How Should You Feel About Robinson Cano Tonight?
This is the post that I’ve been waiting to write.
Well, not specifically this post, but just anything that allows me to talk about my Mariners fandom again in a market full of diehard Yankee fans.
Robinson Cano returns tonight while wearing the uniform of my favorite team. How will you react when he steps in the box in the top of the first inning at Yankee Stadium?
I don’t know, but I know how should act. And it depends on your age.
If you are under the age of 18, I give you permission to boo Cano vehemently. You can justifiably hate him for the rest of your life as far as I’m concerned.
Everyone loves Derek Jeter, but Cano could have easily been your favorite player for years. And now he’s gone. That hurts. It’s like your sports innocence being stripped away.
Most of you now hate Alex Rodriguez. That’s not news. But, I hated Alex Rodriguez long before it was popular. Once Ken Griffey Jr. left the Mariners after the 1999 season, A-Rod became my favorite player by default.
But he bolted after the 2000 season. For the money. I was 12. It was my first true heartbreak. Even when Griffey left, I knew I had A-Rod. So it hurt more when the latter left and there was nobody. I’ve never forgiven him – and I never will.
If you are between about 18-30, you can’t hate Cano. You’ve started to understand how sports work. It is about the money. It’s not about loyalty to a franchise. For every Derek Jeter, there are 10 Robinson Cano’s and A-Rod’s.
And specifically, if you are a Yanks fan? You’ve seen the Yankees woo players away from other franchises for the exact same reasons Cano left.
Jason Giambi. Gary Sheffield. Bobby Abreu. C.C. Sabathia. A.J. Burnett. Mark Teixeira. Brian McCann. Jacoby Ellsbury. Masahiro Tanaka.
That’s just a rough list off the top of my head at 7:25 in the morning. There’s more. Johnny Damon. Hideki Matsui. Carlos Beltran. Rafael Soriano. Even the forgotten Yankee -- Carl Pavano.
So, you need to just understand the Yankees are on the “right” side of this situation so often that it’s not right to be upset about the one player lost. Cano helped the 2009 Yanks win the World Series, and you’ll have those memories and that title in your fanhood. That’s what matters, ultimately.
And finally, if you are above 30 (and I’m not there yet), you should feel a sadness when you see Cano in a Mariners uniform. It’s another example that proves the sports cynicism that accompanies getting older. Your heroes and your athletes just aren’t what you want them to be.
And that’s tough to face, especially if you have a young kid who is learning this for the first time.
*Disclaimer: If you are just a baseball fan who enjoys the game. You should applaud the pretty swing and smooth way that Cano plays defense. If you appreciate baseball, appreciate Cano.*