Full disclosure, I am not a fan of the New York Yankees, but I am a fan of baseball and the legacy of the sport. That's why I wrote this article.
Dear Robinson Cano,
I can’t blame you, $240 million dollars is a lot of money. More than I’ll see anywhere outside of a thousand Monopoly games. And combined with the fact that the state of Washington has no Income Tax, that $240 mil is a lot bigger that it would be in NY. But with all that cash and the shiny new uniform and all the love you’re getting all in Seattle right now, I feel I need to mention what you just gave up.
It’s easy to point out the on-the-field losses. The cozy confines of Yankee Stadium will be replaced by the spacious alleys at Safeco Field, sure to lower your HR totals. Not having Mark Teixeira backing you up in the lineup will make it easier for pitchers to pitch around you. And the coaching…Lloyd McClendon is a nice option but comes without the success of Joe Girardi.
Still there are pluses to leaving New York. The fact that the Yankees seem to be on decline, an easier division, easier media, lower expectations, the chance to move out of Derek Jeter’s shadow…hold on. This is a star player we’re talking about? Anyway, I don’t want to dwell on any of these things. I just want to focus on the Yankees.
Now don’t get me wrong, like every good American, I absolutely hate the New York Yankees. Everything about them from their smug elitism to Jeter’s "jump-throw" makes my skin crawl. But as a baseball fan, I go crazy thinking about their history. From Ruth to Gehrig to Maris to Berra to Dimaggio to Mantle to Ford to Mattingly to Jeter with all the other all-time greats in between. The Yankees are without a doubt the premier franchise in sports. Any argument about an all-time baseball team is sure to include multiple Yankees at almost every position.
But you know which position won’t be brought up in such a discussion? 2nd base, you know, you’re position. Amazingly, while the Yankees have had some good players in the middle of the diamond over their history, none of them come close to the fanfare and success you’ve had to start your career. You know something else? The Yankees are lacking for star power right now; their stars are fading, Jeter is on the way out. The next guy up was…you.
Let’s paint this picture for you: within the next 2 years, you, Mr. Cano, would have become THE face of the Yankees, taking over for one of the most beloved Yankees ever, the Captain himself. Did I mention this is the premier franchise in sports? In the biggest and best city in the world? Not only that, you play a position which this storied franchise somehow is still lacking a legend at! YOU were that legend waiting to happen Robby, and now you are in Seattle.
Seattle is a great city, no doubt. They have a great chance to be good this year, possibly more than the Yankees, but it ain’t New York man, it just ain’t.
So enjoy Seattle, Robinson Cano, and enjoy your money, just know that you don’t become a legend by signing a huge contract. You become a legend by playing second base for the effin’ Yankees.