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The Enigma that is Robinson Cano

Posted By Brendan Sennott On Jun 27 2012 @ 2:56 pm In New York Yankees | No Comments

The Yankees have the best record in  baseball at 44-28 as they play the Indians today in a getaway day matinee this afternoon at The Stadium.  They skuffled a bit after the Braves ended their 10 game winning streak last Tuesday in losing 2 out of 3 to Atlanta.  They went across town and won some ugly games in beating the Mets 2 of 3 in the Subway Series rematch.   The rubber game sunday night was highlighted by Robinson Cano hitting a monster homerun in the 8th inning off of Miguel Batista propelling the Yanks to a 6-5 win.  The blast reminded me of how great and at the same time how frustrating Robbie can be.

In the Yankee clubhouse full of perennial All Stars and First Ballot Hall-of-Famers Robinson Cano is now the alpha dog.  He is the best player on this team bar none.  It is not even debatable.  He has a .307 career batting average in his 8 major league seasons.  He is a 3 time all-star, 3 time recipient of the silver slugger award and has a gold glove on his mantle.  So far in 2012 he is hitting an even .300 with 17 homers.   Nice numbers to be sure, but not where they should be for a player of his caliber and talent.

Robinson Cano has just 39 RBI’s and has hit a putrid .164 with runners in scoring position so far this season.   There are instances like on Sunday night where he still seemingly doesn’t give 100% on defense.  In that game he was involved in 3 Yankee errors(he was charged with just 1) that allowed the Mets to come back from a 5-1 deficit and helped cost CC Sabathia a win.  After the game Cano even complained to the media about the error he was charged with on the grounder by Justin Turner that opened the flood gates for the Met big inning.  If he make the play there is 2 out and no one on and CC probably cruises to victory. Instead it gave the Mets life.  Cano was also seen on camera after his long homer bragging to Andruw Jones about the blast.  Knowing he contributed to the Yankees blowing the lead Derek Jeter finally had heard enough and threw a towel at Cano to get him to shut up.  It was interesting to see the frustration Cano gives us fans carrying over to his teammates.

Robinson Cano should be as good or better than Josh Hamilton or Miguel Cabrera.  Like Cabrera, Cano will never get confused with Pete Rose because the game comes so easily to him.  Cano just can’t continue to get caught openly dogging it like Sunday on the Turner grounder.  Like most of the Yankee hitters I do think hitting coach Kevin Long contributes to some of his bad habits at the plate.  Cano has an team option in his contact that will be picked up for next season.  He will be a free agent prior to the 2014 season which will be his age 32 season.  The Yankees will almost certainly have to sign him to a mammoth contact.  It will be in that contract that Cano will have to decide whether or not he wants to be a really good player finishing up a solid career, or if he wants to become a great player and sure fire Hall-of-Famer.  To do that he will have to start producing on a night in night out basis, hit better with runners in scoring position, and carry this team on his bac and lead the Yankees to a World Series Championship thus truly earning that alpha dog status.

 

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