Mets second baseman Robinson Canó has been something of a lightning rod for criticism when it comes to hustle. It dates back to his days as a Yankee. For example, in 2013, Michael Kay bashed Canó on Twitter in between innings, saying he “really couldn’t care less.” It was an offense that lasted into the next year.
Canó was again embroiled in controversy this year when he twice didn’t run hard on ground balls in May. Manager Mickey Callaway benched him for his lack of hustle. Ironically, Canó was injured shortly thereafter hustling on a ground ball. He spent two weeks on the injured list before returning. Canó suffered another injury a month ago, a torn left hamstring. Somehow, he recovered from that in about a month, having been activated from the injured list earlier today.
Speaking to the media, including Newsday’s Tim Healey, prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Nationals, Callaway said that Canó has “got to control his running effort.” Callaway added, “He’s done that really well his whole career. He’s got to continue to do that.”
That’s a level of irony even the Internet isn’t prepared to handle. Canó has, for basically a decade and a half, been hearing from every direction — including Callaway — that he needs to put in more effort. Run out those ground balls and pop-ups that are outs 99.9 percent of the time. He even got injured listening to these people. Then, after recovering from said injury, Callaway says he has to “control his running effort.” I would slam my hat down in frustration, look to the heavens and yell, “What do you people want from me?”
Canó had it right all along. Work smarter, not harder.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.