Reggie Jackson once said, “Fans don’t boo nobodies.” No truer words were ever uttered in the sports world. “Mr. October” hit it right on the screws. As fans we rain down our venom filled best on the players we KNOW are truly the greats. It’s why David Ortiz is serenaded with a glorious chorus of “Bronx Hospitality” when he strolls to the plate. He is a Yankee killer. Papi and those like him are SOMEBODIES. They have the ability to ruin our day with one swing of the bat or a slider that paints the corner. They are the players we love to hate.
This week we welcome back Robbie Cano to The Big Apple. He is now a lot wealthier. He is now sporting a Papi-esq, manicured beard. He is now a Seattle Mariner.
There have been a string of articles floating around in advance of Cano’s return on why Yankee fans are wrong to boo the second baseman that helped them secure the 2009 World Championship. The overwhelming sentiment is that we would be petty to vilify Robbie for leaving. Sports writers, especially baseball writers, are so full of...blarney to say it politely. They act as if they are above feeling any type of emotion toward players and the game. And maybe that’s the price they pay for getting paid to cover the sport. Maybe having no feelings and seeing the game in black and white is how they function. I find many of them to be self-important hacks that should find another line of work. But hey, it’s just one man’s opinion.
When it comes to Cano I agree that we shouldn’t boo him when he is announced at Yankee Stadium Tuesday. However the reasoning behind my decision as to why is different from that of the self-righteous baseball writers looking down their noses at the fans. No, I think when Robbie is introduced we should leap to our feet and applaud him as a returning hero. We should show him respect and thank him for his time. And then never applaud or boo him again. Yankee fans have the opportunity to show the world we are a class act. That we remember the guys that played well in Pinstripes…and then we can show Cano that he doesn’t matter anymore. In fact the fans should give Beltran, Jacoby and McCann louder and longer standing ovations in each and every one of their at bats during the Seattle series. After giving Jay Z’s puppet his due we should show him that to us, at this point anyway, he is nobody.
I am heading to the game Tuesday night. I plan on thanking Robinson Cano for the days he patrolled second base in the Bronx. He was a great player during his time in New York. I was a fan for sure…but after that I won’t waste any vocals on him. He got his deal in the Pacific Northwest. He can say the Yankees never wanted him…what else would he say. It’s spin and we know it. Yes, the Yankees didn’t want to give one man 300 million. I can see it. Does the line up miss his bat? Sure. Will the Yankees be fine going forward? You bet. We got a brand new show DON’TCHA KNOW? And Robbie’s name is now longer on the marquee.
I understand that baseball is a business. I understand that Cano took a better deal and I don’t blame him for that. Where I do see Robbie at fault is when he blames the Yankees for not showing him respect. I think he wanted exactly what he got and now is looking to save face by blaming the Bronx Bombers. It’s a pretty weak song and dance, Robinson.
I will have more for you on what happens at the game (weather permitting). It’ll be hard not to, but I vote we cheer for Robbie one more time…because after that he’ll know Yankee fans have moved on. He'll have to think about it during that long flight back to the Emerald City from the City That Never Sleeps…and never forgets.
** Here’s one for Cano **
--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
"Paulie was always my favorite player."
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