‘He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried:’ Former M’s coach blasts Cano, hiring of Edgar

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SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 20: Newly hired hitting coach Edgar Martinez #11 (center) of the Seattle Mariners talks with outfield coach Andy Van Slyke #43 as Robinson Cano #22 listens in prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on June 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Martinez replaced Howard Johnson. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – Wow.

Former Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke teed off on the play of Robinson Cano and the hiring of Edgar Martinez in an interview on CBS Sports Radio 920 on Thursday.

Van Slyke was fired along with the rest of manager Lloyd McClendon’s staff last month

“You would think that Cano probably would’ve had a terrific year, where he had probably the worst single year of an everyday player I’ve ever seen in 20 years at the big-league level,” Van Slyke said. “He was just the most awful player I’ve ever seen.”

The subject came up when Van Slyke and host Frank Cusumano were discussing the importance of being protected in the order. Van Slyke said Cano should’ve had a vastly better season, considering he was batting in front of Nelson Cruz, who had a monster season.

“Robinson Cano was the single worst, everyday … player I’ve ever seen for the first half of a Major League Baseball season,” Van Slyke said. “He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried.

“He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered, he played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second – I mean, I’m talking the worst defensive second baseman EVER, I’ve ever seen in 20 years in the big leagues.”

Van Slyke put the blame for the massive turnover in the organization this year squarely at the feet of Cano.

“Robinson Cano cost the GM his job, the hitting coach got fired because of Cano, and then the manager and the coaches got fired because of Cano, because that’s how much of an impact he has on the organization,” he said. “He was the worst player, and it cost people job in the process.”

Among those who lost their jobs was hitting coach Howard Johnson, who was replaced by Mariners great Edgar Martinez in June.

“Edgar Martinez wanted to get back into baseball and there were teams who were inquiring about him as a hitting coach,” Van Slyke said. “Now how would it look like if the offense that struggled for half a year in Seattle let Edgar Martinez talk to some other organization when Howard Johnson’s the hitting coach and you can’t score runs? ”

Van Slyke said the Mariners might have opened up a can of worms when they hired Martinez.

“(Johnson) was fired from upstairs, not from the manager’s office, and Edgar Martinez walked in the next day and had a job and will have a job in Seattle as long as he’s breathing air, because he’s Edgar Martinez,” Van Slyke said. “Now let me ask you this – are you gonna fire Edgar Martinez when you have a restaurant in the stadium and an exit ramp to the stadium named after him?”