But when Nick Punto clipped Cano with his slide to end the top of the seventh on a 6-4 forceout, a clearly annoyed Cano turned his head and stared at him rather than jog off the field.
It made for a tense few moments. After what happened with the ugly brawl between Mexico and Canada, we’ve learned things can escalate quickly. Punto defused the situation, however, by popping up off the ground, saying he was sorry and slapping Cano on the butt.
Punto apologized, but he didn’t do anything wrong. Since when is sliding hard into second base a crime? Punto didn’t go after Cano, who was standing on top of the base and pretty much got what he deserved. Cano is smart enough to know that, but he still behaved like some kind of victim.
“He can look all he wants—it’s good, hard baseball,” said Mike Piazza, the hitting coach for Italy. “There’s a difference between hard baseball and dirty baseball. I don’t think it was a dirty play. Make the play and get off the bag.
“At this point, every game is important, every inning is important. If the guy bobbles the ball, and he’s not going in hard, you could hurt your team.”
...“I was upset because it was the third time,” Cano said. “I don’t care if you slide in a double play. But when it’s a forceout at second base, the last thing you want is to get hurt like that.
“[Punto] says, ‘You know, I don’t want to hurt you.’ But that’s the third time. I don’t want anybody to get me hurt or anything like that because they just want to slide hard.”
Here’s a simple solution, Robby: Move out of the way. Cano has taken some criticism over the years for his nonchalant, too-cool-for-school approach, but he’s so super talented, it rarely, if ever, burns him.
Posted: March 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM | 26 comment(s)
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