The Edmond Sun

Sports

July 10, 2012

Fielder gets Derby win, while Cano whiffs

KANSAS CITY — The boos and chants rained down on Robinson Cano long before he stepped to the plate, making it immediately clear he would be playing the role of villain on this warm and muggy Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

He is a Yankee, after all. But to Royals fans, it was personal.

Cano did not win the Home Run Derby — Detroit’s Prince Fielder did, topping Toronto’s Jose Bautista in the final round — and he didn’t even come close. But his at-bat, which lasted 10 agonizing or glorious minutes, depending on your allegiance, turned out to be the most captivating sequence of the entire night.

When Cano popped up, lined out or had a near-homer bounce off the outfield wall, the crowd of 40,351 did not just cheer — they roared. Roared. Like Bo Jackson had just launched a moon shot, or Zack Greinke had just completed a one-hit shutout. In between, they serenaded Cano with boos and “Billy Butler” chants, just to remind him of the man he slighted.

Not that it bothered Cano too much.

“No, no, we get booed everywhere we go,” Cano said with a laugh.

“We just played in Boston. Boston is even worse.”

But unlike those trips to Boston, where the booing is a byproduct of a long history of a bitter rivalry, Cano brought this round of vitriol on himself. Cano, captain of the American League’s Derby squad, initially said he’d like to include a Royal on his team, and Butler seemed like the obvious choice.

But then, as Cano explains it, he called Albert Pujols to see if he would participate. Pujols declined since he wasn’t playing in the game, and instead suggested his Angels teammate, Mark Trumbo.

Cano followed the advice of his fellow Dominican, and ended up picking Trumbo for the fourth and final spot on the AL’s Derby team, effectively leaving Butler out in the cold.

And Royals fans, it seems, have long memories. Even Butler, who appreciated the support, was taken aback by the extent to which Cano was chastised.

During batting practice, a plane carried a banner over the park that read “Congrats Billy! You Blew it Cano!”

“I thought that was a little over the top,” Butler said. “Maybe some people feel they have the right to be mad, but that’s not me.

“It’s good to hear people chanting your name,” Butler continued, “but I like Robby. So there’s nothing going on there.”

Royals fans weren’t as forgiving. Their booing was so vociferous, so intense, that after hitting into five straight outs to start the at-bat, he stepped out of the batter’s box to compose himself. He received a quick pep talk from Boston’s David Ortiz and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, and stepped in again, determined to get on the board.

No go. Cano popped up to center, hit a ball of the wall in center, and popped up again.

At that point, Curtis Granderson and CC Sabathia, Cano’s New York teammates, interceded. They walked to the mound to talk to the pitcher and give Cano another break.

It didn’t help. He quickly lined out, and with Cano on the ropes — he had only one out left and still had yet to hit a home run — the fans rose to their feet and cheered louder, like Joakim Soria was on the mound with two outs, two strikes and a two-run lead.

You can guess what happened next. Cano lined out, becoming the first player to go homerless at the derby since Detroit’s Brandon Inge in 2009.

Despite it all, Cano was quite gracious; he walked back to his AL teammates, giving man-hugs with a knowing grin of what just happened. He quickly tweeted:

“I can’t believe I have so many fans in KC lol smh can’t win them all *kanye shrug*”

Cano also blamed some of his performance on a busy schedule and lack of sleep.

“I landed (here) at 5 in the morning, we’ve played four games in the last three days,” Cano said. “I was a little bit tired. But that’s no excuse.”

Cano, however, was ultimately vindicated by the performances of the three players he picked. Fielder beat Bautista in the final round 12-7, and Trumbo reached the semifinals by hitting seven home runs in the first round, one of them a moon shot that landed on top of the Royals Hall of Fame.

“The fact is we had two American League guys going at it for the Home Run title at the end,” Butler said. “The bottom line is that everyone who was in it for the American League was deserving. They put on a show.”

But on a night that featured a plethora of oohs, ahhs and home runs, nothing was more entertaining than Cano’s at-bat against, essentially, an entire stadium.

Royals fans came to Kauffman Stadium on Monday night to see a spectacle; instead, they were a part of one.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Cano said of the performance by Royals fans. “I respect it.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist

    The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored  Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.   
    Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg McKey to compete in North American final

    Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet  June 28.
    McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
    McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter      champion.
    The North American final will run Aug. 2           in Hershey, Pa.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
    “That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
    So, the answer is no.

    July 25, 2014

  • Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens

    During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
    After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
    Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    Alternates
    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson 17 tee.jpg Gibson closes British Open with a 78, 3 birdies in final 6 holes

    Even if he didn’t post the score he wanted, Rhein Gibson left Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday knowing he at least finished strong.
    Gibson’s final-round 6-over-par 78 at the British Open looks a lot better when one considers he birdied three of his final six holes. The Oklahoma Christian alum finished his first major championship at 10-over-par 298 — in 72nd place overall — earning himself a paycheck of $20,840.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-OGA Reid mug.jpg Edmond’s Reid comes back to win Senior Stroke Play

    James Reid, of Edmond, rallied to win the OGA’s Senior Stroke Play Championship with a smoking 67 July 15 at the Trails Country Club in Norman. Edmond’s Jon Valuck tied for fifth place.
    In the pro series, Cameron Meyers of Edmond shot 68-70 for the top prize while Andrew Green of Edmond finished third.

    Oklahoma Golf Association
    Senior Stroke Play Championship
    July 14-15
    The Trails Golf Club
    Final Results

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-AF Will Conant kicker.jpg Air Force kicker Conant named to Groza Award watch list

    Air Force senior Will Conant, an Edmond Memorial graduate, is one of 30 players nationwide to be named to the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award watch list, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
    Conant hit 32-of-33 PATs and 11-of-13 field-goal attempts last season. He ranked third in the conference in field-goal percentage with an 84.6 mark that is the fourth-best in school history and best since Joey Ashcroft hit 88.8 percent (16-18) in 2002.
    Conant is one of two kickers in Air Force history to hit three times from 50-plus yards in a season. He hit three 52-yard kicks last season (versus Colgate, San Diego State, New Mexico), matching Ryan Harrison’s three 50-plus field goals in 2007. Conant’s three 50-plus field goals already rank him third in school history in career 50-yard field goals.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Photos