was. I asked for proof that Cano’s lack of leadership was negatively impacting other people, and you just admitted that it hasn’t yet.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              Cano’s “perceived” lack of leadership*

            • JLC 776

              I have no idea if he’s a ‘clubhouse’ leader or anything like that, but moving forward he sure as hell is the talent leader on the team.

              And I did just say it was ‘one aspect’ of his character, not the total character.

              But at this point, it is a very visible aspect and is talked about by fans, media, and it’s now a topic (albeit probably a very minor one) with Girardi.

              Anyway, before we get too far away from the big picture here – JUST RUN THE 90 FUCKING FEET!!! It seriously can’t be that hard. And I don’t need proof to tell you that a senior player on a team not playing to his ability sets a bad example.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                So what’s a fair percentage on the odds of getting hurt? .01%?

                What’s the increased odds of being safe? .01%?

                Cano’s speed is not why he’s valuable. If he think it’s smarter to run 3/4 speed to first base so he doesn’t get hurt, it’s not my place to tell him he’s wrong.

                You’ll notice Girardi didn’t say anything would be different moving forwards. If he got a satisfactory explanation from Cano, I’m not going to be second guessing anyone.

                • LarryM Fl

                  Jim you are missing the point. The few times it might help the team win a game over the course of the month maybe one time or two. Robbie has done some awful running mistakes over the last half of the season. If it means one game a month on the win side if every player hustles to the max on all balls in play that could mean 6 games a year. 91-71.

                  To be honest I do not believe it permeated the atmosphere of the team. We know the team played slightly above expectations but 1 game a month.

                  • Captain

                    come on lets not stretch this narrative any thinner. Cano hustling to first on groundballs will not equal one or two wins a season or 6 games for the entire. year. thats absolutely ridiculous.

                    • JLC 776

                      So at what point is it okay? If he doesn’t run, should he just jog then? How about walk?

                • JLC 776

                  This isn’t an exercise in sabermetrics. Guys aren’t running bases going “oh, shit, I need to slow down by 5% or there’s a 10% increased chance of me going on the 15-day DL and which means my replacement level backup will cost the team .5 wins in my absence”

                  Why is everybody assuming Cano slowing down is keeping him durable? He’s a professional athlete making millions of dollars, he can run 90 feet once in a while!

                  And Larry already nailed the aggregate issue here. Teams do have cultures. I don’t think Cano’s attitude is currently affecting the Yankees, but look at the Beer and Chicken impact on the 2011 Red Sox. You don’t want laziness to cost you a few wins over the course of the year.

                  Again, not addressing this allows the issue to proliferate. I’m not saying Cano needs to be fined or punished – just a friendly reminder from his manager (as Girardi is doing) that he needs to play all aspects of the game at 100%. Not just four out of five.

  • Jedile

    If I would, I would trade Cano for Manny Machado straight up!

  • FLYER7

    It’s not the hustle/non hustle to first but not getting the extra jump out of box to turn singles into doubles or doubles into triples that becomes the issue for me. Does he go hard from first to third and second to home or first to home? Yes, always. Case closed…

  • Kramerica Industries

    It amuses me when people have such outright agendas against the undisputed best player on the team.

    I mean, really. If you’re going to hate somebody, make it somebody who deserves it. Not effing Robinson Cano.

    • JLC 776

      It’s not a matter of hating Cano, it’s being disappointed that he’s not willing to play to his full capacity. It’s hating, frankly, that he’s lazy in at least one aspect of his play.

      And it’s become much more noticeable given how much the rest of the team has regressed.

  • beachbum

    This thread has a basic assumption built in: one must always run hard to first. Why do we all think this? Because that’s what our coaches taught us in Little League and HS. But, let’s not forget that in Little League and HS, the odds of a mishandled ground ball or fly ball are much, much, much greater than in the pros. So it makes sense that our coaches insisted we run hard out of the box. Not so much in the pros. Look, every day at work, every one of us makes determinations of what to prioritize. Robbie has obviously concluded that, in his job, busting it down the line is not a high priortity because the minimimal chance that it is meaningful in the game or over the course of the season, is outweighed by the minimimal chance he gets injured in a manner that keeps him off the field for weeks or even months.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      This is my opinion too.

      Look, is it better looking for him to hustle out every grounder? Sure. In an ideal world, of course I wish he’d run out every play.

      But holy crap, in a season filled with injuries, you think people might appreciate a bit more that Cano stayed healthy, and that this could have, even a little, contributed to that.

  • Tom

    Cano is a great player but the bottom line is he makes himself look bad. Its not even about hustle, he makes NO effort to even look like he is hustling.

    I would take Pedroia over Cano on my team any day and I’m a life long Yankees fan. If I’m the Yankees this off season I present him with a contract similar to Pedroia and say take it or leave it.