Friday, November 27, 2015
WHEN IT COMES TO CANO, REPUTATION COMES TO MIND
Sure, it’s all in the perception of an incident and how the individual handles it, but I gotta tell you, years ago I learned a valuable lesson from my old man and it stuck with me. It has to do with reputation.
A while back I lost a friend of mine who died in a tragic accident. I wrote ONE OF THE GREATEST GUYS I'LL EVER MISS , and with that, I proceeded to tell you a story about me and that buddy in our college years and the antics we pulled one night that eventually laid out a short phrase that would forever be engraved in my mind:
"You can be a champion all your life, but you miss 1 commitment, you lose trust in 1 person, and the rest of your life, you lose."
I’m 44 now and I explain the same life lesson to my kids. Let’s keep it real… Jose Cano has never said that to Robinson Cano.
That’s quite evident to me because he left in 2013. He left for the money for a new life in Seattle and hey, good for him… I don’t fault him for that. I do fault him for not thinking it through. I do fault him for not realizing what a move that big would do to his reputation. There's that word again...REPUTATION. It just looks really, really bad.
Hey, it looked bad when Alex Rodriguez did it when he signed with Texas. It almost seemed worse when Cano did it, leaving New York behind.
Reputation is a valuable thing. Cano destroyed his. Sure, he may be generous, a sweet guy who does a lot for the kids and his family and all of that. It doesn’t matter. People view him differently now. To many, he’s selfish, self centered, arrogant, an ego-maniac… and yes, greedy.
Andy Van Slyke, a former coach for the Mariners blasted Cano last week. Let's face it, he didn’t blast Cano as a person, as a player. He actually blasted him for his contract. That contract, as Van Slyke tried to lay out “cost people their jobs.” His wording to the press echoed all over baseball.
Now look, the ball players aren’t phased by any of this. They're all trying to get their next nut. But this is more about the perception of all of this from a former coach to the fans. Baseball fans. Now Cano looks bad. Don’t be foolish… Van Slyke chose his phrasing wisely. It was a warning shot. It’s a “You screwed a lot of guys over there in Seattle, this ones for you”, and yes, he couched it, suggesting that Cano’s a good guy. Doesn’t matter… too late… fans already think he’s not.
I don’t see Cano coming to New York. I don’t see the Yankees wanting him back. I see the Yankees taking a stance of working with what they have and eventually building new franchise players, merely because the next anointed one was too stupid to realize it was him. Cano wanted to be the king of the mountain, and he was too dumb to understand that waiting for Jeter and signing a fair contract in the Bronx would have brought him that. Jay-Z got paid in that deal, and Cano’s standing in Seattle wondering if he got swindled by his agent. Guess what Robbie… you did. Sure you’re rich, but you’ll never be a leader in Seattle, you’ll never hit .300 again. I hope it was worth it.
Don’t get me wrong… I don’t hate. I think Cano’s one of the best. But role models need to be exactly that. I don’t want my kid coming to me telling me he loves a player because “That dude’s getting paid.” I want my son to come to me and tell me he loves a player because “He leads by example, works hard, provides integrity and heart on the field every day.” Cano’s not that guy. Sure, maybe it’s my perception. Maybe I’m disappointed in the guy. But let me tell you something, reputation starts at home. I often wonder if my dad was there when Cano was a kid if he would have made a dash to Seattle 2 years ago. I would bet not. I think alittle loyalty would have played a part.
Bottom line, in my upbringing, I got the better part of the deal. My reputation’s intact. I wake up every day making an honest living, supporting my family and walking out there leading my example, working hard, providing integrity and heart in what I do every day. I’m not so sure that can be said of Robinson Cano.
Hey, thanks Dad.
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