Robinson Cano plans to defend his Home Run Derby title...

Robinson Cano plans to defend his Home Run Derby title on July 9 in Kansas City. (May 25, 2012) Credit: AP

Robinson Cano plans to defend his championship in the Home Run Derby on July 9 in Kansas City. And he plans to bring along his no-longer-secret weapon: his father and personal pitcher, Jose Cano.

"I just told him it's not like last year when I had to tell him what we were going to do and how it's going to be," the Yankees' second baseman said. "Now I just had to ask him if he wanted to do it again and he said yes."

Cano spoke Tuesday at an event to promote the Derby and the All-Star Game at the MLB Fan Cave in lower Manhattan. His 2011 victory in Phoenix earned him the role of captain for the American League team this summer; the Dodgers' Matt Kemp will be his NL counterpart.

It didn't take long for Cano to begin recruiting teammate Curtis Granderson, who also was at the Fan Cave and was second in the AL with 17 home runs entering Tuesday night's games.

Not so fast, though. "Only if there's no one left and I'm the last guy,'' Granderson said. "I just don't have the ability to put on batting practice power like some guys are able to do it.''

Granderson said the only time he has entered a home run contest was for a winter fundraising event in Curacao several years ago. It didn't go well.

"I hit two, definitely didn't advance to the next round," he said. "Certain guys can do it, and I'm one of those that can't."

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