Cano wants to be fixture batting 3rd

Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees

Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees singles in the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (July 10, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images )

Robinson Cano said Wednesday that he hasn't given much thought to where he'll bat in the Yankees' lineup for 2012. Yet the second baseman made it clear that he'd gladly pick up where he left off.

"It's not going to make a difference," Cano said at the Yankees' 18th Annual Holiday Food Drive at Yankee Stadium. "The only difference it's going to make is I'll keep working harder . . . You want to stay there."

"There" would be third, where Cano hit in all five of the Yankees' postseason games and where he's favored to hit come Opening Day 2012.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi flipped Cano, who had mostly been hitting fifth, and Mark Teixeira for the American League Division Series against Detroit because Cano was dramatically outperforming his teammate. Cano proceeded to hit two home runs in 22 plate appearances in the ALDS, recording a .375 on-base percentage and .682 slugging percentage.

Girardi, meanwhile, didn't seem to understand that new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was fully joking last week when he said, "I hate the Yankees."

"I respect the Red Sox and what they do, the task that we have in trying to win our division. How tough our division is," Girardi said. "I don't know how feelings happen overnight. I've never been taught that's how feelings happen."

The Yankees' manager expressed his support of expanded instant replay, which is expected to be enacted for the 2012 season. Umpires will use replay to help determine fair/foul calls on balls hit down the line and whether balls are trapped or caught by outfielders.

"When you have technology, that can clear things up really quickly," Girardi said. "You want calls to be right. Wild cards can be won and lost by one game. You want everyone to have a fair shot."

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