Robinson Cano reports a day late

Updated: February 21, 2011, 3:54 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Robinson Cano showed up in Yankees camp Sunday morning, smiling but somewhat embarrassed by having arrived a day later than the rest of the regulars.

"I got my dates messed up," he said. "It's not funny. I don't like to be late. You guys know I'm always on time."

While the rest of his teammates were taking physicals in Tampa on Saturday morning, Cano was home in New York when he received a phone call from a member of the Yankees staff.

"He said, 'Where are you?' I said, "I'm in New York,"' Cano sheepishly recounted. "I said 'I'll be there for the physical [Sunday]." He says, 'No, the physical's today.' So I apologized and today I'll be ready for the first workout."

Cano led the Yankees with a .319 batting average in 2010 while posting career highs of 29 home runs and 109 RBIs in his first season as the No. 5 hitter. He also won his first Gold Glove and after his breakout season is considered among the best second basemen in the game.

"I would say I'm pretty good," Cano said. "That was my best season so far but I think I can get better at everything."

Cano arrived in Tampa on Saturday night, took his physical early Sunday morning and was in the first group of regulars, along with Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, to take batting practice.

Cano was not disciplined by the team and on Saturday, general manager Brian Cashman described Cano's late arrival as "no big deal."

As of now, manager Joe Girardi plans to hit Cano fifth again, although he did not rule out moving Cano into the third slot that was occupied the last two seasons by Mark Teixeira.

"Right now we don't expect a ton of changes in our lineup," Girardi said. "We're going to discuss everything and try to put out the best lineup that we feel every day. I think you could probably hit Robby anywhere you want."

Cano agreed. "In this lineup, anywhere I hit, I don't care," he said. "I always go out there and swing the bat the same way."

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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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