Robinson Cano left the New York Yankees to sign a 10-year, $240 million dollar deal with the Seattle Mariners, but that didn’t stop Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long from expressing displeasure with one flaw he couldn’t correct in Cano’s game.
Long is still bothered by the inability to get through to Cano that he needed to hustle all the time to first base and when he dogged it to first it created a perception about the five-time all-star.
“If somebody told me I was a dog, I’d have to fix that. When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, and that’s your fault. For whatever reason, Robbie chose not to,” Long told the New York Daily News on Sunday.
Long praised Cano for the work he did when he came to New York as a raw kid with ‘holes in his swing, in his makeup, in his body composition’ when he would take plays off in the field and at the plate, but was not alone in his inability to get Cano to run hard.
“I’m pretty sure Derek Jeter talked to him a number of times,” Long said. “Even if you run at 80 percent, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98 percent of the time, it creates a perception.”
One thing that fans have zero tolerance for is when players making millions of dollars don’t put forth 100 percent effort on every single play, sure they can stomach it when you’re the best in the game at your position, but that doesn’t mean they have to like a player who dogs it.
The Yankees will miss Cano and Cano will miss the Yankees, but it’s unfortunate something so routine could potentially taint the best second baseman the game has seen this millennium.