In a Fox News article filled with the typical inanities about Robinson Cano’s struggles in the clutch (he was coasting, too much success too fast, hangin’ with the Melk Man) comes a nice story about Alex Rodriguez mentoring Robbie:
So the question is: What (or who) has gotten into Cano’s head?
Surprisingly it appears to be A-Rod himself, who pulled the second baseman aside one day in late March and spoke candidly, if not brusquely, to his teammate.
“I told Robby he’s no kid anymore, he’s closer to 30 than 20,” Rodriguez said of the 27-year-old second baseman. “At this point in his career, with his talent, he should have one MVP (award), maybe two.
“The thing is, on any other team he would THE guy, but here, he’s surrounded by a lot of talent. I said, ‘Don’t let that hold you back. It’s time to go get it.’ We’ve all said the same thing to him. I think Robby gets that. I think Robbie’s finally maturing.”
Rodriguez backed up his words with a unique batting practice session at a remote field at the Yankees’ spring training complex. The scene, as depicted by the New York Post , had A-Rod barking out situations that had historically handcuffed Cano.
Second and third with one out. Bases loaded, game on the line. A-Rod not only helped Cano swing with more authority, but changed his internal monologue, as well.
“Have a plan with conviction,” Rodriguez said, recounting the session. “Look to do damage. Take your ‘A’ swing and drive the ball.”
I have no idea whether A-Rod’s guidance will help, I think it is way too early to assume that Cano has fixed his RISP issues, and I disagree with the assertion that Cano should have 2 MVP awards by now. The important part of this story is the fact that Alex has always been somewhat of a mentor to the younger Latino members of the club, and it is good to see him take a hands-on approach with a budding star. While much of a player’s talent is innate, there are technical and mental aspects of hitting that Alex can help a guy like Robbie with. It is gratifying to see that Alex is finally getting some recognition as a good teammate.