Column: A not-so-welcome back
It is always interesting to see what happens when a newly traded player comes back to their former home field. Although Peyton Manning got a tribute and standing ovation when he went back to Indianapolis, the majority of players get booed. Robinson Cano was in this situation Wednesday night, as the Seattle Mariners took on the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Not to anyone's surprise, when Cano got to the plate for the first time he was welcomed with more boos than cheers from the fans. You could see it was a little difficult for him as he put on a smile and laughed it off trying to ignore the crowd. Cheers erupted in Yankee stadium as CC Sabathia struck out Cano in his first at bat, but it didn't stop there. When Cano took his position on second base the Bleacher Creatures had no mercy chanting, "you sold out!"
After being a Yankee since he was 17 years old, Cano signed a massive 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners and left New York. This didn't come as much of a surprise to fans, since it was rumored that Cano was disappointed with the Yankees $175 million contract (ha). Normally the Yankees roll out the dough to get the big free agents, however they got a taste of their own medicine this season. They know how it feels to be on the other side of the deal as Seattle took away a great player.
"Baseball is a business like any other business," Derek Jeter said in an interview with USA Today. "Sometimes people lose sight of that. It's not too often that guys get an opportunity in any sport to play with one team for their entire career. As much as people would like to see guys stay with one particular team, it doesn't always happen."
From a Yankees fan's perspective, it seemed as if Cano was selfish and made a huge mistake by leaving New York. He definitely could have been the face of the Yankees next year, especially now that Jeter is retiring. But honestly I don't really blame him for what he did. There have been countless players in the past that have left their team after years and have done just fine. Johnny Damon is a classic example: he went from the long-haired standout player on the Red Sox one season, to a clean shaved player on the Yankees the next. People were outraged, especially Boston fans, but he still managed to play his best and help out his team. Jacoby Ellsbury was in the same boat as Cano when he went back to Fenway for the first time in April. Although there were boos from the Red Sox fans, he overcame the naysayers with a great game for his new team.
Despite the boos, Cano helped the Mariners defeat the Yankees 6-3 in the series opener. He went 1-for-5 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Although the Mariners haven't seen the post season in 13 years, Cano may be able to help the team out. With 24 games under his belt he has hit one homerun and 11 RBIs. The season is still early and Cano is just heating up. Though it is disappointing Cano left the Yankees, he's going to make a name for himself on the west coast.
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