Oct 16, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (middle) reacts after striking out in the 7th inning during game three of the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Where Did You Go Robbie Cano?

As a Red Sox fan, I get to see a lot of Robinson Cano. In those moments, you can tell the type of player Cano is, the way the pressure just seems to slide off of him and melt away. Calm comes over him and he is just a hitting machine.

Now, do not get me wrong, I prescribe to the same notions as any other Red Sox fan. I love to see the Yankees lose. However, I love to see the Yankees lose when they are at their best, when they leave it all out there on the field and the other team is just that much better.

Gift basket jokes aside, I take no pride in watching Derek Jeter, the heart and soul of the Yankees crumbling in pain and being lost for the postseason. Equally so, I want to see Alex Rodriguez failing at the plate instead of using bat boys as his wing men.

That is what makes Cano’s performance in the 2012 postseason all the more disappointing.

Robinson Cano is the single most dangerous hitter in the Yankee line-up at any time, especially in light of the Jeter injury and the A-Rod disappointment. When he is not performing, the Yankees are no longer at their best. They are simply a team running through the motions.

Cano is not a .083 hitter, as he has been throughout the 2012 playoffs.
This is a man much more capable than his 3 hits in 36 at-bats have shown. This is a man who hit .318 with 2 home runs, 9 runs batted in, and a 1.057 OPS against these same Detroit Tigers in the 2011 American League Division Series.

However, perhaps the writing was already on the wall for Cano’s performance against Detroit. The Tigers did do a masterful job in 2012 of keeping Cano under control, holding him to just a .653 OPS in 10 games. More importantly, he was held to just 2 extra-base hits by Tigers pitching, which means that Jim Leyland and his coaches at least figured out a way to contain him even if they could not fully stop him.

All told, the Yankees find themselves in an unfamiliar position, down 0-3 and seemingly powerless to change that. This is a team that looks defeated.

To change that, New York is going to have to ride on the back of C.C. Sabathia, but to make sure that effort is not wasted, they will need Cano to lead the offensive charge, breaking the entire team out of a slump. Either that or Cano will spend an entire winter second-guessing himself and working hard to be in a different position in 2013.

I think he prefers to start the transition tonight.

Tags: New York Yankees

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