Robinson Cano isn’t new to the home run derby, but at this point it feels like the Mariners are.
It has been 13 years since Bret Boone represented the great city of Seattle with a grand total of 0 home runs in the first round. Two years before that? He hit 3. Other than Griffey having a couple of good years in 1998-1999 there hasn’t been much success for the Mariners franchise in the slugging competition. In fact this is about the only reasonable highlight worth watching (Warning: It’s very 90’s themed also watch for young Prince Fielder)
So essentially Cano doesn’t have much legacy to live up to. He can head down to San Diego enjoy the weather and smack some baseballs around and hopefully get kind of close to his first round opponent, Giancarlo Stanton. He can only hope that he will repeat his 2011 success where he won the entire event and not duplicate his dreadful 2012 performance.
After winning the year before Cano was selected to be the captain of the American League team in the home run derby. With that role he was given the chance to select each of the rest of the sluggers for his team. With the All Star Game being played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, many Royals fans thought it would be only fair if their star Billy Butler was able to compete and at one point Robinson went as far as to say that selecting a Royals player would be “the right thing” to do. However, when the player list came out there was no Butler to be seen.
Now keep in mind this was right towards the end of Kansas City’s massive 25+ year playoff drought so they were pretty angry that they couldn’t finally get one thing to go their way. So naturally, as Cano did his interviews at center field and eventually stepped up to home plate, he heard a massive amount of boos and jeers from the home crowd. Which apparently had some sort of effect on him because he ended the round with a “Bret Boone” and went 0 for 10.
So now looking ahead to this year he has been selected to compete for the first time since 2012, with the first round opponent Giancarlo Stanton. With the new rules put in place last year, instead of having 10 “outs” they instead get an amount of time and they just swing as much as they can within that time frame. After tallying the home runs the winner moves on to face the next opponent and so on until the finals between two hitters for the home run derby trophy. Stanton is probably the strongest hitter in all of baseball and Cano does have a bit of rust from not having played the tournament in a while so it will be an extremely tough competition. It is also harder to hit homers out to right than to left at Petco Park so…yeah it’s gonna be tough. Hopefully Cano can just sit back and enjoy the San Diego weather while having some fun with it.
Cano has a little bit of personal redemption to accomplish for his 2012 performance and some for all of the failed Seattle hitters over the years. Whatever he does though, Mariners fans will at least be happy to have someone to root for for the first time in 13 years.
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