Yanks back Cano; verbal abuse reaches family

Yanks back Cano; verbal abuse reaches family

Yanks back Cano; verbal abuse reaches family
KANSAS CITY -- Robinson Cano said that he holds no hard feelings against the fans who treated him like a visiting villain this week, but he was upset to learn that his family had been verbally abused during the festivities at Kauffman Stadium.

"I knew coming in I was going to get booed," Cano said after exiting the American League's 8-0 loss to the National League. "The only thing that I would say that I didn't like was the way they treated my family when they went to the restroom. But it's part of the game, and hopefully it stops here and we'll move forward."

Cano's family members in attendance, including his father, Jose -- who pitched during Cano's homerless round in Monday's State Farm Home Run Derby -- wore All-Star Game jerseys embroidered with Cano's name and number to the events.

That may have made them an easy target for some hecklers in the seats, and Cano said that his mother in particular was bothered during the Derby. Cano's family watched part of the All-Star Game from the secured suite level.

"They were yelling stuff to my family, which is not ... the right thing," Cano said. "You know, this is a game and we're All-Stars. I mean, if I get booed, I don't really care. But I mean, when they start with your family, that's over the line."

Cano became a target in Kansas City after he passed on taking the Royals' Billy Butler for the AL home run-hitting squad, selecting eventual winner Prince Fielder of the Tigers, as well as the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and the Angels' Mark Trumbo.

The uproar was fueled by Cano's earlier comments that he would like to pick a Royals player for the squad. But when Cano asked the Angels' Albert Pujols to take part, Pujols instead suggested that Cano take Trumbo, who cracked 13 homers in the Derby.

"I wasn't wrong; the guy put on a good show," Cano said. "That's what the fans want. They want you to go out there and put on a good show."

Cano said that Butler spoke to him on Tuesday and apologized for how he has been treated in Kansas City.

"He came to me today," Cano said. "I said, 'I know; I understand.' These are the fans. I know it's not his fault."

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, one of Cano's close friends, said that he felt Kansas City's fans went overboard in their treatment of Cano.

"I think what everybody did to Robinson was kind of wrong," Ortiz said. "He picked three guys he thought could keep the title in the American League. He didn't want to keep anybody out of the competition. It was a little rough."

Before Tuesday's game, Yankees ace CC Sabathia opined, "I thought that was horrible. I felt bad for him. I know he loves the game, loves to have fun. I don't think that was fun for him last night."

Yankees captain Derek Jeter joked that what Cano heard on Monday and Tuesday sounded like cheers compared to what the Yankees' captain heard in the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park, but he sympathized with Cano on the topic of his family members.

"It happens," Jeter said. "My parents sometimes don't go to games because of what fans do. I don't think that's a reflection of all the fans. You're always going to run into an idiot here or there who may do something or say something to someone's family.

"That's not a reflection, I don't think, of Kansas City or Kansas City's fans. Booing is fine. You expect to get booed on the road. But you're always going to have people who maybe drink a little bit too much or say something."

The situation drew the attention of Commissioner Bud Selig, who addressed Cano's dilemma on Tuesday morning during a meeting with members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA).

"I felt badly last night," Selig said. "Robinson Cano certainly picked people he thought should be on it -- as Prince did last year and Matt Kemp did this year. I understand hometown loyalties and I'm sympathetic to that, but this was tough."

Selig said that MLB will discuss the process in advance of next year's All-Star Game at Citi Field, exploring if the NL should be required to select a Mets player for the Derby lineup.

MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, Joe Torre, said that he was "sorry" if the negative reception kept the event from being fun for Cano.

"You'd certainly like to give the local people what they want, but this format works," Torre said. "Certainly we'll look at it, because we don't want the players to have to endure that stuff. It should be a fun time for them. It didn't feel good last night."

Cano said he was thankful that the attacks on his family members had been only of a verbal nature.

"Thank God they didn't do anything [physical]," Cano said. "You don't want to take this too far. It takes away the line when they do something to your family, because it's just a game. This is the kind of stuff that you want to have fun and you want to go home with good memories."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.