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Robinson Cano would give MVP vote to himself

Sep 22, 2011, 3:22 PM EST

New York Yankees Robinson Cano runs up the first baseline after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

Robinson Cano is having another excellent season, hitting .305 with 27 homers, an .891 OPS, and strong defense at second base while playing every game for the Yankees, but his name is rarely brought up in most discussions about MVP candidates.

Or at least rarely brought up by anyone but Cano himself.

Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York asked Cano who would get his hypothetical MVP vote this season and Cano chose himself while campaigning for actual votes from the writers with ballots:

MVP is tough right now, you got a lot of guys, but I would give my vote to myself. You can see the numbers. I’m batting fifth in the lineup, I’ve been there the whole year and why not me? My numbers are there and you guys got to decide that. I hope I get your guys vote.

Cano finished third in the MVP voting last season behind Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera, and his performance has been more or less identical this season–he ranks 10th among AL position players in WAR–but there’s very little buzz surrounding his candidacy and Curtis Granderson seems certain to be the Yankees’ top vote-getter.

Sorry, Robinson.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Oh, God…you can’t say that can you? Isn’t it against the unwritten rules or something…

  2. bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Tremendous team player that Cano. And such humility and grace!

    • bigharold - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      People hate it when Jeter gives canned subduded answers and neber really reveals anything. Cano says something real without being boorish or offensive and tada! Snarky remarks.

      • bigleagues - Sep 23, 2011 at 5:14 AM

        But the comment is boorish.

        Particularly because he isn’t even in the discussion for AL MVP, while a teammate of his clearly is being considered by many.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      Yeah, and this is a quote, so you aren’t getting his tone. Cano is being honest. How dare he?

  3. clydeserra - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Strong defense when compared to Jeter maybe, but not the rest of the league.

    • spindervish - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      Anecdotally, everyone seems to love his D the last couple years. Meanwhile, UZR kind of hates his range. Don’t really know what to make of it. I don’t watch the Yankees enough to say myself.

      • bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Yeah I don’t get it either. Strong (read: elite) defense is what Dustpan delivers.

        Good or solid defense is more apropos of Cano.

      • bigharold - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        Then UZR should update it’s criteria. I watch quite a bit of Cano, .. Pedroia too. His range is at least as good as Pedroia’s without all the diving and he has a better arm. If anything his superior physical skills lead people to belive that he’s not trying hard. His offensive numbers speak for themselves. On most teams he’s the #3 or 4 batter.

        Overall there are a few guys that are as good as Cano at 2B, .. like Pedroia in his own way, .. but nobody is better.

      • bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        Love the Yankees fans Thumbs down: tells me I’m doing my job :-)

        FanGraphs:
        —————-

        Pedroia 2011 UZR: 17.4 (1336 Innings)
        Cano 2011 UZR: -2.3 (1302 Innings)

        Pedroia 2010 UZR: 4.8 (667 Innings) – played only half season
        Cano 2010 UZR: -0.8 (1393 Innings)

        Pedroia 2009 UZR: 8.4 (1346 Innings)
        Cano 2009 UZR: -2.4 (1399 Innings)

      • madaozeki - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM

        @bigharold

        Then UZR should update its criteria to using your eyes, watching “quite a bit” of only 2 of the 30-odd 2nd-basement in the majors, and ignoring the meticulous human observation of thousands and thousands of plays logged in multiple dimensions and cross-checked by multiple people.

        Maybe the data’s wrong (since it’s only a several-year sample), but I sure as heck trust its conclusions more than your “eye test”.

      • bigharold - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM

        “… meticulous human observation of thousands and thousands of plays logged in multiple dimensions and cross-checked by multiple people.”

        Observations based on somebody else’s criteria or in other words opinion. While URZ rating are not meaningless they ARE NOT hard facts or data like era or rbi or BA. They are open to interpretation and are not etched in stone. In fact similar rating tools like things like WAR are calculated differently depending upon the source. They are most useful for people that need others to do their analysis for them. I’ve no such short coming. If you feel the need to have others do your thinking for you be all means continue.

        No excuse me while I take my eyes to the big ballpark in the Bronx and watch Cano et al in person.

      • bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:16 PM

        madaozeki,

        I suspect Harold is too modest to tell us that the Yankees have been tantalizing him for years with 6 figure offers to be their top scout. His answer is always the same – being paid would only taint his innate ability to evaluate talent.

        Meanwhile, all the people who record and submit UZR data are completely biased against Robinson Cano – and coincidentally are all huge Pedroia fans. That’s just obvious to anyone who trusts their own eyes.

        And mine eyes have told me differently than Harold’s eyes with regard to Cano vs Dustpan. And while the raw numbers favor Cano is some of the traditional counting stat areas, the Advanced Stats confirm my general observation.

        Now in all fairness Cano does lead the majors in Range Factor.

        But that midget Pedroia has a better career FP% .990 – .985 (now there is an old school stat for ya) and is so far ahead in Rtot and Rdrs I won’t even bother listing it here.

        According to Baseball Reference’ WAR – despite playing in 338 fewer career games, Pedroia trails Cano by just 4.8 WAR. For 2011, Pedroia is at 6.4 to Cano’s 4.8.

        And just for good measure, according to FanGraphs WAR, for their careers Pedroia is 25.5 to Cano’s 24.8 (again in 338 fewer games) and for 2011 Pedroia 7.6 to Cano’s 5.8.

        But again, Harold is right and the rest of us are wrong.

      • bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:17 PM

        ALMOST forgot this subjective measure:

        MVP’s:

        Pedroia: 1
        Cano: 0

  4. yankeesfanlen - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    The MVP will go to Grandy. But, nice little bit of shameless self-promotion there, Robbie!

  5. southofheaven81 - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    My vote goes to Joey Bats. Granderson has the offensive numbers but not the batting average. Adrian Gonzales has the opposite problem. Verlander is already going to get a nice trophy for being awesome this year. Bautista has over 40 HRs, over 100 RBIs and a +.300 batting average. He’s the total package.

  6. dailyrev - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Robby’s Dad should get the award for throwing him all those cookies at the AS game HR contest.

    • cur68 - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM

      Dang. Beat me to it.

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      Yeah, he should have been slingin’ sliders and changeups like the other guys.

  7. nps6724 - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Hard to call someone an MVP when 2-3 of his teammates could also be in the conversation.

    • spindervish - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:43 PM

      Nonsense.

      Jose Bautista has been far and away the best hitter in the AL this year, I believe. I believe he should win the MVP handily.

      You’re telling me if Aaron Hill and Adam Lind had gone off for, say, 35 homers and 100 RBI apiece while hitting in the .280-.300 range with respectable walk rates and solid D that I should somehow change my opinion of Bautista’s performance? Come the fuck on…

  8. bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Ellsbury needs 2 HR, 2 RBI and 3 SB over the final 7 Games to be just the 4th player in MLB history to finish the season with .300 AVG, 200 Hits, 30 HR, 100 Runs, 100 RBI and 40 SB.

    The other three are: ARod (1998), Soriano (2002) and Vlad (2002).

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 22, 2011 at 4:34 PM

      Man, I forgot Vlad stole bags!!! Wow, memory lane…

      • 18thstreet - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        How many players in baseball history have a .300 average, 28 homers, 98 RBI, and 37 SBs?

        I mean, just because a number ends in zero … sigh.

        And I love Ellsbury. I’ve loved him since pre-rookie days. I never thought he was going to be this good.

      • bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:07 PM

        I hear ya, but two points.

        1) All of those represent traditional mile markers by which we judge a players achievements in a given season. i.e. “he’s a future .300/30/100 guy”. If a player hits .300 with 175 Hits, 27 HR and 98 RBI we are still going to recognize him as a very good hitter. But it is extremely rare when a hitter excels in so many categories across the board (and I didn’t even include TB [340] or 2B [45] – and the list wouldn’t have changed if I had).

        2) He’s accomplished this season despite batting lead-off virtually all season. I have yet to figure out how to search and sort players season based on batting order (perhaps it doesn’t exist), but as near as I can tell tell – Jacoby Ellsbury may have already posted the most all-around dominant season for a lead-off hitter in the history of baseball – even if he doesn’t get the 2HR, 2RBI and 3 SB. And if its not the most dominant, I can’t imagine its not in the discussion. And yet, that factor is getting zero play in the MVP discussion.

        If Bautista doesn’t win the MVP, and Verlander isn’t seriously considered, then the MVP must go to Ellsbury. Granderson has, without a doubt, had a tremendous season, but overall, his game is a notch below what Ellsbury has done this season.

  9. proudlycanadian - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Bautista is the MVP!

    • cur68 - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Yeah. Bautista for MVP (yeah, yeah, no one faint in shock I typed, that, ok?) But, I’ll be honest. It won’t break m’heart if Cano or Grandy gets it. Lets face it they had really, really, REALLY great years. I wonder if Cano said what he said with a big grin on his face; totally doing it for the laughs. Even if he didn’t, so what? The guy’s good; one of the best this year. He should be in the conversation. Definitely in consideration.

  10. marshmallowsnake - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Robinson must think that the HR Derby results have a part in the MVP voting.

  11. yankeesgameday - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    Quit being the straw strring the drink.

  12. bigharold - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    “But again, Harold is right and the rest of us are wrong.”

    No league I said that I don’t need somebody else to do my thinking for me. Try to pay attention.

    URZ is not the holy grail unless one is incapable of thinking for themselves. It is in fact a one way of assessing ones defensive ability in a numerical format so as to appear that all things are equal. But that is a fallacy, it is by definition someones opinion and in fact subject to debate so therefore are NOT facts themselves. If you are incapable of assessing a players ability without somebody crunching the numbers for you perhaps you should become an actuary so that eventually you can do your own work?

    Additionally, If you think that Pedroia is a better 2B than Cano based on somebody else’s stats then that says more about your dependence on stats than your ability to analyze baseball. I think Pedroia is a great 2B but he is NOT better than Cano.

    Like Twain said there are liars, damned liars and statistics.

    • bigleagues - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:06 AM

      BigH:

      “If you think that Pedroia is a better 2B than Cano based on somebody else’s stats then that says more about your dependence on stats than your ability to analyze baseball.”

      No Harold, I said that my own eyes have told me that Pedroia is the better second baseman, and the numbers have only confirmed it. Try to pay attention.

      But let’s assume neither of us are correct, that we are both subjectively biased toward our second baseman. And let’s suppose there is a second baseman somewhere in MLB that is better than either of them. Obviously neither you or I can watch every game, every night. Or even several games each night. No one can.

      Unlike more standard statistics like HR, RBI, BB, K, etc . . . which are simple counting stats and tallied by the official scorer – UZR is not compiled and computed by one guy. Rather the raw data is recorded and compiled by lots of guys (and almost always using more than one set of eyes per game in order to weed out bias). Whereas an Error is determined by one person, the official scorer, UZR is determined by many persons observing and recording data independently.

      In addition to UZR, there is DRS – again Pedroia comes out on top.

      All that said . . . while Sabremetrics provide statistical evidence that Pedroia is the clearly the better defensive player, it also shows that Cano has the edge on overall offensive performance. And that supports the counting stats (and our “eyes test” because, believe it or not, I do believe that Cano has the edge on offense – although the gap between them is not as big on offense as it is on defense).

  13. lovesmesomeme - Sep 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    What do you want him to say? What a stupid question. The only way it could have been awesomer was if he had gone third person a la Ricky Henderson

    • bigleagues - Sep 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      I’m sure Crash Davis would explain it to Cano if only he’d take a few minutes off from his ego to listen.

  14. lovesmesomeme - Sep 24, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Robby say Robby don’t know who this crash davis dude is. Robby also say Robby got here because he had to think he the best one out here and you want Robby to stop? That dog ain’t gonna hunt

    • bigleagues - Sep 24, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      Robby needs to stop listening to the voice in his head and understand that the reason why Derek Jeter has the universal respect he has – even among Red Sox fans – is because he doesn’t say stupid shit like Robby tends to say.

      And lest we forget, it was only a couple of years ago that the Yankees were very publicly questioning Cano’s commitment to the team and winning.

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