Former Seattle Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke slams Robinson Cano during CBS Sports radio interview-Seattle Times
"Former Seattle Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke blasted Robinson Cano on Wednesday, blaming the star second baseman for many of the M’s dysfunctions during 2015 that led to the firing of general manager Jack Zduriencik, manager Lloyd McClendon and the rest of the coaching staff.
In a radio interview for CBSSports 920 AM in St. Louis, Van Slyke basically torpedoed his chances of future employment, spilling gossip not only about the Mariners but also the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Van Slyke was in charge of Seattle’s outfielders and also served as an assistant hitting coach for part of the season until Howard Johnson was fired and Edgar Martinez was brought in to replace him. Along with much of the coaching staff from the last two seasons, Van Slyke was not brought back for this year.
In the third segment of his radio appearance, he started off by saying the Dodgers’ highest-paid player — implying Clayton Kershaw — told L.A.’s general manager to get rid of Yasiel Puig. Van Slyke’s son, Scott, is an outfielder for the Dodgers. Van Slyke was then asked about Jason Heyward and where he would hit him, but he started talking about lineup protection and he mentioned Cano and Nelson Cruz.
Then he just kept rolling into talking about the Mariners. He pretty much skewered his former organization, specifically Cano, labeling him as the reason for the team’s failures and the firings of general manager Jack Zduriencik and McClendon, and by extension the coaching staff.
Here’s the link to the segment. The Mariners talk starts about three minutes into the conversation.
Here’s a partial transcript:
Let’s get to his criticisms.
Cano was awful in the first two months of the season. There’s no debate about that. The numbers...
But if that’s the worst he’s seen in 20 years of baseball. Well, then he hasn’t been watching closely. Yes, based on what Cano makes, it’s awful. But from a baseball standpoint, this is an organization that started Jose Lopez, Dustin Ackley and Chone Figgins at second base for extended periods and went with a tandem of Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan and second base and shortstop. To be fair, Cano was dealing with some intestinal issues from an offseason virus and was having trouble eating and holding food down. I think that was a factor along with horrible pitch selection and a pull-happy approach. So he was bad for two months.
Now we know that Cano picked it up, specifically starting around June. Here are the numbers from June 1 on:...
Let’s not forget that Cano also played the final two months with hernia issues that would require double hernia surgery. Here are his numbers after he came back from the injury....
Cano has had better years and his failures early hurt the team along with several careless/thoughtless base-running miscues on a team that committed far too many. But to sit and blame one guy as the only reason the general manager and manager and coaching staff lost their jobs is hyperbolic.
Failure in baseball over 162 games is far from an individual thing. One person wasn’t the sole cause of the Mariners’ 76-86 record this season. A flawed 40-man roster construction, massive bullpen regression highlighted by27 defeats in their opponents final at-bats and 12 walk-off losses, failures at catcher, injuries to two key starting pitchers and poor performances were all factors.
Also, Lloyd McClendon and the coaching staff lost their jobs because a new general manager was brought in. And most times when a new GM comes in, they want to put their own people in those positions. And for Jerry Dipoto that desire was even higher based on what transpired in Anaheim.
Zduriencik was fired for the organizational failure. And saying Robinson Cano was the reason why is grossly overlooking the previous seven years, poor trades, failed drafts and a sagging farm system to go with a general lack of a coordination.
The 2015 Mariners were a collective failure. Perhaps Robinson Cano had a bigger role in it than others. But he wasn’t the sole reason for it.
So there’s the Van Slyke interview and a few thoughts. You can make of it what you will."
Robinson Cano, Baseball Reference
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