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Colin Cowherd: “Robinson Cano plays a lot harder in those [WBC] games than he does for the Yankees”

Mar 20, 2013, 4:03 PM EDT

Robinson Cano Reuters

That’s quoted from Andrew Marchand’s column taking issue with Cowherd. Who, by the way, is also paid by ESPN, so it’s a rare and interesting case of ESPN-on-ESPN criticism. In this case completely warranted.

Cano plays 160 games a year. When he was younger I seem to remember an instance in which Joe Torre benched him for dogging it once, but I can’t recall a single instance since then. The guy plays hard. The guy plays well. To suggest otherwise like Cowherd is here is indicative of some combination of baseball ignorance, a misunderstanding of the differences between the WBC and major league baseball and/or casual racism, the kind of which always seems to find black or Latin players to be slackers at some point or another.

But then again, it’s Colin Cowherd we’re talking about here, so whatever it is, it’s calculated to get people talking about Colin Cowherd. In which case, well played, dude. As if that sort of thing is supposed to justify your stupidity.


  1. kingbuccaneer - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    craig just got trolled by colin the coward via the worldwide leader in media trolling

  2. sictransitchris - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    While I didn’t watch enough of the WBC to pick a side, Cano definitely has moments where you wonder if he’s got his head in the game.

  3. APBA Guy - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    ESPN’s so big that they will inevitably have commentariat civil wars. Bill Simmons was blasting, and deservedly so, Skip Bayless and got slapped down for being so unrelenting about it by the ESPN suits. But for all their size, ESPN has a real problem with its talking heads. I mean, if they aren’t morons (Bayless, Cowherd, et al) they have real telepresence issues (Keith Law). But they are so good with technical production (their EPL broadcasts were way superior to Sky) that we have to watch sometimes. But we don’t have to watch the shout fests, like Cowherd’s show, or Bayless’s shows.

    • ctony1216 - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Uh, it’s not commentariat civil wars, it’s cross-promotion. ESPN writer hypes broadcaster comments. Broadcaster hypes writer’s story. Cross-promotion. It’s for ratings and clicks.

    • spudchukar - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Well Said.

  4. jvm127 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Always with the racism angle as usual … You must not listen to the way Colin talks about NBA players who are like 99% black. I’d love your stuff if you could check your politics at the door. In the mean time ill be looking elsewhere for my NFL news.

    • djpostl - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      In the context of how he used it he’s on point and you kind of missed the mark.

      When it comes to Latino players, African-American players any guy who is kind of graceful or even remotely deliberate gets accused of loafing it.

      It happens a lot.

      So please, check your ignorance at the door.

      Meanwhile, gain an understanding of how the Internet works.

      If you don’t like it…don’t look.

      Do you see a pile of mud and just jump into it then complain about how dirty you got?

    • crispybasil - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      “In the mean time ill be looking elsewhere for my NFL news.”

      You could start with an NFL-oriented outlet.

  5. jdyankee23 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Are YOU KIDDING ME??????!!!! Exactly what baseball do you watch?

    “When he was younger I seem to remember an instance in which Joe Torre benched him for dogging it once, but I can’t recall a single instance since then. The guy plays hard. ”

    Watching the Yankees every game a year – I would be more than happy to HAND YOU 30 instances from this past season alone where Cano dogs it up the first baseline. Yeah, running a ball out like his Captain does on one leg is called playing hard, not who you incorrectly described.

    This is the problem with every person allowed to comment on a sport they clearly do not watch…

    • djpostl - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      As a Yankee fan I agree. I love Cano but he does go into “glide mode” too often for my tastes.

      I understand that he is kind of sneaky quick and covers good ground without seeming to be busting ass, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have quite a few moments each season where he isn’t giving it as much as I think he should be.

      • indaburg - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        I will use jdyankee’s and your comment as Exhibit A for my Hall of Spoiled Yankee Fans.

        Read COPO’s comment below. A guy that does this “.310/.355/.509, 125OPS+ line averaging 23 HR, 93 RBI, 91 R and 186H a year”, isn’t doing enough for you? He isn’t giving it as much effort as you think he should be? I’ll be damned.

      • ctony1216 - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        … while averaging 160 games a year for the past 6 years, not including playoffs. He’s only missed 10 games in 6 years.

    • iamnotacoolguy - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Can we please stop this Jeter nonsense? Is Cano not enough of a “true Yankee” either?

      • indaburg - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Apparently not.

      • schrutebeetfarms - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        This is quickly turning into a gritty enough discussion.

  6. mungman69 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Colin is a jerk. He makes statements that he can’t back up. If you listen to him shame on you.

    • davids117 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      I wish I could give you more thumbs up for that.

  7. jvm127 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Correction my MLB news. I was confusing you with Florio and his never-ending quest for political correctness in sports. I guess he recruited you to the cause.

    • psuravens19 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      For somebody that wants to get their MLB news elsewhere; it’s a little ironic that you actually came back to correct yourself.

    • schrutebeetfarms - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Well he does have a point on Florio.

  8. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Since Cano became a full time starter, he’s played 1082 out of a possible 1134 games (95.4%). He’s also put up a .310/.355/.509, 125OPS+ line averaging 23 HR, 93 RBI, 91 R and 186H a year. If he’s loafing, maybe there’s something to it because he’s done nothing but produce and stay healthy…

    • bigharold - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Reason, logic and facts, .. how dare you Sir?

  9. tcostant - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Cowherd is correct. I usually think that Cowherd is just hot win, but he is right here. I use to say that the next time that Cano runs hard to first base, will be the first time. I can’t say that anymore, because he ran hard in the WBC!

  10. chucklewis13 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Colin is an arrogant, pompous and maniacial twit but he nailed this one on Cano. I have been a Yankee fan for more than 50 years and Cano happens to be one of my favorite players. However, it is maddening to watch him run to first base as if he is taking a leisure stroll in the park. For a long time, Cano failed to dive from balls to keep the ball in the infield, often times on scoring plays. It is even more upsetting to listen to Girardi opine that he doesn’t have a problem with Cano’s hustle or lack thereof to first base. I have blogged many times that if Cano had the mental make-up and baseball acumen of Jeter, he would be a Super Star. Marchand who is a beat writer for the Yankees of all people, should know that you cannot defend the indefensible when it comes to Cano and his lack of hustle.

  11. louhudson23 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Cano is a fantastic player….when he pays attention and busts his ass…..which happens far less often than it should. I watched about 90 plus Yankees games last year and it is a rare game that less than full effort is not clearly displayed….gazing at flyballs off the wall,instead of getting to second base,jogging down to first on infield ground balls,and refusing to block the ball moving to his left,offering a glove wave at most,(even though he gets to a lot of balls),sometimes it is just as important just to stop the damn ball from leaking into the outfield….mental awareness of situations…..

  12. randygnyc - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I’ve watched every inning cano has played with the Yankees. Cowherd isn’t wrong here. The one knock against cano is that he doesn’t give max effort all the time. Heck, sometimes he appears to not even be trying. That’s a primary reason they gave up on Melky. Felt he was rubbing off on him. Little did they know it was in his DNA.

  13. bronxbomber213 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Here again we see Craig dumping on someone without providing any context!! cowherd said this as an illustration of the point that the teams like DR and PR take more pride in the WBC than the US!! no mention of that in the column but that’s typical liberal for you! And please stop with the racism…PLEASE JUST STOP!!! even merchand in his “rebuttal” of cowherd says that Cano is an equal opportunity Non-hustler but I guess he’s racist too!?! the bottom line is cano takes plays off…lets not confuse that with a guy who takes xtra bp or grounders!! In game he doesn’t run hard and refuses to dive for balls to his right…I’m a die hard yanks fan but there is no question that Pedroia plays 100x harder than him with half the athletic ability and height…I’d take a guy like that on my team over a loafer any day!!!

    • yahmule - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Example A of why guys like Cowherd exist. The mainstream media knows plenty of guys like this exist and they spend advertising dollars just like everybody else. Do you really think they’re not going to pander to them? If you strike down a Bayless, two Cowherds will be propped up in his place.

    • ctony1216 - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      “… refuses to dive for balls to his right…”

      As a die-hard Yankee fan, you’ll enjoy these highlights:

      It’s Cano diving to his right, left, going back on balls, etc. Sometimes Yankees fans take Cano’s of defense for granted.

  14. yahmule - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:57 PM,9975/

  15. bigmike5562 - Mar 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Sure, sure. He’s a loafer, he doesn’t bust his ass down the line, doesn’t hustle. Doesn’t try, doesn’t give max effort all the time.

    Maybe don’t forget there are 29 other MLB teams who would sign him in a heartbeat.

    • louhudson23 - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      Reciting his numbers and the desire of other teams to sign him is a statement that says little of Cano and his potential and speaks volumes as to the state of the game and the folks who think the game is played on a spreadsheet and not dirt and grass….yes he puts up good numbers,he is a fine player. But the fire to be the best(player and teammate) is lacking….no question….He is happy enough with the numbers and the money……I honestly think he is a Mays,Clemente,Morgan level talent who lacks the desire and joy of playing the game that those players had along with their extraordinary skill set…….

  16. tampabayirish - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Cano has incredible talent. He may have the sweetest swing in baseball. (However his strike zone discipline is awful…swings at a lot of terrible pitches. Why throw him a strike?). While it does appear that he does not run out every ground ball. (It’s true!) Part of that perception is that Cano is a below average runner. Way below average. And until he dives face first into the seats for a foul ball in a playoff game in October in Yankee stadium, he will never escape Jeter’s shadow and will be perceived as a super talented player who sometimes doesn’t put out max effort.

  17. jm91rs - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    “it’s calculated to get people talking about Colin Cowherd”

    Exactly. And here we go with 25 comments talking about the jerk. A few years ago when Votto won the MVP he spent a few days talking about how Joey Votto was not an All-Star and every baseball “insider” told him that Votto wasn’t very good. The local ESPN radio guys said cowherd’s show’s ratings went through the roof for a week or two in Cincinnati.

    Make people mad and they’ll listen just so they can hate you more.

  18. stayclassyasheville - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Baseball is stupid. Bud Selig is the poster boy for baseball fans. A sport for old farts.

    • rich7041 - Mar 21, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      So says the guy who took the time to log onto a baseball blog to leave the comment. Unless that was sarcasm or snark? Maybe I missed it? If so, please use the sarcasm font in the future.

  19. Matt Hunter - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    The thing is, while it’s true that Cano often jogs down the line, this has such a minor effect on his value that it’s not even worth talking about. So yeah, maybe he could get on base a couple more times a year if he sprinted. Whoop-dee-do. He’s one of the best players in the game, and he plays hard when it counts (and don’t try to tell me that he wasn’t playing hard in the playoffs). Plus, much of the perceived laziness is due to his style of fielding, which, while terrifying at times as a fan, works for him. Trust me, I hate when players don’t run out ground balls as much as the next guy, but let’s be honest with ourselves about what impact that really has in the end.

  20. randygnyc - Mar 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    I’ll echo and even extrapolate further about Cano’s extraordinary talent. Sure he’s “great”. The best 2nd baseman in all of baseball right now. That’s quite different than being the best 2nd baseman to ever live. That this wont be his legacy will have been entirely Robbie’s decision. There has only been 9 best players at each position. We could’ve been watching one of them.

  21. kelshannon19 - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    This is why I love Jose Altuve. Has there ever been a question about his effort? No and there never will be.

    • indaburg - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      Because he’s a midget.

      • kinggw - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        And no one knows who he is because no one watches the Stros.

  22. spideysdog - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:17 PM


    Cowered is a pompous, calculating, arrogant, self promoting blow hard. his continual portrayal of everyone around him, from his producer, to athletes, to coaches, gm’s and owners being idiots proves that point in itself. He makes multiple statements a day trolling for second rate below average intelligence fellow members of the media to jump on and provide him free publicity and promotion. congratulations. he just added you to the list.

    unfortunately, as a new yorker, I can tell you he pegged this one dead on. to even suggest that it was racially tinged or motivated shows absolutely no insight on your part and adds you to the large pool of media whose thoughts lack enough intelligent or engaging depth to stand on their own merit.

    the reality is, the comments made by cowherd we’re dead on. I, unlike your opportunistic self, actually heard the segment. the point he made was that other countries take the WBC as an Olympic quality event meant to build patriotic pride, while the Americans tend to treat it like NFL players do the Pro Bowl.


    someone who wishes he had the 72 seconds it took to read your rant back.

  23. exibitsman - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    yea i noticed all the Hispanics were really playing hard for there sh”t whole countries that they came from i bet if the Yankees stop paying him he will play a lil harder

  24. chill1184 - Mar 20, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Aww look how cute, two Ministry of Truth propagandists are fighting among themselves.

  25. hushbrother - Mar 20, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Cowherd is an NFL shilling buffoon. I’m sorry, did I say NFL shilling buffoon? I meant to say, ESPN employee.

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