I’m sure it was hard for a lot of Yankees fans to see Robinson Cano at Yankee Stadium representing a different team. Cano, a player whom the Yankees front office tried to make a franchise player for the next seven years this past off-season was heavily booed by the fans Tuesday during every possible game situation that Cano was involved in. One might think that he deserved all of the heckling, especially knowing that New York offered him a 7 year/175 million deal to keep him in New York for arguably the rest of his career. However, Cano decided to turn down the deal and capture nearly every major league baseball fan by surprise and chose to sign with the Seattle Mariners. Let me remind, this is a team who has not been to the playoffs since 2001, a year when they tied the MLB record for wins in a season at 116. Being a passionate Seattle Mariners fan, I myself was extremely shocked to hear that a player of his caliber would leave an elite team like the Yankees, and come to rainy Seattle and play with a bunch of young guns still trying to find their way offensively in the big leagues. It wasn’t until I heard about the specific contract that the Mariners offered Cano that I started to see a HUGE reason why Robinson would want to come to Seattle.
Now 7 years/175 million sounds pretty good right? How about 10 years/240 million! That is what Cano agreed too and was most likely the key contributor for the Seattle Mariners landing an elite player in their lineup. Now back to Tuesdays game, both the Yankees and Mariners have had less than stellar starts to begin the 2014 season. On a wet and rainy day, I couldn’t tell what occurred more frequently during the game, the amount of rain or the amount of boos that Cano received from the Yankee faithful. During his first at bat of the night, he walked up to the plate and there was an overwhelming sound of boos that flooded the stadium. The cameraman was courteous enough to show a few fans clapping and cheering for Robinson, but the vast majority was booing Mr. Cano for leaving the team. I even saw a couple of fans through the television shouting “Sellout, Sellout!” Nevertheless, Robinson cracked a beaming smile, waved to Yankees manager Joe Girardi and even gave a nod to longtime teammate and opposing pitcher C.C. Sabathia. The Yankees fans got their wish when Sabathia struck out Cano to end the inning without surrendering a hit and walking off the mound to a thunderous roar for striking out “the sellout”. Cano finished the game going 1-5 with an RBI and a run scored. It most likely was the first time Cano ever got “booed” for getting a base hit at Yankee Stadium. Although I would have liked to see Cano cause some damage in the extra base hits category, I was very satisfied with the way the team played collecting a season high 15 hits and cruising to a 6-3 win in the opening game of the three game series.
As for Mr. Cano, he was a class act throughout the entire process. Weather depending, I’m sure there will be more fans at the game tomorrow. If it is indeed a sellout I would expect nothing less than another dominating performance and chants of boos from the fans. I also would expect nothing less than quality professionalism from Robinson because at the end of the day he’s doing the thing he loves the most, playing ball.