Lloyd McClendon isn’t going to let Robinson Cano’s former coach rip the Mariners’ newest superstar and get away with it.
A day after the New York Daily News published comments by Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long taking Cano to task for his lack of hustle, Mariners manager McClendon shot back at Long.
“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon said to 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.”
Long did have some nice things to say about Cano in the Daily News piece, praising Cano for working on his game, but what people mostly took away was “Robinson Cano doesn’t run out ground balls.”
Maybe it was a little bit cheap for Long to take a shot at Cano after he left. You certainly can’t blame McClendon for rushing to defend Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract this offseason.
McClendon knows how the game works. He needs to be friends with Robinson Cano. So if somebody disses Robinson Cano, Lloyd McClendon will be first in line to fire back.
We’ll see how McClendon feels the first time Cano really blatantly dogs it down to first base on a ground ball. You know that won’t set well with the old school skipper. For now though, Lloyd McClendon is 100% behind Robinson Cano.