Kevin Long, New York Yankees hitting coach, made headlines about a month ago after publicly criticizing Robinson Cano to the New York Daily News. Long called Cano a “dog” and accused him of “jogging to first base,” according to nydailynews.com.
Although Cano declined opportunities to respond to Long’s comments, Mariners’ manager Lloyd Mc
Clendon did have something to say. He defended Cano and insisted that he was only worried about Cano’s performance as a Mariner, not what he did in the past.
“One of the messages I’m trying to send to my players is, we don’t have to take a back seat to anybody,” McClendon said. “That includes the New York Yankees or anyone else. We’re the Seattle Mariners […] And any time anybody attacks one of my players, then I’m going to defend him, and if you don’t like it, tough shit,” said McClendon, according to nydailynews.com
Long was offended by McClendon’s comments, but later said that he and Cano are on “good” terms after exchanging text messages.
This controversy seems to have blown over, but it is still clear that when Cano’s name is mentioned, people listen. McClendon was quick to defend his superstar, and it appears that Cano has a lot of influence on the other Ms and everyone in charge. For example, after an interview with ESPN, in which Cano mentioned he wanted to get Kendry Morales back to the Mariners, General Manager Jack Zduriencik almost immediately noted that there had been negotiations to bring the switch hitter back to Seattle, according to sodomojo.com.
So, is Robinson Cano the new superstar and spokesperson of the Mariners? It appears that ears perk up whenever he speaks up. Maybe it’s time that the team had a powerful voice.