Cano Goes from Rod Carew to Horace Clarke

Robinson Cano sure went from Rod Carew to Horace Clarke in a hurry.

And now he’s gone from the penthouse to the dog house, benched after failing to hustle on a fielding play.

Cano was given the Yankee second base job in 2005, and after a slow start wound up hitting .297. He hit .342 in 2006, just missing out on a batting title. Last year, Cano hit .306 with career highs in home runs (19) and RBIs (97).

His play reminded many students of the game of Rod Carew, the Hall of Famer who won seven American League batting titles and the 1977 MVP.

This year, it’s all gone wrong for Robby. Before he was benched, he was hitting a disappointing .260 with just 24 walks and a dismal .295 OBP. Even worse were his brain locks and uninspired attitude, both at bat and in the field.

Cano Can’t Do
The 25-year-old Cano has been a source of frustration for the Yankees this season, after he signed a six-year, $55 million deal in the off-season. His average has slumped, his run production has dwindled and his effort has been openly questioned.

“This is a game where you have to play hard every day,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said. “There are people that are hungry that want your job, whether you’re at third base, second, short, wherever.”

“That’s embarrassing,” Cano said. “You’re playing and you’re taken out of the game. … It’s a situation that no player would like to be in.”

Instead of Carew, Cano is now conjuring up visions of Horace Clarke, the second baseman on some awful Yankees teams in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Clarke hit .256 lifetime and had trouble turning the double play.

Yankee fans have gotta hope that Cano’s lackadaisical play isn’t the precursor to another “Horace Clarke Era.”


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