Robinson Cano

Columnists: Fans shouldn’t call Cano a greedy sellout. That’s OUR job!

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I’m amused by the Yankees fans who chanted “SELL OUT!” at Robinson Cano last night because if they actually believe that they’re pretty oblivious about the team they root for. But I pretty much stop at amusement. Fans can say what they want and, as I said yesterday, whether you boo or jeer isn’t exactly a big deal. It’s certainly not the stuff of genuine outrage. The most it inspires me to do is to smile, make a wisecrack and move on.

The New York columnists are a tad more miffed at this. Or at least they’re pretending to be today in an effort to fill column inches. Joel Sherman says it was wrong, wrong wrong for fans to boo Cano. Bob Klapisch has a lecture ready too. He calls fans “misguided” for booing Cano and called the booing and jeering “classless.” Then he decided to lecture the plebes in the cheap seats:

Cano didn’t sell out – he made the only possible move. There isn’t a single Yankee, let alone a Bleacher Creature, who would’ve done otherwise. That’s the other lesson that apparently needs to be taught in the Stadium’s hinterlands. The ballplayers you root for are businessman surrounded by agents, lawyers and accountants. They are capitalists nurturing their No. 1 asset, their careers. All of them – yes, even Derek Jeter – play baseball for the money. Cano is no better or worse than his peers. He did nothing wrong by picking the Mariners over the Yankees.

Get that? Don’t call Cano a sellout. If you do, you simply don’t get it and, in any event, you are in no position to judge.  Which would be an awesome message if Klapisch himself didn’t write this back in December when Cano signed with the M’s, under the headline “Robinson Cano deal was all about the money”

Cano is gone, having chosen the Mariners for the coldest reason of all – they made him richer than the Yankees ever would . . . Yankee fans can rightfully call Cano a mercenary, but what law did he break?”

To be fair to Klapisch, it’s not a 100% inconsistent column. He said then, as now, that it’s a business. And that Cano’s leaving had just as much to do with the Yankees’ miscalculations as Cano’s greed. But he is very sharp with Cano about said greed, saying Cano “got his wish for enough cash to run a fund a third-world economy,” saying that his contract negotiations were all about him “shopping at an ATM” and making it clear that, by going to Seattle, he has tarnished his legacy, has shown he’s not interested in winning and has ceased to be relevant as a baseball player.

All things which, if the Bleacher Creatures could reduce them to signs and chants last night, Klapisch himself would likely be condemning today. For you see, fans sitting out in “the hinterlands” aren’t qualified to makes such judgments about ballplayers. Only credentialed columnists are.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.

Video: Mookie Betts made a ridiculous throw last night

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Mookie Betts was an infielder once upon a time and the knock on him both then and since his move to the outfield was that maybe his arm was not fantastic. As an infielder there was talk that he was better suited to the right side than the left. As an outfielder people were saying that, with work, his arm could be average and/or serviceable. Not bad, of course, but not anything to write home about.

Maybe we need to reassess that, because last night he uncorked one from right field that would make Dwight Evans says “dang, man.”

 

And the throw mattered, as Kiermaier represented the tying run in a game that, at the time, the Sox were leading 2-1.

Betts is a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat at age 23. And now he shows that he’ll nail a fast runner with a frozen rope if he has to. The guy is going to win an MVP award some day. And maybe not just one.