10 questions with Robinson Cano

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was an All-Star

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner in 2010, and finished third in the AL MVP voting. Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

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Newsday's Yankees beat writer Erik Boland sat down with second baseman Robinson Cano for a Q&A during spring training.

Erik Boland: Veteran pitchers typically say spring results don't matter. Do spring numbers matter to you?

Cano: "I want to go out there every day and get a hit. But I don't care about the numbers because they don't mean anything here. It's good to get a hit, but it doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is how well I hit the ball. My swings because I just want to have my swing ready for the season, which is when it matters. It doesn't matter if you hit .400 now, then you hit .120 in the regular season.''

Boland: Has that always been your approach?

Cano: "When it's your first year, you're always trying to get a hit every time because you're trying to make the team. After my first year, everything's been the same.''

Boland: Teammates talk about you always playing with a smile. Has that always been your demeanor?

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Cano: "Yeah, that's one thing when I came up, because people don't know me, they were criticizing me like, 'Oh, he's lazy because he's always laughing.' It seems like I'm not serious, but that's how I've always played. I'm always like that. I'm always laughing. I'm always happy. Even if I have problems, when I walk into the clubhouse, I don't want to bring it in here. I just leave my problems outside.''

Boland: Did that lazy perception bother you?

Cano: "You know what? Yeah. It's bothered me because people don't know . . . That's how you get people to stop talking about lazy; when you start putting up numbers, they see every year you are improving and getting better. You're not going to get better being lazy. You're only going to get better when you work hard and you focus on what you're doing.''

Boland: What did it mean to you last season to start getting recognized as one of baseball's best overall players?

Cano: "You know what? I'm the kind of guy that says nothing is impossible when you work hard. I'm always trying to be a better player every year and also improve myself. I don't want to, just because I had a great year, to stay there -- I hit 29 home runs and 109 RBIs and say, 'Well, that's good every year.' I want to get more and more and more.''

Boland: What's the next level for you?

Cano: "Help the team to win as many games as possible. I know numbers matter, but I don't put that in my mind. I always try to do better, to make this season better than the past season. I don't set a goal in my mind because that can [limit] you.''

Boland: Last spring you said a Gold Glove was something you wanted. Do you remember where you were when you learned you had won?

Cano: "I was in New York. I went on vacation and then I came back to New York and that's when I saw it on ESPN.''

Boland: Remember your thoughts?

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Cano: "I was so happy. I was happy and excited and called my dad and told him. He was happy. He said, 'I know you wanted to win it because you only made three errors this year and I know your potential.' ''

Boland: What was the origin of you bringing Francisco Cervelli and Eduardo Nuñez to your home in the Dominican over the winter to train, what Joe Girardi has called Camp Cano?

Cano: "Cervy and Nuñez, last year they were like, you can hit, what do you do? I said, I go home and start working out in December. Maybe you guys don't start that early. But I like to start early so I can prepare myself for when I get to spring training and I'm not fatigued or anything. They were like, we're going to come, let us know what time. I told them, you just need to bring your bats and that's it.''

Boland: Whose swing do you like?

Cano: (after 10-second pause). "I watch everybody. That's the problem with me. Even at second base. I'm always watching because I always say for me, I like to learn from other people's mistakes. I sit on the bench and I watch even my teammates swing so you can learn from them when they make a bad swing or good swing. I like to watch from the rookie to the veteran player, and that way you can see the difference and learn something from them.''

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