NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Without Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez around, someone had to carry the Yankee Pride at All-Star weekend. Robinson Cano’s booming victory in the Home Run Derby fit the bill just fine.

That fact was not lost on Cano.

“I was sad when I heard they are not coming, because you always like when you’re teammates are here, because you feel like you’re in the clubhouse,” he said. But I know they have their reasons and I hope fans understand that it’s not that they don’t want to come. There was a reason and I know nobody else wants to be here more than them.”

Jeter especially has come under scrutiny for failing to show for the festivities in Phoenix.

Cano had a special thanks for pitcher CC Sabathia, who started on Sunday and thus was not eligible to throw in Tuesday’s All-Star game, even though he leads the majors with 13 wins.

The second baseman said Sabathia told him, ‘You’re going to win it, don’t worry, be relaxed.”

Some key Yankees weren’t with Cano, but their support was.

“It’s always great to have people around you like that,” he said. “Not like, ‘Oh, this guy is going to go, don’t care if he doesn’t win.”

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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