NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Robinson Cano is no longer a Yankee, yet we’re still talking about his giddy-up — or lack thereof — to first base.

“If somebody told me I was a dog, I’d have to fix that,” Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long told the New York Daily News on Sunday. “When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, and that’s your fault. For whatever reason, Robbie chose not to.”

Long said several members of the Yankees tried to talk to Cano about his habit of giving up on a base hit.

“We all talked to him,” he said. “I’m pretty sure (Derek) Jeter talked to him a number of times. Even if you run at 80 percent, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98 percent of the time, it creates a perception.”

Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners this offseason. Long said the 31-year-old second baseman was “becoming a leader” in the Yankees’ locker room after overcoming issues with his “swing,” “makeup” and “body composition” early in his career.

“But he just wouldn’t make that choice to run hard all the time,” Long said. “The reasons aren’t going to make sense. He might say his legs didn’t feel good, or he was playing every day and needed to save his energy. To me there was no acceptable answer.”

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