Lloyd McClendon defends Robinson Cano against Yankees hitting coach

Robinson-Cano-MarinersSeattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon fired back at New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long in defense of Robinson Cano on Tuesday. Over the weekend, Long reiterated that he is still bothered by the fact that Cano had to be spoken to several times about not running hard down the first-base line. McClendon thinks Long should worry about his own team.

“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. “That was a little surprising. I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way. He’s concerned with his team and what they’re doing, not what the Seattle Mariners players are doing.

“I’m a little surprised that Kevin Long is the spokesman for the New York Yankees. I wonder if he had any problems with Robbie when he wrote that book ["Cage Rat"] proclaiming himself as the guru of hitting.”

Long also had a lot of complimentary things to say about Cano during his interview with the NY Daily News, but the comments about his lack of hustle when running out ground balls were the big takeaway. McClendon said he isn’t worried about Cano’s hustle and that not running hard is often “blown out of proportion.”

“To me, the most important thing is the guy goes out there for 160 games a year, he hits .330, he drives in over 100 runs and he hits 25 to 30 home runs,” he said. “I just need Robinson to be Robinson. Like all the rest of my guys know, just don’t dog it. Am I expecting you to give me 110 percent down the baseline every night? No. I’m expecting you to give me a good effort.”

There’s obviously a lot of bitterness remaining between Cano and the Yankees. I think both sides should be giving 110% effort to move on without one another.

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  • Rich

    As a life long Yankee fan i think it’s safe to say that most of us hate it when ANY of our highly paid players fail to hustle. Just the nature of the beast, I guess. Jeter runs hard all the time and even though I hate the Red Sox, nobody runs harder to first base than Pedroia. Robbie could learn something from both those guys – but maybe he won’t. I assume Kevin Long was asked a question – in an interview i am sure the Yankees approved him doing – and he answered it. The only person who seems to have a bug up his ass is McClendon. Nice to defend a player who hasn’t even played for you yet, i guess, but the fact is that Robbie doesn’t like to run out ground balls and I am sure McClendon will see that. It bothered people enough in NY to get the question asked, so why pick on Kevin Long for answering it?

  • Randy Jorgensen

    Lloyd will have his work cut out for him with Cano, because this is
    one franchise where top quality players come for the easy cash and
    lowered expectations are accepted as the norm. Until the Mariner’s
    get quality in their front office the mediocrity of professional baseball
    will continue in the great northwest. Please Nintendo go back to making
    video games and let quality ownership take over this franchise. The
    Seahawks have raised the bar in Seattle pro sports and the fans here
    in this great city will not stand for ineptitude in the front office anymore!

  • Billie Zahurak

    Just ask any Pittsburgh Pirates fan how McClendon coaches. He’s going to have a rough time controlling Cano. He’ll lose his team.