Between a number of different personalities, lately I’ve noticed how drastically different the YES network’s booth can sound between series. In recent years, I’ve grown to enjoy Ken Singleton‘s play-by-play, his stories, and his analysis of the game. Meanwhile, David Cone has added an objective voice to many of the old-school opinions present from ex-players like Paul O’Neill, Singleton, and Al Leiter. By no means do I wish to be inundated by sabermetrics though, I enjoy hearing all sides of the game. Hell, I can even enjoy the subjective views of John Sterling and Hawk Harrelson. But over this latest White Sox series, YES has been without that counter-opinion, and it feels to me that Michael Kay has used the Yankee broadcasts as a continuation of his daily radio show.
Of the many ridiculous points Kay has been pushing over the last few days, he started this series by showing a bias against Alex Rodriguez on Monday. Statistically, he’s been spouting the importance of win/loss records for pitchers like Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Sale, as well as how unproductive Adam Dunn and his low batting average have been. I understand that this is something that some fans want to hear, particularly those that follow his radio show on ESPN, but I find it hard to sit through his nonsensical spiel unchecked by other broadcasters for three hours.
The worst of his opinions is on the lack of hustle in this team. Despite being the Yankees’ current MVP, owning the title of the best second baseman in baseball, and remaining the only Yankee with more than 12 home runs, Robinson Cano is earning criticism for being lazy again. Out of the box, Cano was never the hardest runner, but over the last week, Kay has brought Cano’s seemingly apathetic attitude into question every time he’s left the batter’s box.
That’s not to say he hasn’t been relatively slow, but the second baseman has been one of the few Yankees to actually stay on the field. Derek Jeter‘s hustle in the first game back from his second ankle break, which he arguably suffered due to hustle, left him with a quad injury that has seen two DL stints. Alex Rodriguez also suffered a quad injury directly before his scheduled return in late July. Brett Gardner nearly missed the entire 2012 season due to his hustle, particularly due to his head first slides into first and second base, as well as in the field.
But through 9 major league seasons, 5,589 plate appearances, and 1,326 games, Cano has only been on the disabled list once, and that was for a hamstring strain. Perhaps it was a lesson for the second baseman, who pulled up lame after legging out a double in 2006, forcing him to miss 43 days to the DL.
Directly after Cano grounds out softly, the replays begin of his 90 foot run to first base, with Kay protesting in the background for a player that would risk his health for that infield single. Personally, I’d sacrifice a few singles to keep Cano on the field.