The divorce is over and each of them has found a new love, but Robinson Cano and the Yankees have still decided it’s worth trading barbs about “disrespect” in the past 24 hours.
Here’s Robinson Cano at yesterday’s press conference when asked about his dealings with the Yankees before accepting the Mariners’ $240 million offer:
“I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get respect from them . . . I was hoping they would come up with a better offer. My goal was to stay there . . . I didn’t see any effort [from the Yankees].”
Know what? I get that. Cano is absolutely wrong for talking publicly about it and doing so gets him absolutely nowhere, but I understand why he may feel that way. The Yankees didn’t even really pretend to be particularly interested. Not saying they should have been — at the price Cano was reportedly demanding it made no sense for New York — but there has developed a certain convention around such high-profile athletes in which everyone at least publicly talks about how badly they want to stay together, etc. and that didn’t happen here. And star athletes are high strung and all of that. So, again, Cano shouldn’t have said this, but I can see where it’s coming from.
Just this morning Yankees President Randy Levine shot back, taking issue with Cano’s claim that the Yankees did not treat him with respect. He said they were more than happy to make a $175 million offer and always treated Cano with respect, but that ultimately it was simply a matter of it not making any kind of sense for the Yankees to commit to a ten-year contract given how those deals have gone for them in the past. He doesn’t blame Cano for taking Seattle’s offer as it was clearly better. Levine added that, rather than disrespect, he thinks Robinson Cano is “very disappointed” he no longer plays for the Yankees.
Now: everyone move on.
After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.
The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).
Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.
With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.
Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.
With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:
So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
According to MLB.com’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).
Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.