NEW YORK (WFAN) — Curtis Granderson thinks Robinson Cano gets a bum rap.
Despite the criticisms from Mariano Rivera and New York hitting coach Kevin Long, Granderson says his former Yankees teammate has good reason to not go all-out on every play.
“You’ve got 162 games you’ve gotta conserve for,” Granderson said Thursday on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show. “You know if you’ve hit a one-hop bullet at somebody, you’re out. There’s no point to sprint down there. The days of trying to impress the scouts to see how fast (he) can go down the line are done. He did that in the minor leagues.”
Rivera wrote in his book that he’d pick Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia over Cano, who bolted the Bronx this offseason for a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle. In February, Long acknowledged he was sometimes baffled by Cano’s lackadaisical approach.
But Granderson said Cano is in the same category as Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant — guys who have a way of making everything look routine.
“People are like, ‘He doesn’t hustle.’ I mean, I haven’t seen Cano steal 40 or 50 bases. If he has done that and all of a sudden isn’t doing that, then let’s jump on him and say he’s not doing these things,” he said.
Granderson, now with the Mets, had a chance to watch Cano’s return to Yankee Stadium last week with his new team rained out in Philly. The reception wasn’t pretty, but he was happy to see at least a few fans with signs supporting their former All-Star infielder.
“He won a championship here, he came up here, he did some amazing things here, and he got the respect that he should have gotten,” Granderson said.
Of course, Granderson also talked about the Mets’ malaise, saying there’s still plenty of time to even things out in the tight NL East.
Listen to the full interview: