New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano arrived in Mets camp over the weekend and addressed the media from Port St. Lucie on Sunday morning (1
Cano is viewed by many as the centerpiece of Mets general manager Brodie van Wagenen's overhaul of the team's roster and upper-minors system during his first three months on the job. Players like Wilson Ramos Jeurys Familia Jed Lowrie J.D. Davis Keon Broxton Justin Wilson among a host of others gave credence to Brodie's introductory "win now and win later"
"[The roster] looks like [how Van Wagenen described it would look]. [He said he would] go out there and build a team that could compete. He added a lot of good pieces and this team looks really good. All of us are praying that every one of us stays healthy. When you have a healthy team – especially this type of team we have – we can do pretty good things in this game. ”Cano, 36, is obviously aware of the expectations that come with being a handsomely paid player and seems to be embrace the scenario and understand the responsibility that comes along with them.
“You got to play for a team and get the chance to wear the uniform, you gotta go out and perform. You have fans in the stands who go out and spend their money to get to see you play. As a player, you want to go out and do your best. We are not [machines]. We're not going to go out and do good every single day. We're going to make mistakes; we're human. ”
“ But you know that you've got to go out and perform. The Mets' new second baseman was asked if, "knowing Brodie as well as you are," knowing Brodie as well as you. do ”, he believes the first-time GM will succeed in his new profession and sounded fairly confident in Van Wagenen's ability to seamlessly shift from one side of the negotiating table to the other, saying,“ he's going to be a good GM because you can see now, in his first year, he went out and got all of these pieces. It tells you he wants to win. ”
When asked how he feels coming into his 15th major league Spring Training, Cano quipped,“ I feel like I'm 25 ”, adding“ it's how you feel mentally […] For me, I just go out […] and work on where I feel I need to get better. ”He was asked about a possible goal of 150 games played this season and replied as any baseball lifer would.
“ As long as I feel good. I love to play this game. I enjoy it, I love this game. As a young kid you dream of going to the big leagues, so if you have the chance to play every day, I would love to, ”Cano said. “I don't want to step back [from that 150-game mark]. Once you are used to playing like that, you just want to go out every day. It [doesn’t] matter what your career is, you just want to go out because you love this game. ”
When asked about possibly spending some time at first base, which general manager Brodie Van Wagenen alluded to in interview with WFAN last week, Cano admitted that it was all news to him.
"I don't have [any] understanding about that, so I haven't thought about that yet," Cano said, drawing laughs from the press corps before elaborating on whether he was informed of the idea of spending some time at first. "No."
Cano expanded on his ascent through the New York Yankees organization, as well as his time in Seattle ("I have no regrets. I had a great five years. The only difference was the travel; I wasn The city was perfect. I love the city of Seattle. ”), and appears to have every intention of taking this Mets team back to the promised land.
up in the Yankees system. They teach you how to become a champion from the minor leagues. [After winning] a championship there and being able to make it to the playoffs seven or eight times, it's kind of like you want to go there every year. I wasn't able to make it in Seattle, and I know it's not because we didn't have a team – it's just part of the game – but coming back here I look forward to being back in the playoffs. ” Derek Jeter Mariano Rivera and the boatload of championship-level players littered throughout those mid-2000s Yankees clubhouses , Cano clearly learned more than just baseball on a professional scale; he learned how to prepare for a season with championship aspirations attached to it. He also expounded on the pressures that come along with playing in New York City.
“Coming up through the Yankees' system as a young player and you're not making money, it's easier to […] play on front of those fans because you get a chance to learn. Especially [for] myself, the team that we had back then, all of them were superstars, future Hall of Famers, "Cano said. “I got to learn early in my career […] I was able to look at my left or right and I could ask anyone any question in there. That helped me a lot. ”
The game still has superstars today, though, some of them remain without a team with most MLB clubs beginning full-team workouts on Monday. Cano chimed in the current atmosphere of Major League Baseball free agency.
"It's hard when you, as a player, you go out and put all that effort into the off season, during the season, to be able to put up. Those numbers, and you're sweating to be able to get a deal, ”Cano said. “When you deserve a deal [andyouareyoungandhavethetalentyouarenotabletogetadealthattellsyouthatbaseballisgoinginadifferentdirectionBecausethere'salotofguysouttherewhodon'thaveajob”
“ I'm surprised. I would say that every baseball player is shocked, ”he said. “I mean, guys like [ Manny Machado ][ Bryce Harper ]both are young guys who have been in this league, put up numbers – Machado played in the World Series last year, Harper won an MVP before – I thought by this time they already signed [have]. ”
A lot of the lessons that Cano learned as a youngster surrounded by greatness are sure to come in handy on a team stockpiled with talented young positional players in Michael Conforto Brandon Nimmo Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil . Though, the entire roster should benefit from the wealth of experience Cano brings to the team.
New closer, Edwin Diaz who came to the Mets from Seattle along with Cano in exchange for Jay Bruce Anthony Swarzak Gerson Bautista and top-ranked Mets prospect Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn apparently got a crash course in playing in New York from the city-experienced Cano.
"I told Edwin how tough [the New York press was]just kidding. As a young kid, I just told him, 'Remember, it's a different scenario – when you're coming from a different system in Seattle – you don't [have] to deal with a lot of media, you don't have to deal with those fans that call into the radio station [to criticize you]. ”
“ So I just told him […] don't let the big city get into your head. Just go out, compete, have fun – that's the biggest thing, just go out and have fun with that human. Don't try to be perfect. Play baseball and pitch. It's the same game in a different city […] Just be yourself and have fun. ”
As a reporter pointed out, Cano was given forms Mets captain David Wright 's locker, a gesture to which Cano did not miss out on the importance of, apparently.
“First of all, no one is going to replace David Wright […] It was sad that he had to end his career that way. I played with David, against him in the minor leagues and in the big leagues […] He's a guy that no one's going to replace. [It feels] special that I have to have his locker, "Cano said, before hesitating to symbolically fill The Captain's shoes.
" This is a game you play as a team. I'm going to go out and do my best and give everything I got. But I don't like to pressure myself and say, "I have to go out and be [David Wright]. But I will do my best and give everything I've got to go out and compete and help this team to win again. ”
As each player – pitcher, catcher, position player – arrives in camp and gives their outlook on what's on To come for this team, it's hard to get excited for the upcoming season. Let’s Go Mets