Long: Cano can hit 40. Cano: I can?

March, 16, 2011
3/16/11
6:56
PM ET
Yankee hitting coach Kevin Long was asked before tonight's game how much better he thought Robinson Cano can get.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Cano hit 40 home runs,'' Long said." He hit 29 (in 2010). Can he hit 40? I don't see why not. It's a big number. It's not something that's a goal, that I'm saying 'Hey Robbie, we've got to get 40 home runs this year.' But could he do it? I don't think there's anybody standing here that thinks that he can't.''

If Cano standing there -- which he was not -- Long would have found one dissented.

When Long's statement was presented to him before tonight's Yankees-Orioles game, Cano said, "No chance.''

After the laugher died down, it became obvious Cano was serious. "Maybe if you put in an extra half a season,'' he said. "That's not in my mind. I don;t think I'm a home run hitter. Most of my home runs are line drives. If I hit it, thanks God. But it's not the kind of thing that I think about. I just go out there and try to have a beter season than I had before. Home runs are not in my mind.''
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146