<
>

Long: I wasn't malicious

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Kevin Long-Robinson Cano "dog" story got new legs on Tuesday when Jerry Crasnick spoke with Lloyd McClendon.

Long reacted to McClendon's reaction, in which the Mariners' manger mocked Long for acting like a "hitting guru" in his book, "Cage Rat" and for being something of a Yankees spokesman.

"That's too bad," Long said. "I don't consider myself the spokesman for the Yankees. If you look at all the good things that were written about Robinson you would understand there was no malicious meaning behind any of it. If he wants to speak publicly like that, that is up to him. That is the way he interpreted it. I'm not going to get in a media war with Lloyd McClendon, he'd probably win that anyway.

"There were so many good parts, but it basically was, if anyone looks at it they are going to see that Robinson doesn't sprint down to first. I think if anyone puts a clock on him [they] would realize that. That's it. Other than, this guy is a tremendous human being, tremendous character guy."

When he read McClendon's comments about Long, Yankees GM Brian Cashman laughed. Cashman said he has no plans to talk to Long about his comments, but he was a little taken aback by them.

"I was surprised," Cashman said.

Cashman said he never had an issue with Cano.