We heard earlier this morning that Andy Van Slyke passed along some gossip regarding Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig during an appearance on St. Louis’ CBS Sports Radio 920, but that wasn’t even the juiciest/craziest part of the interview.
Van Slyke, who was recently let go after two seasons on the Mariners coaching staff, ripped into second baseman Robinson Cano and blamed him for the organization’s recent changes. You can listen here, but below are some highlights via Brent Stecker of 710 ESPN Seattle:
“Robinson Cano was the single worst third-place everyday player I’ve ever seen, for the first half of a Major League Baseball season,” Van Slyke said, speaking about Cano’s usual spot hitting third in the batting order. “He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered. He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second. I mean the worst defensive second baseman ever, I’ve ever seen, in 20 years in the big leagues.”
“Robinson Cano cost the GM his job, the hitting coach got fired because of Cano and then the manager and coaches got fired because of Cano, because that’s how much impact he has on the organization,” Van Slyke said. “He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”
Anything else that Cano should be blamed for? The wave? Jar Jar Binks? There’s no denying that Cano was bad during the first half, but calling him the “worst” anything is hyperbole and he redeemed himself somewhat with a great second half while playing through a sports hernia. It’s only natural to maybe have some sour grapes about how things played out, but to single out one player — even a high-profile one like Cano — is crazy. There’s a bunch of reasons why the Mariners disappointed this season. Jack Zduriencik ultimately paid the price for those failings and the failings of the organization as a whole during his tenure. With new GM Jerry Dipoto coming in, it’s no surprise that he would want to hire a new manager and bring in a new coaching staff along with him. That’s how things typically go.
After bridge-burning comments like this, it’s hard to imagine that many teams will be knocking down Van Slyke’s door for a job opportunity. But hey, at least he said some nice things about Cardinals’ rookie Stephen Piscotty.