It never comes down to one guy in team sports (basketball sometimes), but when a major RBI man in a baseball lineup has big game after big game down the stretch of a season, it rubs off on everyone else and the team is overall is a much better place in terms of making the postseason.  If the Yankees are to make the playoffs, they need Robinson Cano to produce.  Plain and simple.

Derek Jeter's place with the Yankees is forever cemented.  He proved that again in his Sunday comeback game against Tampa Bay, going 2-4 with a first pitch, first at-bat home run that set the tone in an eventual 6-5 win.  But can Jeter carry the Yanks with his still-recovering ankle and at age 39?  Unlikely.  The future might be Cano's in this spot.  The future face of the franchise might be Cano.  Thus, he must produce when it's on the line.  And October is very much on the line right now as the dog days of August near.

The Yanks are looking up at the AL East leader and more realistically, the AL Wild Card spots.  They have only missed the playoffs once since 1994, the 2008 season, manager Joe Girardi's first with the team.  If they are to make it again, New York needs everyone's effort.

But one guy the most.  Robinson Cano.  Cano's Yankee future is at-stake as he becomes a free agent after 2013.

He would do himself a favor by being the main reason the New York Yankees make the playoffs again this season.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike," M-F 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter at