Robinson Cano smells the postseason. The same Cano everyone judged to be out for the season is suddenly working hard to come back. I’m not buying it…
Cano last played in a game for the New York Mets on August 4. He was moved to the Injured List after suffering a partially torn left hamstring. Almost universally within and without the Mets organization, he was judged to be finished for the season.
When Cano left the playing field that day, the Mets were struggling to get to .500 and trailing everyone in the Standings except for the lowly Marlins. Today, the Mets are the hottest thing in baseball, a full six games over .500. And I’ll be darned, Robinson Cano is undergoing a miracle cure and is days away from re-joining the Mets.
Before last night’s game at Citi Field, Cano played catch with his son. That felt so good; he decided to take a few balls at second base. Feeling every bit as healthy as he ever was, he then took batting practice. Cano, by his assessment, is fit and ready to play. A month ago, not so much.
If you detect a tone of sarcasm, I’m guilty. It’s warranted. Forget the fact that Brodie Van Wagenen is also guilty as charged for bringing Cano here. He’s here, and he has to be dealt with.
Mickey Callaway – You Lose – You’re It!
Which brings us to the salient point: What the hell are the Mets supposed to do with Cano? We know what the Wilpons will say -play him! But what about the team and its players who have been noticeably surging without him? What about Joe Panik, who is hitting over .300, balanced in the two-hole where he’s having effective at-bats? What about this thing called team chemistry.
The lure of Cano is he was on a tear before he was injured. Very much like Robinson Cano, who always finds a way to get what he calls “his numbers” after a dismal first half.
Look, Robinson Cano can do anything he wants to do on a baseball field. He can make plays in the field no one can – effortlessly. His swing at the plate is admired and copied throughout baseball. He has a smile brighter than Ken Griffey Jr. – when he feels like smiling. He can be a teacher and a mentor, as he has with Amed Rosario this season.
He can do all of those things – when he wants to. Sometimes, as we know, Cano doesn’t want to. He’ll loaf to first base countless times over a season. And then, in his way of “apologizing” go 3-4 the next day with a two-run home run to tie the game. Cano is predictable to a fault.
As always, the pooh-pooh floats down to Mickey Callaway. He is the one who will be burdened with inserting Cano in his lineup over Panik. Joe Panik is all-class. He’ll take a punch on the chin and do whatever he is asked to do by Callaway. Robinson Cano? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Robinson Cano: Too Hot To Handle
I don’t know – no one knows what the feeling is in the clubhouse about Robinson Cano. But no one can say the Mets are not a tight group, as they take the field tonight to open the series against Atlanta, without the presence of Cano. We know that from the way the Mets are playing. It’s spirited, all for one, one for all baseball.
Hey, if Rodney Dangerfield came off the IL tonight and hit .330 with ten home runs over the next 15 games, would anyone make a fuss? Keep that guy in there, despite his penchant for making lame jokes in the clubhouse about his wife’s sex life. It’s baseball. You put your best guys on the field.
I’ll change my mind about Robinson Cano when I see him bust his butt like Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and J.D. Davis. None of his nonchalance. You’re in New York, Robby, and you play the game like its meant to be played. There’s a reason why the Yankees dumped you – and you need to remember that before you step on the Citi Field diamond again.
Otherwise, take your ball and your money – and go home.