When I licked my finger to test the winds of the baseball news cycle today I picked up a whole lot of angst and animosity.
Two days ago, New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long kind of criticized former Yankee Robinson Cano for not running out groundballs during his time in New York. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Long said Cano resisted attempts by him and other members of the Yankees – including Derek Jeter – to consistently run harder to first base.
The comments didn’t sit well with Lloyd McClendon, manager for Cano’s new team, the Seattle Mariners. McClendon spoke out today, stating that Long should keep his opinions to himself considering Cano is no longer one of his players.
“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com. “That was a little surprising. 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.
“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.”
Long responded earlier today, hoping to clarify and add a little context to his previous comments.
“That’s too bad,” he said. “I don’t consider myself the spokesman for the Yankees. If you look at all the good things that were written about Robinson you would understand there was no malicious meaning behind any of it. If he wants to speak publicly like that, that is up to him. That is the way he interpreted it. I’m not going to get in a media war with Lloyd McClendon; he’d probably win that anyway.
“There were so many good parts, but it basically was, if anyone looks at it they are going to see that Robinson doesn’t sprint down to first. I think if anyone puts a clock on him would realize that. That’s it. Other than, this guy is a tremendous human being, tremendous character guy.”
Long’s response will probably be the last word, but man, that’s quite the tete-a-tete between major figureheads of two different AL clubs this early.
They must be putting a little extra sass in those big Gatorade water jugs at Spring Training. Earlier today Yu Darvish popped off with a little criticism of his own, opining that the Yankees paid too much for starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
The Yankees inked Tanaka to a seven-year $155 million contract, making the $56 million deal Darvish signed with Texas two years ago seem almost meager in comparison. Of course, the Yankees only had to post $20 million to negotiate with Tanaka. The Rangers had to pony up $51.6 million just to talk with Darvish. Either way, Darvish’s statement ruffled a few feathers, I’d imagine especially around the Bronx area.
Darvish claims he was joking, and he very well could have been, but it’s always best to abstain from commenting on the business of other teams. If you don’t believe me, I’m sure ole Llody McClendon would agree.