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Lloyd McClendon rips Kevin Long for ripping Robinson Cano

Feb 18, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT

Lloyd McClendon AP

Yesterday a story came out in which Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long criticized Robinson Cano for not hustling. Today Cano’s new manager Lloyd McClendon ripped back. From Jerry Crasnick’s report at ESPN.com:

“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com. “That was a little surprising. I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way. He’s concerned with his team and what they’re doing, not what the Seattle Mariners players are doing. I’m a little surprised that Kevin Long is the spokesman for the New York Yankees. I wonder if he had any problems with Robbie when he wrote that book (“Cage Rat”) proclaiming himself as the guru of hitting.”

McClendon goes on to talk about the politics of running down the line hard and what he really wants to see out of Robinson Cano. I tend to agree with Mr. McClendon on this one.

UPDATE:  McClendon was asked to elaborate:

 

Alrighty, then.

  1. cur'68 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    The M’s are going to be either outstanding or utter busts. I have no effin’ idea about this one. I do like McClendon’s attitude about his new slugger, though.

    • tcostant - Feb 18, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      Kevin Long should have said something to Cano LAST YEAR directly.

      We all know that Cano doesn’t run (unless it’s the WBC).

      I’d like him to run harder too, but the M’s know what they purchased.

      Shame on Long!

      • blogging4success - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        first of all, the Yankees have spoken to no hustle cano and even benched him for a game. As a y fan, I saw too many ground outs and dp’s in which he was thrown out by half a step. Not only does it derail an inning, but it allows the defense to relax bec they have all the time in the world. Heck, even Arod busts it down the line. With all the examples of players who hustle on every hit ( jeter, tex, Gardner, Nunez, etc) there was no shortage of examples for him to see. No, he just refuses to do so. That is what long was saying. Even the comments by Tex today… Yeah we all noticed but what are you going to do, shows that Long was accurate with his assessment. Let’s revisit this when Seattle is out of the playoffs in August and cano REALLY slows it down! Seattle may just think twice about 24 mil for the next ten years! It’s too bad, bec Cano does everything else so well. I just don’t get it .

  2. ireportyoudecide - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    As a Troy Tulowitzki fan I can tell you nothing good comes from hustling down the line.

    • rje49 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Well, once in about 100 times it pays.

      • ireportyoudecide - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        No, I would rather have my star play 160 games a year then risk injury to get an additional 5 infield hits. Although unless you have Mike Trout speed I think that number 1 in 100 is probably overstated.

        It’s why the Rockies pretty much tell Tulo not to hustle down the line anymore.

    • chinahand11 - Feb 18, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Pete Rose says hustle every time you hit the ball. I imagine he stretched his fair share of doubles into triples, etc.

  3. 4cornersfan - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Wait until Cano gets caught a few times loafing down the line when the infielder bobbles the ball or when he fails to take the turn and misses an opportunity to take an extra base at an important time. McClendon may be calling Long for tips on how to motivate him on the bases.

    • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      And as he picks up the phone, Cano smacks a three-run drive deep into the right centerfield seats, and McClendon thinks to himself, as he hangs up the phone, “eh, maybe not”.

      • tuucamaron - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Like Biggie said:it was all a dream

  4. macho219 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    When Cano jogs down the line in that big park and gets a single out of what could’ve been a sure double, McClendon is going to remember those words.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Seriously? You do remember that he was formerly with the Detroit Tigers of anti-baserunning fame? Do we need to go to film on this?

    • rje49 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      In that scenario, Cano is FAR from the only guy doing that. Doubles become singles, triples become doubles on a regular basis. Check baseball-reference for career leaders in triples. Not a single active player in the top 100. Yes, there are other reasons for this such as the absence of huge quirky outfields and better fielding techniques and gloves than a hundred years ago. But the fact remains that in nearly ever game I watch, a guy hits a long fly ball that drops in, and the batter jogs toward first, then loafs into second base – never giving himself a chance for a triple.

  5. jerrahsucks - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Don’t worry Lloyd, wont be that long till we check, and you don’t speak for the Mariners.

    • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      As McClendon inks Cano’s name into the starting line-up of the opening game of the 2014 play-offs, he rings up Long, who is finishing up his first nine, and asks him how his golf game is going.

  6. ajh1019 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Good for Lloyd defending his new guy, but Kevin Long knows Cano better and had the right of it with what he said, Long probably shouldn’t have said it but I also don’t think he really meant anything by it, just was upset that he could never get through to Cano to get him to hustle a bit more. At least that’s how I took the comments when I read them.

  7. ashot - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Good to see that the Yankees fans are taking over where Long left off.

    Long basically refuted his own argument in his quotes: “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.”

    So Cano should try harder not because he might miss out on getting on base? He should run harder to avoid a subjective perception of who exactly? Fans? The media?

    • paperlions - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Yes, that is exactly what he said and it seems to be exactly what he meant. He essentially defined “false hustle”, a term that a bunch of people ripped Caclaterra for using.

      The funniest thing is that almost all of these people that are ripping Cano for not trying harder at his job at times that generally don’t affect his team being able to win….are doing it WHILE AT WORK. Hypocrite much?

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        yeah but um um we don’t get paid millions and have our own locker and everything

      • ashot - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        To be fair, people aren’t demanding Cano actually give it 100% all of the time. They just want him to appear to be trying. So, like myself, maybe the other posters here do in fact make it appear that they are trying.

      • paperlions - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        haha…now that one cracks me up….and it is probably really really close to the truth.

      • bigharold - Feb 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        “… ….are doing it WHILE AT WORK. Hypocrite much?”

        Ssshh!! My boss might see this, .. then I’m screwed, .. but not today cause I’m already home.

        In fact what Long said was accurate. Between his loafing on routine ground outs and admiring the arch of the balls he hits against the wall that then becomes a single rather than a doubles, Cano has a perception problem. As a Yankee fan I just accepted it because as has been stated frequently I rather have a Cano with healthy hamstrings then that one or two extra singles per year.

        Complaining about Cano’s hustle or lack of it is also like saying in his hay day Don Mattingly wasn’t very fast. So what? The problem isn’t so much now while he’s in his prime but about half way through his contract when his average dips and his power ebbs. Then he’s going to hear it and attitude is not something that you just flip a switch on. Ironically had Long suggested that there was no issue with Cano’s hustle he’d have been called out for that too. Clearly he should have avoided the topic but either way he was going to hear it.

  8. jobber33 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    He had no choice but to stick up for Soriano I mean Cano (same player different name). What else was he going to do, say Long was right just after his team gave this LOAF of bread millions? I give it 2 years before Seattle tries to unload Butternut!

    • kruegere - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Haha, black people, amirite?

      • jm91rs - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        I specifically read this post waiting for someone to accuse someone else of calling black people lazy. Thanks for keeping it predictable.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Jeah. You know the white coach knows better than the black manager too!

  9. uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    The reality is that Cano did make didn’t always give 100% or even 90% running down the 1st base line. Whether or not McClendon appreciated Long’s comments you can’t deny the facts.

    What’s funny is McClendon doesn’t like Long speaking about Cano yet McClendon presumes to speak for Joe Girardi with his comment: “…I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way…”

    • kruegere - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      Cano can crawl to first base for all I care if he’s putting up 6 fWAR.

      • ray1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        That fWAR won’t mean a lot the first time Seattle loses by a run because of Cano’s “casual” attitude on the base paths. The Mariners aren’t good enough to be able to afford lazy losses. Here’s a thought; try watching a game instead of swearing allegiance to stats.

    • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      Question to Yankee fans, Which is more disturbing watching Cano trot to first, and slowly rounding it after reaching safely, or his replacement walking slowly back to the dugout after making another out?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        Well, did he get his out the right way?

      • Kevin S. - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        Spuds, do you have to twist the knife in the fans that *wouldn’t* prefer Brian Roberts to Cano?

      • dcarroll73 - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:15 AM

        As a Yanks fan, I would have prefered watching Cano for at least another 5 years, maybe even 7, but 10??? No way. He made his choice, and now we deal with it as well as possible.

  10. tuucamaron - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Lloyd McLendon and his 110 games under 500,I think kevin long knows Robinson can 100 times better than McLendon, I don’t even think McLendon has ever spoken to cano

    • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      You are foolish if you think the Mariners didn’t research Cano to the max before spending $240 mil. They know exactly what they were getting, and chose to take him as is.

  11. rrsm53 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Take a look around MLB how many of the big stars run out everything all the time, Not many of them and that is for sure, Hamilton, Pujols, Ortiz, just to name three and there are more in both leagues. Long stick to what you think you know about hitting and then S.T.F.U. no wonder people hate the Yankees idiots like this who run their mouths. Hmmmmm think Cano had enough of the Yankees and the drama. Could be.

    • rdanie29 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      On the flip side, look at those who do run out every ball in play, Trout, Freeman, Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Tukowitzki, just to name five. And who do you think gets more respect from the other players, and the fans. I will take my list over yours any day. Maybe Long is just a poor motivator, or maybe Cano is a prima donna who thinks like you do. Either way, it is what it is. And I don’t think Cano was sick of of Yankees, he just priced himself out of a job with them. We will see how the Mariners feel about that Rodriguez like contract in about 5 or 6 years.

      • emdash01 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Cabrera and Freeman are really odd choices for an example. Cabrera is a poor baserunner (-21 runs over his career) and Freeman is a net negative in that area as well. Is the only criteria that they seem to be trying as hard as they can? Maybe Cano’s not actually that fast, either.

  12. schlom - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    I’m unclear on why people are defending not running out grounders. There is an expectation in baseball (by both fans and those running it) that you at least appear to be trying. And effort is such an easy thing – anyone can do it. Is it really too much to ask for some to at least appear like they are trying to beat out a routine grounder?

    • ashot - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      To be clear, you aren’t demanding Cano actually try to beat out every ground ball. You are just asking him to appear to be trying to do so? I’m unclear as to why people would make such an odd demand. Absent your odd demand I would have no need to defend him. So it seems like we are having this debate backwards.

      • rathipon - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        There isn’t much of a distinction between the appearance and the act. If you run 80% you create the appearance of trying to beat out the ground ball. More importantly, you also DO beat out some bobbles, etc, and put yourself in position to perhaps take a 2nd base as well if something comes up. The problem with Cano was he wasn’t giving anywhere close to 80%. Somewhere between a slow jog and a fast walk. And inevitably it would cost him some bases here and there. Nobody is saying he isn’t an amazingly productive offensive talent. He is. Would much rather have a slow jogging Cano over any other 2nd base option, but yes he did cost himself bases for no good reason.

      • ashot - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        “There isn’t much of a distinction between the appearance and the act.”

        If that’s true why not simply demand that he actually run out every ground ball at full speed?

        “And inevitably it would cost him some bases here and there.”
        That’s possibly true, but it’s unclear that those missed bases amount to anything significant. How many wins do you think he cost the Yankees over the course of a season because her ran 50% to first rather than 80%? We also should consider the possibility that had he run harder perhaps he would have missed more than 13 games over the last 7 seasons.

      • emdash01 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        If you look at the BsR stat Fangraphs has, it appears Cano’s baserunning cost his team 2 runs over the course of the whole season. With the generally accepted WAR calculation that 10 runs = 1 win, then Cano cost the Yankees .2 wins last year while putting up 6 wins. A 6-win player is one of the most valuable in all of baseball, so that’s a trade-off I’d make 100 times out of 100. Who care what form his contributions take so long as he’s effective?

        He’s also had a season (2011) in which he put up a positive BsR score (2.8 runs), while no doubt appearing to not hustle enough for some.

  13. stex52 - Feb 18, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Here is what McLendon is looking at. Robinson Cano has a War=29.7 (Bref), an OPS just under 130 for the last five years, is an above-average fielder and perennial MVP candidate. And that’s at a position that you don’t typically look at for your best hitter.

    I’m sure Lloyd is having a lot of trouble thinking why he should mess with the way Cano plays baseball. I would have the same problem.

  14. connertiland - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    All of your comments look the same.

  15. uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Well now that McClendon has stood tall in his defense of Cano against the big bad Kevin Long for stating the obvious. McClendon will if he’s smart start to turn his attention to settling on his best 25 players to open the regular season. Since the Mariners first 15 games are against divisions rivals 4 against the Angels, 7 against the A’s and 4 against the Rangers. Ten of those 15 away from Safeco.

    • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      UYF, my good, good, friend, Kevin Long ought to be focusing on trying to help whoever occupies Cano’s place in the line-up, to help minimize the embarrassment when comparisons are made of their offensive productions.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Anyone who makes offensive comparisons between Roberts and Cano is either a fool or stupid or both.

      • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        UYF, my good, good, good, friend, trust me there are going to be thousands if not millions of stupid fools beginning in April and continuing though the summer.

        See a classy response to Cano’s departure would be to wish him well, thank him for his great service and play in New York and perhaps suggest the dollars the Yankees saved by not re-signing him have gone to the newly acquired players and championing their cause.

        But then it has been some time since the Yankees and classy are used in the same sentence.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        @ spudchukar, you continue to make huge generalizations like “… it has been some time since the Yankees and classy are used in the same sentence…” That simply isn’t true, the Yankees from Hal to Brian to Girardi have spoken highly and wished Cano well and they continue to do so.

        Now if you are talking about Yankees fans many were “pissed” many not surprised in the least. They are no different then most teams fans. And while I’m not that familiar I remember reading many posts not only here but on other blogs as well from Cardinals fans calling Pujols a “traitor” or a like name for skipping town on the Cardinals. See the way I look at it Yankees fans aren’t much different then other teams fans there are just more of them and maybe just a little more vocal. But really no different.

        Now you may disagree with my appraisal of the Pujols situation but I think we both know not all Cardinals fans were happy with Pujols decision.

      • spudchukar - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        UYF, my best friend, you are correct about many St. Louis fans and Pujols. But a little research would prove that I was never in that camp.

        As it has turned out, the Cards’ brass made the correct call. They had the advantage of the minor league scouting reports that I lacked, and knew capable replacements were on the way.

        Girardi is a classy guy. So was Mariano. But the comment said Yankees, with the emphasis on the plural. But the conversation was under the post regarding Long’s comments and they weren’t cool. And the comments supporting his words weren’t either.

        As to the Yankee fans being the same as other fans, I disagree. There are plenty of great Yankee fans, just not a lot that comment here. You are one. Church and others are too. However, that won’t keep me from pointing out the hypocrisy of comments whenever I read them.

        Those glasses that you criticize others of looking out from, are also often on display in your comments. As are mine.

  16. chip56 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    McClendon wasn’t wrong for standing up for his player (not that he needed it) and Long wasn’t wrong for stating that for some reason Cano chose to address other areas of perceived laziness but not address the running down the line (which was true).

    Craig was right when he brought this up a couple of days ago that it’s not so much a baseball thing as it is an aesthetic thing and my question remains the same: if someone is degrading you for something that is so easy to fix, why wouldn’t you fix it?

    It wasn’t as if the few vocal critics were asking him to hit .380 with 75hr each year; this is something that, as has been stated by both the people who wanted him running harder and the people who don’t care, isn’t a big deal and was only made a big deal because he didn’t do it.

    It’s like if someone at work told me my work was great but could I please put my reports in Times Roman instead of Ariel, it’s not a big deal so why wouldn’t I do it?

  17. jolink653 - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    As a Yankees fan, the issue we had with Cano is that he looked like he didn’t care to hustle while running the bases, whether it be limiting what should have been a double to a single or a bobble by an infielder into an easy out. A lot of the time he doesn’t hustle in the field is because he doesn’t have to; he makes tough plays look easy with the range he has. We got annoyed because he was getting paid millions of dollars a year to play the game and he couldn’t bring himself to run hard four or five times a game while heading down the first base line.

    I do think Long should have kept his mouth shut here though. Cano isn’t on the team anymore and no one on the Yankees should have anything to say about him

    • brianc6234 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      A big problem a lot of veteran players seem to have is they know it’s an out so why run hard. But they ignore that the defender could have an error that lets them get on base. They should all run hard to first just in case. If they’re playing hurt I can see that being a good excuse but if they’re hurt are they even helping their team by playing.

  18. brianc6234 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    What a big mouth. I bet the Mariners will still stink this year. It doesn’t matter who they sign or trade for, they always end up stinking as Mariners. Look at Beltre. He left Seattle and is a lot better now.

  19. reezo9933 - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    It is too soon to call this years Seattle Mariners team, but at least we have the Bronx Bombers attention, you know your doing something right. For a former coach to criticize his best hitter after he leaves for lack of hustle is immature. Professional baseball players know when to turn it on and when to leave it in the bag. I would rather see Bobby out their for 161 of 162, like 09, then have a leg injury in April when its 40 degrees at Safeco. If that is the way Long is going to speak to pro-hitters, he will find himself in the california penal league real soon. If you want to see hustle on every play, go watch a junior high basketball game.

  20. stagedoorjohnny - Feb 18, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    Kevin Long is now being called the ‘new Yankee loudmouth’. Even GM Brian Cashman is trying to limit his verbal damage.
    The guy is nothing more than a loose canon and needs to just shut up.

  21. stevem7 - Feb 18, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Last time I checked McClendon wasn’t an expert on the running habits of one Robinson Cano and therefore should keep his YAP SHUT. If he can’t recognize the shortfalls of his newest ‘star’ then it’ll be another year in last place for a team with not much going for it.

  22. Bob - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    Oooh, tough guy, Lloyd McClendon! Don’t mess with Lloyd, he might take his base and go home.

    I guess his “tough (bleep)” comment would apply to Mariners fans who might be pissed off their team would actually hire this clown with his woeful managerial record.

    And, yeah, it’s not much to ask a guy to make a reasonable effort to get to first. And if McClendon doesn’t like people criticizing Cano for being a dog, “tough (bleep).”

  23. phillysports1 - Feb 18, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Chase Utley ‘most disciplined, professional athlete in all of baseball hands down !

    • indaburg - Feb 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Okay, this thread isn’t about Utley. Personally, I like the guy. Great head of hair, animal lover, and he plays hard. He has also played in…
      2010 – 115 games
      2011 – 103 games
      2012 – 83 games
      2013 – 131 games

      Cano:
      2010 – 160 games
      2011 – 159 games
      2012 – 161 games
      2013 – 160 games

  24. jlilly67 - Feb 18, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Um, Lloyd….huh? What’s none of Long’s business? Answering a question about the time spent with Cano, something he had a front row seat to watch? Gangsta Lloyd. Let’s see how fast you get fired.

  25. louhudson23 - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    He didn’t just fail to run out ground balls. He lollygags in a variety of situations,and no fielder ever feels threatened or rushed because he might beat it down the line or take an extra base. 10 feet shy of first on a hit to the outfield instead of ten feet past first and threatening to go further(because of standing at the plate gazing and jogging the first 25 feet)……..with and without other runners on…He also often failed or refused to play to the situation at 2B …..It isn’t really hard to understand…He did not play the game very well or properly.He executed a HoF skill set,offensively and defensively filling up spreadsheets with wonderful numbers,but he could seemingly give a hoot about the actual game play…and people don’t like it because there is no excuse for it………it’s the game of baseball,not the game of stat compilation…play the game…

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