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Controversy? Yankees tell Robinson Cano: No Home Run Derby

Robinson Cano wanted to participate, the Yankees had other ideas. Was it right for the team to announce their decision to keep him out of the derby before telling him?

When Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano received his invitation to participate in this years Home Run Derby, the All-Star was surprised and excited.

He did not think twice about it. Cano accepted the invitation and had every intention of participating. Then the Yankees stepped in. The problem however is that it seems the Yankees stepped in without Cano knowing.

When it became public knowledge that Cano would be a participant in the home run hitting challenge, Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long became concerned. Long made it known to the media that he would prefer Cano not participate. The batting coach stated the derby puts an exhausting strain on your body and could do damage to a players swing.

Yes, there are plenty of examples of players going down hill after participating in the Home Run Derby. Just last year we saw six of the eight participants numbers drop in the second half of the season. Detroit Tigers Brandon Inge who hit 21 home runs in the first half, hit just six in the second half. Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres hit 16 home runs in the second half after belting 24 before the All-Star break.

In 2008, Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman had a monster first half in which he hit .347 with 22 home runs. After participating in the derby, Berkman hit just .259 with seven homers in the second half of the season.

Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau had participated in the home run derby twice in the past four years and both times his second half numbers dropped drastically.

One of the most well known examples in this area is Mets third baseman David Wright in 2006. The star third baseman batted .316 with 20 homers in the first half and participated in the home run derby, finishing second overall. In the second half of the ’06 season, Wright batted .305 but hit just six home runs the rest of the year.

Now, I don’t have a problem with the Yankees not wanting Cano to participate. Cano has one of baseball’s sweetest swings and is a natural hitter. He is not a power hitter.

The problem I have is the way the Yankees handled it. I do not know the inside information so I could be wrong, but from the information I heard, the Yankees sort of did this behind their players back.

Cano initially found out he would not be participating by a member of the media that asked him how he felt about it. Cano was surprised and said that was the first he had heard about it.

After this, the second baseman went into manager Joe Girardi’s office and the two went on a conference call with General Manager Brian Cashman who confirmed to Cano that he would not participate in the cometition. The Yankees are now claiming Cano has had a minor back issue and that’s why they do not want Cano participating.

Convenient? Of course. A lie? Very possible.

Nobody had heard of Cano having a back issue until then. It’s obviously not a bad problem, or Cano would have taken himself out of the competition. Just seems shaddy to me.

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