During his time with the Yankees, Robinson Cano became notorious for his lack of hustle. Too many times, you would see Cano jog to first base, or lolly gag around the base paths before being thrown out.
And now, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long is finally speaking out on what it was like to deal with Cano’s lack of hustle.
While talking with the New York Daily News, Long said Cano would, “say his legs didn’t feel good, or he was playing every day and needed to save his energy.”
That had better be a joke. His “legs didn’t feel good”. As someone who was consistently frustrated with Cano’s non-challant approach to the game, Long’s comments validate why the Yankees made the right move by not giving Cano $240 million dollars. If someone is willing to pay you $24 million dollars per year, you had better hustle.
Long mentioned how team captain Derek Jeter would talk to Cano about the importance of hustling, but he still wouldn’t listen.
“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,” Long said.
As hard as Cano worked at the plate, which Long gave credit to Cano for, the perception many Yankees fans had of him was that he was lazy.
When thinking about the “true Yankees”, qualities that come to mind are hustle, giving it there all on every play, NOT giving excuses, and the ability to rise to the occasion.
That’s exactly what has made Derek Jeter so special, and what made other great Yankees like Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, and Paul O’Neil so beloved.
Martinez had some of the biggest hits in Yankees post-season history including a grand slam in game 1 of the 1998 World Series, and a game tying home-run with 2-outs in the 9th in game 4 of the 2001 World Series.
Paul O’Neil was given the nickname of “Warrior” by George Steinbrenner. Robinson Cano will never be looked at as a “warrior”.
Andy Pettitte was known as the ultimate stopper. Whenever the Yankees were in a slide, Pettitte would take the ball and get the team back on track.
Those players would never jog to first base, or make excuses for their lack of hustle. It’s why those players were winners, something Cano is not.
Cano appeared to want to be the face of the Yankees. The only problem was he didn’t act like it. And now he’s gone and the Yankees are better off.
What do you think about Cano making excuses for his lack of hustle? Leave a comment below