First things first: Let’s not make this about a lack of hustle on the part of Robinson Cano. He was wrong, to be sure, not to dive for that ground ball in the eighth inning on Monday that turned into a game-winning single for the Rays.
But it wasn’t a lack of effort from Cano that cost the Yankees a huge ballgame, as their lead in the AL East continues to shrink by the day. It was a bad decision.
Cano’s history of nonchalance, most of which he has overcome, still gets him unfairly labeled as lazy on days like these. The real issue is that he’s the best defensive second baseman in the majors, and as a result, he thinks he can make any play at any time.
This time it cost him. He thought he was going to get to Chris Gimenez’s ground ball toward the hole, but in such a crucial situation, he should have dived to keep the ball in the infield and prevent Ryan Roberts from scoring from second base.
...On this day, in particular, it looked bad for Cano. In the top of the eighth, he had stopped running out of the batter’s box when it appeared his line drive had been caught by third baseman Elliot Johnson. However, Johnson dropped the ball, yet had plenty of time to throw out Cano, who started running again when he realized the ball was in play.
Cano leaves himself open to criticism on such a play because, unlike Derek Jeter, he doesn’t always run hard on routine ground balls. But this was more of an instinctive stop in his tracks, thinking the ball was caught, than a lack of hustle.
Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:23 AM | 27 comment(s)
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