Yankees brass proud to welcome back champion Cano

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 22, 2013
Felix Lopez stood on the top step of the New York Yankees' dugout, chewing on an unlit cigar stub and flashing the smile of a proud father. Second baseman Robinson Cano was back on the field with the Yankees after leading the Dominican Republic to the championship of the World Baseball Classic and Lopez greeted him with a big hug near the batting cage. ''His success with the Dominican Republic just shows he's a great player and we're proud of him,'' said Lopez, the Yankees' chief international officer. ''I've seen him since he was a baby and I call him my son sometimes because he grew up in this organization.'' Cano, a four-time All-Star who returned to camp Thursday, was MVP of the WBC after hitting .469 with two homers and six RBIs. Now, it's back to work with the Yankees, who are battling injuries and skeptics as the regular season nears. Cano singled and scored in the Yankees' 6-1 loss to Minnesota in his first game back. ''You want to go there and just win it all,'' he said. ''I would say one job is already done, so now I just focus in here and get ready for the season.'' Lopez, the son-in-law of former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, was born in Cuba. But he watched the WBC with a close eye on the Dominican Republic for a few reasons. Of course, Lopez wanted to see Cano play and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena manage the team. Also, the Yankees hosted the Dominican Republic squad at their spring-training complex before the tournament. ''We have a very tight relationship with the people of the Dominican Republic,'' Lopez said. ''We have an academy there. We have great players coming up throughout all levels of the minor leagues. We have great players on the major league team right now. We have a great relationship with the government of the Dominican Republic and we are very proud that we were a little part of their success with their home field being here.'' The injury-depleted Yankees are missing Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson going into the regular season. If they don't end up winning a 28th World Series title, at least they had a connection to one championship this year. ''We are very proud the Dominican Republic won,'' Lopez said. ''Maybe some of their great achievement will rub off on us.'' There was a down side to the WBC for the Yankees. Teixeira sustained a partially torn tendon sheath in his right wrist on March 5 while with the U.S. team. He could miss up to two months of the regular season. ''It's always a major concern and sometimes we walk on pins and needles when we see one of our players go over there and go all-out so early in the season,'' Lopez said. ''It's something we have to weigh. It's great for the Dominican Republic to win, but it's hard to have a situation like Teixeira get hurt. But that's part of the game. If he didn't get hurt there, he could've gotten hurt coming out of his house and falling down the steps.'' For Lopez and others, injuries don't take away from the WBC. ''I think it was a great success,'' he said. ''It's a good thing we have passionate teams like the Dominican Republic playing for their country. It was unique to see that camaraderie between all those players and all that excitement they brought to the game.'' --- Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker