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Cano (with prodding) is skipping Home Run Derby

A back injury will keep Robinson Cano out

A back injury will keep Robinson Cano out of the Home Run Derby. Photo Credit: Getty Images

OAKLAND, Calif. - Don't ya know?

Robby Cano finally does, receiving word, and being OK with it, before last night's game that Yankees' hierarchy preferred him not to participate in Monday's Home Run Derby.

"I agree with it," Cano said in a second meeting with reporters before the game.

Before getting to that point, however, a breakdown in communication took place between the Yankees and their All-Star second baseman.

Word broke during the afternoon that Cano, who committed Tuesday to participate in the Derby, had pulled out of the competition because of a sore lower back, which had been bothering him since Sunday.

General manager Brian Cashman confirmed the report.

"We asked him not to participate," Cashman said in a phone interview.

Only no one, apparently, told Cano, who seemed surprised, and a tad irritated, when approached by reporters in the clubhouse several hours before last night's game.

"Nobody's talked to me," he said.

That was rectified before the Yankees took the field for batting practice, with Cano getting called into Joe Girardi's office to speak with the manager and, on the phone, with Cashman.

Cano said he was told in the office that trainer Gene Monahan informed Girardi and Cashman after Tuesday's game that Cano, who entered last night in a 2-for-21 skid, would be better off not taking part in the Derby. The plan was to talk to Cano as soon as he arrived at the park but "you guys got me first."

"They don't want to take the risk that I got out there and make that thing worse in my back," Cano said later. "They said it might feel good the same day but you never know how you're going to wake up the next day. They don't want to take the risk to lose me for two weeks, three weeks, a month in the second half. I agree with them. I don't want to put myself in a situation where they're going to have to go and get someone else to play second base. Like I always said, the team comes first and whatever I have to do for the team is no problem with me."

When reporters first entered the clubhouse 3 1/2 hours before the game, Cano said to his knowledge he still was participating in the contest and was upset to have learned from Javier Vazquez that an online story said he had bowed out of the Derby.

"I was [upset earlier] because I didn't know what was going on," Cano said. "But now they spoke to me, I know what's going on and that was our trainer's decision. And that's a guy that's been here a long time and knows better than myself what is better for me and what is better for the team. And I agree with him. He was right. That's a thing [The Derby] that's only going to be one day but after that I'm going to have to play with the team. Whatever I have to do for the team is no problem with me."

Cano said he would still show up Monday to watch.

"It's going to be fun to watch," Cano said. "And now I know the situation of why I'm not going. Not because they don't want me to, it's a situation where I don't want to get hurt."

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