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Friday, May 10, 2013
First Pitch: Will it one day be RC3K?

By Andrew Marchand

Cano
Thursday's rain couldn't keep Robinson Cano from his 1,500th hit.
On Aug. 16, 2003, Derek Jeter hit a grounder up the middle off Pat Hentgen in the fifth inning in front of nearly 50,000 fans at Camden Yards. The single put Jeter halfway to 3,000.

Jeter was 29 and it took him 4,713 at-bats to get to 1,500 hits.

On Thursday, Robinson Cano knocked a third-inning single off Jeff Francis in Colorado for hit No. 1,500 of his career.

Cano is 30 and it was his 4,864th at-bat of his career. Once a batter makes it halfway to 3,000, it is realistic to talk about that majestic hit total. Cano has a legitimate shot to reach it.

Will he do it as a Yankee? Well, the Yankees and Cano's agents have been mum, but it is a good bet that there is dialogue going on to try to avoid free agency.

Though Cano made the move from Scott Boras to Brodie Van Wagenen and Jay-Z, it is still not a slam-dunk negotiation. Even if Cano is not looking for every last dollar, it can be hard to find the exact middle point when you are talking about hundreds of millions.

Cano's 1,500th hit is just another reminder of how special he is with a bat in his hand. If he can spend the rest of career in pinstripes and become the second player to have all his 3,000 hits as a Yankee that would be quite a legacy.

In fact, people might say that Jeter and Cano were the best double play combo of all time.

UP NOW: Wallace Matthews with all the details from another win in rainy Denver. The result of which means the Yankees are atop the AL East standings.

ON DECK: Mariano Rivera returns to Kansas City, the site of his fall a little more than a year ago. The pitching matchups for the three-gamer that begins on Friday at 8:10 p.m.: Phil Hughes (1-2, 3.60) vs. Wade Davis (2-2, 4.75); Saturday, Andy Pettitte (3-2, 4.06) vs. James Shields (2-2, 2.52); Sunday, Hiroki Kuroda (4-2, 2.30) vs. Ervin Santana (3-1, 2.36).

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: Will Cano get 3,000 hits? Will he do it as a Yankee?