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This suspension shouldn’t change Yankees fans’ opinion of Robinson Cano

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Don’t cha’ know? I still love Robbie Cano. And so should you.

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

Yesterday, Major League Baseball announced that Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano received an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s joint drug agreement. Cano didn’t test positive for any PEDs, but rather for a diuretic, which can be used as a masking agent. It is punished equally.

Per Jon Heyman, though, testing positive for a diuretic doesn’t mean an automatic suspension. An investigation is made that is tasked with determining if a player’s use is legitimate or an attempt to mask something else. Which means that MLB probably looked deeper into this and decided to suspend him anyway.

Even though Cano no longer plays for the Yankees, his suspension proves relevant and deserves treatment. That’s good because I have several thoughts.

First of all, this whole thing has to be the weirdest suspension ever, right? I have no idea why Cano, who is not set to be a free agent any time soon and has already secured a big payday, would take PEDs. There’s obviously a chance that this all really could have just been a mistake or a misunderstanding. Sure, it’s weird to think that someone a decade into his career didn’t think to double-check what is going in his body, but weirder things have happened before.

At the same time, Cano accepted his punishment. He’s supposedly been fighting this for a while now, but ultimately decided to just take the suspension. If it was truly for a legitimate reason, one would think he’d at least try to appeal. If he had been fighting it since the positive test result, though, that’s essentially the same thing.

That being said, he also knew he was going to miss the next six to eight weeks because of his fractured hand, so maybe they worked out some backroom deal where he would accept the punishment if allowed to serve it while on the disabled list. I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud. There’s also this:

Which makes the whole thing even weirder. I really have no idea what’s going on with this. None of it makes sense. Obviously, we don’t know Feinsand’s source and his or her credibility, but Mark is a reputable source and wouldn’t put something like this out there if he had doubts. That’s not to say this should be taken as the truth either, but it just adds more fuel to the confusion fire.

I do know, however, that I don’t care about steroids or PEDs. They don’t magically gift talent nor do they make you good at baseball. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that Cano’s Hall of Fame status is in question now. Because of how inconsistent and flawed PED testing is, I really don’t think it should have any bearing on Hall of Fame status. Cooperstown should tell the story of the game and Robinson Cano is absolutely part of that story.

What angers me even more is that this is bringing out exactly what I expected from the New York media:

Cano Forbes

Now, I’ve never hidden my love for Cano before, and I won’t start now. I was angry when the Yankees let him walk, and I still am angry about that. I hate that Mariners fans get to feel the anguish of today because it’s just another reminder that he’s not a Yankee. I’m not so blinded by the reality, though, that maybe he did choose to take PEDs, even if there was no reason for him to do so.

Even though there’s really no reason for him to have taken PEDs at this point in his career, that doesn’t mean he didn’t do so willingly and knowingly. It’s not that I can’t accept that as a reality. It’s just that I don’t care if he did or didn’t. It doesn’t change anything for me.

Truthfully, we don’t know if he even took anything! That’s just the only assumption that could make sense in a pool of explanations that don’t make sense. Even that still isn’t clear. None of this really adds up and we’ll probably never find out exactly what happened. One thing that remains unchanged, though, is that Cano was — and still is — a great baseball player.

This incident does not change how I feel about Cano as a player, nor as a person, and it really shouldn’t. He shouldn’t be labeled a “cheater” now, just like he never should’ve been labeled as “lazy.” The Yankees were not right to let him walk away, nor was anything they did “justified.” This doesn’t change that, nor does it change the fact that he’s a great baseball player. All this is, is some weird noise.