Seattle 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.