Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon Jumps To Cano’s Defense

New Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon made it be known that he did not appreciate Yankees’ hitting coach Kevin Long’s comments about Seattle’s shiniest new acquisition Robinson Cano.

In case you’ve been out in space for the past two days, Long said about Cano’s habit of not running hard to first on a routine ground out, “We all talked to him. I’m pretty sure Jeter talked to him a number of times. Even if you run at 80%, no one’s going to say anything. But when you jog down the line, even if it doesn’t come into play 98% of the time, it creates a perception.”

Well, that comment, along with others made in the Daily News story didn’t sit well with McClendon who was quoted in a story on ESPN.com, “Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees.” He added that he was surprised by the comments and said, “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.”

He has a point. What Long did was a little unusual for someone from the Yankees’ organization. They’re not known for criticizing or trashing players who leave New York. Then again, it was also unusual for someone like Cano, who had been with the team since 2005, to bolt to another team. The Yankees haven’t suffered that kind of a free agent loss in a while.

McClendon also said, “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.”

Wow. That’s quite a burn. Mr. Long better get that checked out.

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