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Lloyd McClendon says a couple of refreshing things about Robinson Cano

Dec 10, 2013, 5:46 PM EDT

Lloyd McClendon

A lot of managers are great in press conferences. It doesn’t mean they’ll be great in the dugout. But given the P.R. week the Seattle Mariners have had, I think having Lloyd McClendon speak off-the-cuff in a funny, smart and engaging way is a good thing. Here were two of his quotes from the press conference he just gave here in Orlando:

When asked about whether Robinson Cano can and will be a leader in the Mariners clubhouse:

I hope he leads on the field.  I’ll do the cheerleading and leading in the clubhouse.  But I want guys on the field that can hit three‑run homers.  Drive in a run from second base with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning.  Those to me are the guys that lead by example on the field.  I don’t need guys to lead in the clubhouse.  I’ll do that.  I need the guys to do it on the field.

And when asked where Cano will hit in the lineup:

He can bat wherever he wants to bat.  I told him, I said in the office, I said that couch over there is mine and that one’s yours.  But if you’d like to have that one, you can have that one too. He’s a special talent.  Look, there is no sense in fooling ourselves.

He made it clear right after that that Cano will be a team player, of course, and that he’ll do whatever it takes to help the team. But it’s pretty refreshing to hear a manager talk pretty realistically. Home runs are good. Leadership, at least when only vaguely defined, is overrated. Stars are different than the other guys.

Maybe the Mariners will be fun again soon.

  1. thinman61 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    So is Cano the straw that stirs the drink?

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      Well… sometimes. He’ll attempt to stir the drink and then begin dogging it halfway through so the drink won’t get stirred all the way.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Best of luck to Cano, thanks for 2009.

    • bigharold - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      “not Albany/Saratoga which is a Red Sox hotbed for some reason).”

      Apparently not in NY.

    • Old Gator - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      Can’t wait for the ESPN dramatic special, Seattle is Soaking.

    • yahmule - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      “Thurman thinks he’s the straw, but he can only stir it bad.”

      Reggie was such a jackass.

  2. mikhelb - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Drive in a run from second base with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning.

    Damn! Canó’s lowest production is with runners in scoring position:

    runner on 2nd base > runner on 2nd and 2 outs> runners in 1st & 2nd > runner on 2nd and 2 outs in the 9th inning.

    • Old Gator - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Yeah, but in the designatedhitterball league the pitchers expect to get hit harder, further and more often. He can take advantage of ambient dampness and mold to slow the pitched ball down a bit. And wait till he discovers Cow Chip Cookies! I think he’s gonna like it out there.

  3. nymets4ever - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    In addition to hitting home runs, another good way to show on-field leadership is running everything out, just saying.

  4. Carl Hancock - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    You’d think Cano was as good as Pujols, Bonds, or A-Rod in their primes judging by the contract he received and the way the Mariners are talking about him. He’s a great player. But he’s not one of the top 3 players in the game and probably not even top 5. The Yankees were (finally) smartin not giving him a stupid deal.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      He actually is one of the top three position players in the game. Right now, I’d only put Trout and Cabrera above him. Other players have had better seasons, but only those two have maintained Cano’s consistent level of excellence. Of course, the problem is he’s unlikely to remain in that stratosphere much longer.

    • genericcommenter - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      He’s the best position player over the past handful of seasons. Of course, that’s an arbitrary time period that ignores Trout and Cabrera taking things to another level. So, I’ll put those guys above him, and that’s about it. His performance so far in his career is right in line with the HOF, and his 1 down year hurts his numbers. If he puts together 2-3 more seasons similar to the last 5, he will have one of the best peaks ever for a second baseman.

      • weaselpuppy - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:45 AM

        Adrian Beltre has been better. Cargo equal. Ortiz equal. McCutcheon equal. Votto equal. etc. Cano is top 10.

  5. tfbuckfutter - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    So that’s what happened in Pittsburgh?

    Lots of leading in the clubhouse, but no one to do it on the field?

    • raysfan1 - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      Nah, here’s what happened:

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