NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Robinson Cano is no longer a Yankee, but he’s still making headlines in New York — through no fault of his own.
The superstar second baseman, who signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners in December, was called out by Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on Sunday.
The cause of Long’s ire? The five-time All-Star’s hustle — or lack thereof — during his time in the Bronx.
“If somebody told me I was a dog, I’d have to fix that,” Long told the New York Daily News. “When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, and that’s your fault. For whatever reason, Robbie chose not to.”
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon didn’t take long to fire a rebuttal.
“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com. “That was a little surprising. I was a little p—– 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.”
Now it appears that Long wants to nip this situation in the bud before it gets out of hand. After all, Long has more important thing to worry about — like his own team.
“No, I don’t consider myself a spokesman for the Yankees,” Long told reporters. “I think if you look at all the good things that were written about Robinson, you’d understand that there was no malicious meaning behind any of it. If he wants to speak publicly and talk like that, that’s fine. That’s up to him. If that’s the way he’s interpreting it and looking at it, so be it.
“I’m not going to get into a media war with Lloyd McClendon. He’ll probably win that, anyway.”
Cano doesn’t appear to be too fazed about the back-and-forth exchange between his former coach and his new manager.
According to the New York Daily News, Long said on Tuesday that he and Cano talked via text, and Cano told him, “We are good.”
He was far and away New York’s best player in 2013, batting .314 with 27 homers and 107 RBIs in a lineup that offered little to no protection.
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