For once Robinson Cano wasn’t smiling as he stood surrounded by reporters in the visitors clubhouse in Oakland. Everyone had questions about the Home Run Derby, and Cano didn’t have answers.
“As far as I know, I’m doing it,” he said. “I saw it on the computer that I’m not doing the derby, but nobody has talked to me… They should have let me know something and tell me about what was going on.”
Brian Cashman confirmed to me and just about every other beat writer that Cano will not be participating. Joe Girardi said the same thing, but called the apparent miscommunication with Cano an internal matter, “not something to hash over the airwaves.”
Cano acknowledged that his back has been sore. It’s bothered him since Sunday and he got extra treatment on it one day this week, but he said it doesn’t hurt him when he swings. He still wants to do the derby.
“Why not?” he said. “First time in your career. Go out there and have fun. Why not? That’s the kind of thing that might happen once in your life. We take BP every day, and it’s not going to be a big deal.”
The Yankees seem to see it differently. Kevin Long said without question he’d rather Cano not participate, and Girardi said the Yankees are worried about the impact the derby might have on Cano’s back. Girardi said Cano will be back in the lineup tomorrow, and he’ll still play in the All-Star Game, but the home run derby seems out of the question at this point.
• Jorge Posada came through last night’s game just fine. He’s DHing just because Girardi wants him at DH, not because he can’t catch.
• Similar thing with Curtis Granderson who’s getting a day off against a lefty. The Yankees will face left-handers in three of four games in Seattle, but Girardi said he expects Granderson to be a regular in the lineup those games. “We’re just giving him a day,” Girardi said. “And we might give Gardy one of those days.”
• Girardi said Alex Rodriguez will get a DH day in Seattle, but he doesn’t expect Rodriguez to get a full day off before the all-star break. He’ll DH one day, and Girardi thinks that should be enough of a break.
• Asked if he would let another Yankee take Cano’s spot in the derby, Girardi said yes, with one exception: “I’m not letting CC do it.”
• Nick Swisher is back in the lead for the final all-star roster spot. “I did hear quietly that he moved ahead,” Girardi said. “It’s good. I think Swish is deserving, and we would love to see him there. Our fans are doing a great job and I’d just ask that they keep doing it. Get online and do it as many times as you can.”
• Two Yankees were among five minor leaguers suspended for PEDs. Pitchers Daury Aquino and Alexander de los Santos each tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. They’re in the the Dominican Summer League. I’ve never heard of either of them.
• Girardi had a pretty funny line when he was asked again about the impact a home run derby has on a hitter. “I’ve never participated in one,” he said. “I’ve gotta believe I’ll never be asked to participate in one.”
UPDATE, 9:10 p.m.: Cano just met with the media. He said he has now talked to Girardi and Cashman, and he’s on board with their decision. Would he still like to participate? “After I talked to the trainer, no chance,” he said.
Associated Press photos of Cano, and of Rodriguez, Jeter and Curtis.