Yankees play-by-play announcer John Sterling will have to create a new home run call for a different player at second base this season. “Robbie Cano, don’cha know?” has to be crumpled up and tossed into the radio waste bin. Now if the call had to be modified, perhaps this would be more apt: “Robbie Cano, don’cha know?.. ya made a mistake.” Robinson Cano decided to stick with a franchise bathed in a rich tradition of winning, a singular vessel known for creating legacies, a commercial vehicle ripe with endless marketing opportunities.. The.. Mariners? Um, yeah, the M’s, who backed up the truck and dropped 240 million big ones on his lap.
Had Cano stayed with the Yankees, sure he would’ve made less money, but the chance to go down as a legend from one of the most recognized franchises in all sports was well within reach. Commercial opportunities would likely cascade from 5th Avenue with every mounting accolade. As is always the case, it’s all about the money. One can’t blame him for chasing the dollars. Cano is a singular talent no doubt, but the Mariners overpayed for him. That mere fact may not dawn on them until they reach the backend of his 10 year megadeal, say around 2020, when it will feel like a gigantic elephant standing on their chest.
Seattle may very well get seven highly productive years out of him and even reach the ultimate pinnacle of the sport, the World Series, but those who’ve gained entry into the ultra exclusive 200 mill club know that it doesn’t guarantee sustained excellence. Just look at the likes of Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or even Alex Rodriguez. For the Mariners, the Cano signing successfully registered on the sports richter scale. They managed to be a permanent trending fixture for much of the day on Twitter. They’ve had a hard enough time doing that as it is in a city now gripped with the scourge that is Seahawks Fever. Keep in mind the M’s haven’t been to the postseason since 2001 and still have numerous holes to fill.
There’s reports that they’re trying to lure pitcher David Price to a staff featuring King Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, so it’s possible they really are serious about contending. While the M’s are exhibiting their relevancy this winter, they’ll need to pry open the wallet much further to keep up with the Rangers, Angels and A’s in a highly competitive American League West. Depending on what the Mariners do, maybe we will say at some point down the line, Robbie Cano did know, but I doubt it.