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Robinson Cano’s lack of hustle still bothers Yankees hitting coach

Robinson Cano YankeesRobinson Cano will be missed by the New York Yankees now that he’s signed with the Seattle Mariners, but one thing the Yankees won’t miss is Cano’s consistent lack of hustle running out balls to first.

Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long says he was extremely close with Cano and that the team will really miss the All-Star infielder. He also hopes and thinks Cano will do well in Seattle, but the longtime Yankees coach says one thing still bothers him about Cano: the second baseman just never consistently ran hard down the first base line on balls he hit. Here’s what Long said Sunday via the New York Daily News.

“We all talked to him,’’ Long said of Cano’s tendency not to run hard to first . “I’m pretty sure Jeter talked to him a number of times. Even if you run at 80%, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98% of the time, it creates a perception.

“It’s too bad because Robbie cared a lot. By his last year here he was becoming a leader in the clubhouse. He went out of his way to talk to some of the younger guys, and he helped them.

“But he just wouldn’t make that choice to run hard all the time. The reasons aren’t going to make sense. He might say his legs didn’t feel good, or he was playing every day and needed to save his energy. To me there was no acceptable answer.’’

Long was very complimentary of Cano in his comments to the Daily News. He says Cano had a good work ethic and often reached out to him to work on his hitting. He also complimented Cano for overcoming other bad habits, such as laziness in the field or giving away at-bats. But as you can see, the hustle issue was one that was never fixed.

From my experience, one reason players don’t run hard to first on some balls is embarrassment and looks. Players are embarrassed and disappointed about hitting weak ground balls. Running hard after a disappointing at-bat looks silly, so the cool kids don’t want to do it. It’s just bad fundamentals and wrong priorities, and it certainly doesn’t endear a player to his teammates, coaches and fans.

Yankees fans will miss a lot about Cano, but this is one thing that won’t be missed.

Robinson Cano sat with Jay-Z and Beyonce at the Grammys

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Remember when people were wondering why Robinson Cano would leave Scott Boras to sign with Jay-Z and his up-and-coming sports agency. It all made perfect sense when Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. And on Sunday night, we were reminded of some of the perks that go along with being represented by Shawn Carter.

Cano sat with Jay-Z and Beyonce at the Grammy Awards. He uploaded the photo on Instagram and captioned it “La familia.” Boras probably could have gotten Seattle to pay the same amount for Cano, but I don’t think it would look as cool to sit next to Boras as it does accompany Jay-Z and Beyonce.

Anyone who believes clients won’t take stuff like this into consideration when picking Jay-Z as an agent is delusional.

Robinson Cano: The Yankees gave me no respect

Robinson-Cano-MarinersRobinson Cano was officially introduced as a member of the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, and he did not exactly take the high road when discussing his former team. Cano told reporters that the Mariners “showed me love” and made it clear that they wanted him from day one. As for the New York Yankees, the 31-year-old said he felt disrespected.

“Honestly, I would say no,” Cano said when asked if he felt the Yankees wanted him back, via David Lennon of Newsday. “I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get any respect from them and I didn’t see any effort.”

Cano is probably right. The second baseman was one of the best hitters in the American League for the last several seasons, but the Yankees wanted him back at a price that was reasonable for them. The last thing they need is another massive contract like the one Alex Rodriguez is currently still working under, which is why New York offered Cano seven years and $175 million — a higher average annual salary than he got from Seattle.

Cano shouldn’t take it personally. Sure, the Yankees were quick to give Jacoby Ellsbury a seven-year, $153 million deal. But again, it’s more about the length of the deal. New York is done paying players $25 million when they are 40 — at least for now. That’s why we previously wrote that the Yankees proved they learned a lesson by letting Cano walk. Given the current state of the Bronx Bombers, Cano simply hit free agency at a time that gave him virtually no chance to remain in pinstripes.

Pete Rose: Jay-Z got Robinson Cano an extra 30 days of vacation – October

Robinson-Cano-Mariners-1Pete Rose was one of the most hard-nosed players to ever sprint around a Major League Baseball diamond. Like most others who give 110% percent on a daily basis, the playoffs were important to baseball’s all-time hits leader. He appeared in 67 playoff games and had over 300 plate appearances and a .321 batting average in the postseason.

Rose doesn’t think Robinson Cano has a whole lot of meaningful fall baseball in his future. During an appearance on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Wednesday, Rose was asked about the massive contract Jay-Z was able to help Cano secure. He didn’t pull any punches.

“He [Jay Z] got him a big raise, but he got him an extra 30-day vacation — and it’s called October,” Rose quipped.

I don’t know if I’d write the Mariners off just yet. If Cano is the same player in Seattle that he was with New York, he should provide the M’s with one of the game’s best middle-of-the-order bats for several years to come. Not only that, but Seattle’s brass has said it is not done dealing after signing Cano and has been exploring some intriguing trade possibilities.

As for Jay-Z, he did his job and then some. People were accusing him of costing Cano $50 million just hours before news of the $240 million deal surfaced. Not only that, but he may have gotten the Mariners to outbid themselves for his client.

Right now, everyone is thrilled. If the Mariners miss the playoffs for the next four or five seasons, we can revisit Rose’s vacation theory.

Robinson Cano to wear No. 22 with Seattle Mariners

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Robinson Cano wore No. 24 during his nine seasons with the New York Yankees. He will wear No. 22 with the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners sent out their first official team-issued photo of the $240 million man on Thursday and announced that 22 is his new number. Ken Griffey Jr. is the last player to have worn No. 24 for the Mariners, which prompted people like Bryce Harper to wonder if Cano would choose another number in Seattle. I’m guessing he either chose 22 to respect Griffey or was asked to do so by the team. Either way, I doubt it was an issue.

The Mariners have not officially retired any jersey numbers other than Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which is league-wide. The team’s requirement for retiring a uniform number states that a player must have spent five seasons with the Mariners and be in the Hall of Fame. Griffey will likely meet that criteria someday, but in the meantime the M’s have not given out his number since he left in 1999. The richest player in franchise history was no exception.

Photo: Twitter/Seattle Mariners

Jay-Z a sports agent genius? Mariners may have outbid themselves for Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano YankeesWhen many of you woke up last Friday, the sports world was flooded with reports about Jay-Z potentially costing Robinson Cano as much as $50 million by angering the Seattle Mariners. According to several sources, Cano and the Mariners had agreed to a nine-year, $225 million contract on Thursday night. Talks reportedly hit a snag when Jay-Z asked for a 10-year, $250 million contract at last minute that infuriated Seattle’s brass.

“Robinson Cano should have never left Scott Boras!” they all said.

Before we knew it, the Mariners had caved and Cano agreed to his massive deal. And the most amazing part about it is Jay-Z may have actually gotten the Mariners to outbid themselves with their final offer.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Mariners believed some other team had offered Cano nine years and $225 million. Who was that team? Why haven’t we heard anything about Cano being in legitimate talks with any other team or receiving any other offers that were north of $200 million? Probably because there was no other team.

The only other known offer Cano received was something in the range of seven years and around $160 million from the Yankees. That is nowhere near what Cano eventually signed for, and we previously told you that New York was not willing to go beyond $200 million to keep Cano. It now seems like there is a good chance no team was going to blow a $200 million offer out of the water.

Therefore, we are left to assume that Jay-Z handled Cano’s contract negotiations like a genius. Unless someone can prove there was another team that made a competitive offer, the only possible explanation is that Jay-Z dangled his high-profile client in front of the Mariners and then pulled him back. By that time, Seattle could already see the way the future of its franchise looked with Cano. They weren’t walking away from the table, and Jay-Z probably knew that. All indications are he handled the situation with perfection.

H/T Baseball Nation via Deadspin

Robinson Cano reportedly did not want to play for Joe Girardi

Joe GirardiThe Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year deal worth $240 million on Friday. That was simply more money than the New York Yankees wanted to pay for the dynamic slugger, so they let him walk. It is widely assumed that the decision came down to money and nothing else, but a recent report indicated that there may have been more at play.

According to the NY Post, sources close to Cano claim he did not enjoy playing for Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

“Robbie didn’t like batting second, he wanted to bat in the middle of the order,” a person who knows Cano reportedly told The Post’s George A. King III. “The Yankees wanted him second because that was best for the team. He wanted to hit in the middle of the order to drive in runs [to increase his value].”

Another friend of Cano’s said he simply didn’t like playing for Girardi.

“He told me he didn’t want to play for [Girardi],”  the friend said.

While that may be true, it is not the reason Cano ultimately left the Bronx. The last known offer that the Yankees made to the 31-year-old totaled $175 million, so it’s doubtful that they were going to make an offer that was anywhere close to the $240 million Seattle gave him.

Still, the report is interesting. There has been a lot of talk about Cano missing out on endorsement money and costing himself a chance at winning by signing with the Mariners. In reality, Cano may be happier out west for reasons other than money.

Related: Bryce Harper wonders if Robinson Cano will wear Ken Griffey Jr’s number
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