Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cano Face of Yanks ... for Now

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Cano Face of Yanks ... for Now

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - This was going to be Robinson Cano's spotlight summer, whether the Yankees soared or stalled in the pennant race.

On the verge of free agency, Cano is also playing for a huge contract. He became the charter client of entertainer Jay-Z's new venture as a sports agent, partnering with CAA - an association that just landed Cano a national partnership with Pepsi.

Cano was the AL's Home Run Derby captain Monday night.

And he's the only Yankees hitter whom AL managers attempt to avoid, yet Cano has a .302 batting average, 21 homers, 65 RBI and a .917 OPS at the break.

Only, it's been a little lonelier at the top than Cano could've anticipated.

The AL starting second baseman in tonight's 84th All-Star Game, Cano arrived at Citi Field with only one teammate - Mariano Rivera - in tow. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and the rest had suddenly ceded the stage to the player expected to lead the Yankees for the balance of this decade.

As long as Cano re-signs in the Bronx this fall.

"I don't want to talk about contracts. I want to talk about the All-Star Game," Cano said, flashing a smile before his fifth mid- summer classic.

Detroit's Max Scherzer opposes Matt Harvey, the Mets' young ace who can expect a raucous welcome in his home ballpark.

It's the final All-Star Game for Rivera, who is retiring at season's end. And it's a first for the likes of Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore and Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt - part of the new breed of possible perennial All-Stars here in Pedro Alvarez (Pirates), Bryce Harper (Nationals), Manny Machado (Orioles) and Mike Trout (Angels).

Cano, 30, lands at his fifth All-Star Game already in his prime but seeking the giant payday afforded to All-Star teammates Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera. He already owns the respect of his All- Star peers.

"He's a great player. He's one of the best second basemen in this game," said NL starting second baseman Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds. "He can hit, field, everything - the guy is just lights-out. …

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