Robinson Cano should sit after his latest base-running blunder

Jun 5, 2015, 8:16 AM | Updated: 8:26 am
Robinson Cano has now committed two base-running errors this season, the latest coming Thursday. (A...
Robinson Cano has now committed two base-running errors this season, the latest coming Thursday. (AP)
(AP)

On Thursday afternoon, Lloyd McClendon conducted a base-running tutorial that seemed comically basic, leading his players to first base and then on to second and finally to third.

That evening, Robinson Cano went and committed a base-running blunder even more remedial than his manager’s pregame lesson.

Cano was picked off first base while standing only inches off the bag, caught staring into the outfield with Nelson Cruz at the plate and Erasmo Ramirez on the mound.

It was the kind of mistake that simply can’t happen, but the kind of mistake that Cano made. Again.

That’s the reason Cano should be benched for Friday’s game against Tampa Bay. Not just because the error was costly, preventing the Mariners from having the bases loaded with Kyle Seager at the plate in the fifth-inning of what turned out to be a one-run loss. And not just because McClendon had just given his team an on-field demonstration about something most would assume was second nature to professional baseball players.

The Mariners have exercised patience with Cano both with regard to mistakes and his struggles at the plate. They have been respectful. And for the second time in 54 games this season, Cano made a base-running error that wasn’t about either effort or ability but entirely about focus.

Back in April, Cano was caught off third base in Los Angeles as he began trotting home after a teammate’s walk. Cano thought the bases were loaded. They weren’t.

There was no excuse for the mistake, but the embarrassment Cano expressed after the game seemed sufficient to make sure something like that would never happen again. That was his mulligan.

To have it not only happen again but occur on the very day the manager took the team on a base-by-base lecture, well, that doesn’t seem like something that should be written off as an unfortunate mistake.

I love the way Cano fields his position, I respect his history of success in this game and I feel some sympathy over his struggles at the plate this season. He has remained both approachable and accountable and I have yet to see him so much as bristle when asked about his productivity or lack thereof.

This mistake is something different, though, and sitting Cano down even if it’s just to begin the game isn’t about punishment so much as drawing a very clear line: Paying attention isn’t an expectation, but a prerequisite for playing.

Cano already made the kind of mistake that can never happen again on the bases this season. Not only did he do it again, but he did on the very last day he should of given the manager’s message before the game.

Turns out that a big-league manager giving a base-running lecture before Thursday’s game wasn’t nearly as ridiculous as the little-league error his star second baseman committed during it.

Date Starting Pitcher
Tuesday, September 27 @ 6:40 pm

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Sunny
High 78° | Low 57°
No game today.

Danny and Gallant Show

Wyman & Bob

Danny ONeil

Seahawks Quandre Diggs...
Danny O'Neil

O’Neil: Seahawks have uncertainty with a player ‘holding in,’ but it’s not Quandre Diggs

While Quandre Diggs appears to be the third Seahawks player to "hold-in" during training camp, Danny O'Neil writes that it's Duane Brown whose future is up in the air.
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

AZ Good AZ it Gets

SPONSORED – Phoenix was the place where the rest of the country found out that Seattle fans took their enthusiasm on the road with them. That was 2013. It’s also the place where I discovered how restorative a desert vacation can be. That was 2015. Let’s start with the screaming. That’s what caught everyone’s attention […]
1 year ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Danny O'Neil

O’Neil: Mariners aren’t handing the spotlight over to Seahawks just yet

This is the time of year that Seattle tends to shift its focus to the gridiron, but the Mariners are still commanding attention.
1 year ago
Seahawks Duane Brown...
Danny O'Neil

O’Neil: When Seahawks decide not to extend players, they’re rarely wrong

If you think the Seahawks must sign Duane Brown to an extension, when's the last time they opted against re-signing someone and it came back to bite them?
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

Oh, LA, LA!

Week 15, Dec. 19: Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, SoFi Stadium, 1:25 p.m. Pacific SPONSORED – Maybe it was fitting that the opening act for the first pro-football game I covered in Los Angeles was a rock band I loved as a teenager. There’s no place that makes me think of growing up more than […]
1 year ago
Follow @dannyoneil...
Danny O'Neil

Star in a Lone Star Adventure

Week 14, Dec. 12: Seattle at Houston Texans, NRG Stadium, 10 a.m. Pacific SPONSORED – Enchiladas and greatness. That’s what I think of in Texas. The enchiladas are pretty straightforward. They’re so delicious at El Tiempo Cantina that it’s hard to take a bite without closing my eyes. There are three locations though the one […]
1 year ago
Robinson Cano should sit after his latest base-running blunder