Robinson Cano blasted his way past Adrian Gonzalez Monday night to capture the 2011 Home Run Derby crown. It was quite the show. Cano hit a record breaking 12 home runs in the final round including the 472-foot winner with four outs to go. Some writers suggested this was Cano's coming out party or whatnot. Although I thought Cano was a long shot to win, it's not like he's been flying under the radar. Cano is a Yankee after all and has had an ISO over .200 for the past two seasons and .199 in 2009. I don't think a Home Run Derby championship was needed to get a 25-30 home run per season second baseman playing in New York some attention.
The other angle played up in every post/article/conversation about Cano's victory is, of course, that he had his father pitching to him during the competition. Jose Cano surrendered home run after home run to his son. I would have preferred to see Jose throw one high and inside just to remind Robbie who's the boss (it was Angela) but what do I know about parenting. The closest I've come is using my 4-year-old nephew to try to pick up women in the park. It was a really cool story though. Then we all needed to be reminded that Jose Cano was a former Houston Astros pitcher. Which is true.
The elder Cano pitched 23 innings in 1989. He gave up 24 hits, 13 runs, 2 homers and walked 7 for a 5.09 ERA. I'm pretty sure giving up 32 homers to his son will be the much fonder baseball memory. Either way, I felt it was my duty to point out that Jose Cano is/was a lousy pitcher. If you include his Home Run Derby performance, by my math, his MLB career ERA would be around 900.
We still have a soft spot in our hearts for Jose here. At last year's All Star game festivities, he asked occasional Off Base editor Derwood to take a picture with him. Derwood is the short white guy not wearing the "Team Cano" shirt if any of you were confused.