Apr
29

4/29-5/1 Series Preview: Seattle Mariners

By
Don't worry Robbie, I'm sure the Yankees will find someone else to fill that extra spot in Monument Park. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

Don’t worry Robbie, I’m sure the Yankees will put that extra spot in Monument Park to good use. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

For the first time in his career, Robinson Cano will be a visiting player in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees’ best player from 2010-13 returns to New York this week after leaving the team for the greener pastures of Seattle and the Mariners over the winter. The Bombers made his a strong offer but the M’s blew it right out of the water. Such is life. This will be kinda weird.

What Have They Done Lately?
As expected, the Mariners are still terrible even with Cano. They did just take two of three from the Rangers but have won just four of their last 13 games overall. At 10-14 with a -8 run differential, the only thing keeping Seattle out of the AL West cellar is the Astros.

Offense
Both in terms of runs per game (3.85) and wRC+ (79), the Mariners have been one of the worst offensive teams in baseball this season. It’s kind of amazing Cano left the 2013 Yankees (85 wRC+) for a team that is somehow worse offensively. Anyway, Seattle’s only injured position player is 1B/OF/DH Logan Morrison (hamstring), who won’t be coming off the DL this series.

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)

Just like last season, 3B Kyle Seager (123 wRC+) has been the Mariners best position player in the early going. Cano (100 wRC+) is off to a slow start, but come on, you know as well as I do that he’s going to rake before long. 1B/DH Corey Hart (117 wRC+) has been productive around miscellaneous nagging injuries and 1B Justin Smoak (101 wRC+) continues to do just enough to keep people interested. This season it was a huge opening series against the Angels. Eventually they’ll move on.

C Mike Zunino (91 wRC+) has a ton of power but his 21/1 K/BB is pretty funny. Others like OF Dustin Ackley (74 wRC+), SS Brad Miller (46 wRC+), OF Michael Saunders (66 wRC+), and former Yankees farmhand OF Abe Almonte (53 wRC+) have been predictably awful. Almonte was the guy the Yankees traded for Shawn Kelley. OF Stefan Romero (64 wRC+), OF Cole Gillespie (-15 wRC+), UTIL Willie Bloomquist (30 wRC+), and backup C John Buck (54 wRC+) fill out the bench.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday: LHP CC Sabathia (vs. SEA) vs. RHP Chris Young (vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
When Randy Wolf made the Mariners out of Spring Training but opted out of his contract because the team tried to re-negotiate the terms (true story), the club picked up the 35-year-old Young. The 6-foot-10 right-hander has a 3.50 ERA (5.25 FIP) in 18 innings across three starts and one relief appearance this year, walking (5.50 BB/9 and 14.3 BB%) more batters than he’s struck out (5.00 K/9 and 13.0 K%). He also continues to be one the most extreme fly ball pitchers in baseball (25.0% grounders). That’s been true his entire career. His reverse split — righties has a .341 wOBA, lefties a .307 wOBA — is a sample size issue and not consistent with the rest of his career. Young is a pure two-pitch pitcher these days, throwing a mid-80s fastball about 75% of the time and filling in the gaps with upper-70s sliders. He survives because of his funky delivery, which hides the ball very well.

(Marc Serota/Getty)

(Marc Serota/Getty)

Wednesday: RHP David Phelps (vs. SEA) vs. LHP Roenis Elias (No vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
Elias, 25, defected from Cuba a few years ago and made the rotation in Spring Training (despite never pitching above Double-A) thanks to the Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker injuries. He has a 3.54 ERA (4.12 FIP) in 28 innings across five starts, pairing a strong ground ball rate (50.6%) with mediocre at best strikeout (6.75 K/9 and 18.1 K%) and walk (4.50 BB/9 and 12.1 BB%) rates. Righties (.332 wOBA) have hit him harder than lefties (.299 wOBA) in his brief MLB career. Elias uses a low-90s fastball to set up his mid-80s changeup and upper-70s curveball, both of which are quality offerings. Since no one on the Yankees has ever faced him before, Elias has the element of surprise working in his favor this week.

Thursday: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (vs. SEA) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (vs. NYY) (Pitcher GIFs)
You didn’t think the Yankees would get through a series against Seattle and not face Felix, did you? You should know better by now. The King is as good as ever this year, with a 2.40 ERA (2.41 FIP) in six starts and 41.1 innings. His peripherals are, as the kids say, stupid good: 10.23 K/9 (28.7 K%), 1.52 BB/9 (4.3 BB%), and 47.7% grounders. That’ll work just fine. He also has a tiny platoon split, so left or right, it doesn’t matter. Felix, 28, probably has the nastiest stuff in the game, starting with a low-90s fastball that runs back in on righties. His upper-80s changeup is unhittable, his mid-80s slider is unhittable, and his low-80s curveball is unhittable. It’s all unhittable. The guy is a video game. Felix’s career numbers against the Yankees aren’t as ridiculous as you might expect but they’re still excellent. In an age in which Clayton Kershaw and Jose Fernandez are all the pitching rage, Hernandez is every bit as good as those guys and he’s been doing it a lot longer.

Farquhar. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty)

Farquhar. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty)

Bullpen Status
Like the Yankees, the Mariners were off on Monday, so new manager Lloyd McClendon’s bullpen is pretty fresh. RHP Fernando Rodney (2.72 FIP) is the closer and remains a high-wire act. Former Yankees farmhand RHP Danny Farquhar (2.75 FIP) and RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (5.38 FIP) have been his primary setup men. Farquhar is one of the guys the Bombers traded to Seattle for Ichiro Suzuki a few years ago.

McClendon has three lefties in his bullpen: LHP Joe Beimel (3.18 FIP), LHP Charlie Furbush (4.46 FIP), and LHP Lucas Luetge (9.51 FIP). RHP Dominic Leone (3.58 FIP) and RHP Yoervis Medina (5.47 FIP) fill out the rest of the eight-man relief crew. The schedule has allowed them to use a four-man rotation the last turn or two, so they’ve been carrying the extra reliever in the meantime. That’ll change next weekend. For the status of the Yankees bullpen, check out our Bullpen Workload page. For the latest and greatest on the Mariners, check out USS Mariner and Lookout Landing.

Categories : Series Preview
  • Yangeddard Solarte

    I think they’ll take 2/3. CC vs the Ms should be money in the bank. He can neutralize Robbie. I’d put everything I own on BGDP coming through Wed. He’s pitching for his 5th starter spot, and it is his 5th starter spot. Ain’t no way no how they win Kuroda vs Felix. Even if Kuroda impresses and gives up 1 run in 7 innings they’ll be down 1-0.

    • lou

      I agree to a certain extent. Depends on the lineup Joe throws out there. Who’s off today? How many starters will be playing over replacements the net three days…

    • ALZ

      They can win it. Felix is way better than Kuroda, but that Mariners lineup is awful.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Kuroda doesn’t have to be better than Felix. He just should be better than Felix on Thursday.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    “Don’t worry Robbie, I’m sure the Yankees will put that extra spot in Monument Park to good use.”

    You get a standing ovation in my office for that, Axisa.

    • Jersey Joe

      +1

    • nyyankfan_7

      What did everyone in your office think when you suddenly stood up to start clapping and cheering at your computer screen on a Tuesday afternoon?

      My guess is the girl in the next cubicle mumbled under her breath:

      “Oh look, he decided to drink his lunch…..again”

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        If I ever wind up in cubicle, I will take a baseball bat to it, then myself. :)

        Nothing against folks in cubicles.

        Nothing I do surprises people at the office.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Here! Here!

  • MB923

    Whether not looking good for tonight or tomorrow. And Thursday there’s supposed to be rain in the day but clear at night. Good chance these teams play only 1 of the 3 games.

    • MB923

      *Weather

  • FA

    Whether or not it rain is questionable. But it’s WEATHER! ;)

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      CC, TANAK! and pray for rain?

    • MB923

      Which is why I corrected myself above (and before your reply)

  • This Year

    Seriously, when was the last Mariner/Yankee series when we did NOT face King Felix? Ever?

  • Nathan

    Nope, not going to be a reasonable fan. Screw Robbie…he knew what he could have had in NY and he chose to leave. He’ll get no love from me. He’s not a Yankee anymore.

    • nyyankfan_7

      Yeah I agree, it’s not as if he gave us 10 years amazing years that included 8 playoff appearances and 1 World Series ring; all while playing for much less money than he deserved. And we all know that everyone that will be booing him would gladly turn down a 40% bigger salary to stay at their current job over going to a competitor employer because it is the “right” thing to do.

      That Robbie Cano is a schmuck.

      • nyyankfan_7

        Sorry 9 years – even more reason to hate him; bum couldn’t even last a decade.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I can’t understand how, after an entire off-season plus a month of the regular season’s worth of discussing this issue, people are still unable to separate appreciating what he did as a Yankee with booing him as the villain who left the greatest franchise in sports for a laughing stock simply for money. It’s beyond me that I still come here and read this.

          It’s also beyond me that commenters on here keep on insisting that they can speak for the hypothetical employment and financial decisions of every other commenter on here.

          Like I already said, want me to do my job cross-country? Yeah, it’ll take more than a 40% bigger salary. The conversation would start at about six times my current salary.

          • nyyankfan_7

            Well I can’t understand how after all this time people are still unable to see that he is not a villain for doing what anyone in their right mind should have done. I also can’t understand how people after all this time people don’t see that Robbie Cano is not a Yankees fan; he is a fan of making the most money in the short amount of time that he can. He won his championship and now he wants paid. Damn good for him. I will cheer him his first at-bat and then treat him like I do any player that isn’t wearing a Red Sox jersey; largely ignore him until he gets a game winning hit.

            You’re also forgetting that 40% of your current salary does not pay for 3 or 4 more generations of your family to be financially set for their entire life like it does for Cano.

            • Preston

              You’re taking it too seriously. Very few of the people we vilify in sports are actual villains and very few that we cheer for are actually worthy of the praise. It’s just about going to the game, rooting for your team to beat the other team, and part of that is rooting against the opposition. If you like to boo, boo. If you want to take the high-road and applaud, go ahead.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              I just don’t buy a lot of that. I’m sorry.

              I’m not saying he’s a bad person. I am not passing judgement on him as a person. “Villain” doesn’t mean that.

              However, as a Yankee fan, there is a weight and importance that I associate with that uniform, and have seen, time and time again, great players choose to wear no other uniform in their career other than those pinstripes. He rejected that, and he rejected it simply for money and a team without the history, or even future potential, of the Yankees. As a fan, that is going to erase your goodwill moving forward to me. He could grant ten Make-a-Wish wishes a day, open a baseball camp in every inner city in America, and beat down Donald Sterling with nothing but his bare hands, and I’d think he’s a great guy for those things AS WELL as what he did as a Yankee. When he’s hitting against my team? I’m going to remind him of what he turned down, and I sure hope the Yankees do as well. vicki has said this a few times, and I agree with her: booing is just part of the game.

              175 over 7 years was going to pay for a whole lot of generations of little Canos in and of itself. I’m going to slightly call “bullshit” on his thinking about what his great-great-great-grandchildren will do with his cash.

              Sorry…..this whole “you’d do the same” thing tends to be a stick in my craw. Nothing intended against you.

              • LK

                “However, as a Yankee fan, there is a weight and importance that I associate with that uniform, and have seen, time and time again, great players choose to wear no other uniform in their career other than those pinstripes.”

                Can you give me a few examples of this?

                Pettitte left to go to Houston.
                Jeter was offered far more money than any other team would have offered the only time he hit FA, to the point that the Yankee FO took shots at him in the media for his demands.
                Jorge used the Mets as leverage to get the largest possible deal from the Yanks in ’07.
                Bernie was all set to agree to a deal with Red Sox in the ’90s when George agreed to up his contract offer at the last minute.
                Even Mo used the threat of defecting to Boston to secure a 2-year deal in 2010 when the Yanks would’ve preferred to go year-to-year.

                I don’t see players “choosing to wear no other uniform” so much as I see “the Yankees offering their great players more money to stay than anyone else offered them to leave.” The difference with Cano isn’t that he’s the one who didn’t stay; it’s that he’s the one who got a better offer elsewhere.

                • Preston

                  Paul ONeill is the only one I know of. He apparently told his agent not to ask for too much money. But that’s anecdotal and he was seeking an extension, he didn’t reach FA.

                  • LK

                    Interesting.

                    Doesn’t really respond to the original comment though. It was asserted that “time and time again, great players choose to wear no other uniform in their career other than those pinstripes.”

                    Paulie wore a Reds uni before he ever got to the Bronx.

                    • Preston

                      You can’t choose where you start.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  The Pettitte example is a tough one for numerous reasons. One, we all now know how that ended, and that’s in pinstripes. Two, there was apprehension on the team’s part. Three, sure, I’d have booed him as an Astro at the stadium…..but how do you boo a starting pitcher? Your lungs would tire out quickly.

                  With the others, yes, everything you cited is absolutely 100% true. I’m actually glad you even brought up a couple of those since fans tend to conveniently forget some of them. This is why contract negotiations are one of my least favorites aspects of sports. No one looks good during them. Not the team. Not the player. At the end of the day, though, all those players remained Yankees, whether it was because the Yankees truly gave them the best deal or because what they were simply doing was negotiating a deal with the team they were going to stay with, no matter. I personally thought Mo had a TERRIBLE poker face when making the Sox threat. I remember that well.

                  • LK

                    So…examples? If you’re going to say “time and time again”, I’m expecting at least one.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Didn’t you just name the most pertinent ones, or are we dismissing them based on their contract negotiations?

              • nyyankfan_7

                So let me get this straight – you are booing him to remind him what he gave up? You think that some how 50,000 people, booing him is some how going to make him think “man I miss New York; what a great city and wonderful fans.”?

                And I don’t know how old you are but I’m betting you have not seen that many people choose to wear the Yankee uniform their whole career. Bernie, Jorge, Jeter & MO – that’s about it. And I’m also willing to bet none of them had to make the decision to turn down 65 million dollars to go somewhere else; because of them only Jeter stands to gain from having the “lifetime Yankee” stamp attached to his name. They paid top dollar to keep all of them in pinstripes but they didn’t do the same for Cano; not his fault for expecting them to.

                As for “you would do the same”, I call “bullshit” on you for failing to believe that if someone said to you “Hey Jorge, we will pay you $65 million more dollars to live and work 10 years of your life in Seattle instead of where you are now” that you would honestly turn it down. Because I know wouldn’t and no one with half a brain I know would either. They didn’t say hey Robbie here is 65 million now go take a picture of you pissing on Babe Ruth’s monument and wipe your ass on the 2009 pennant at Yankee Stadium – just simply come out here and do the exact same job for 81 days in a different city; neither of which you consider home because you are from some poverty stricken island in the middle of the ocean.
                Nothing intended against you…..of course.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  I’m not going to be offered $65 million dollars to do anything in my line of work. If someone wants to offer me $65 million to do….hell, $6.5 million to do my line of work, I’ll move. That is many, many more times what we make combined. It’s not a comparison that works.

                  I was around for Ron Guidry and Don Mattingly’s entire careers. I vividly remember Don Mattingly’s first major league at-bat, his being introduced at his first All-Star game and, just to bolster your own case, I also remember him trying to reach the Marlins after the ’96 season trying to see if they’d be interested in a comeback from him. :)

                  Booing him is not an exercise in trying to make him see the error of his ways. It’s simply what I consider to be part of the game.

                  • nyyankfan_7

                    But it is a comparison that works because even though Robbie stood to make $175 million in NY, $240 million is still a shit load more, even by those standards.

                    And I was around for Mattingly (not Gudiry) as well and I am by no way advocating that Cano should be revered as much as anyone who spends their entire career in pinstripes or even those such as Paul O’Neil who ended their career in pinstripes. All I am saying is he doesn’t deserve to be boo’d every time he comes back to the stadium for making a smart decision. I gave up believing the players actually cared about the name on the front of their jersey about 10 years ago. Yes, there are exceptions but very few. It is a business to 99% of them and really I don’t blame them because while I want to think I would gladly accept less money to play for the Yankees because I have loved everything about them my whole life and even got in school yard fights defending them; if I was in his shoes I don’t think I can honestly say there is no way I wouldn’t do the same.

                    • nyyankfan_7

                      and I mean I wasn’t alive for all of Guidry’s career; obviously if I was around for all of Mattingly’s I caught the tail end of his too…just throwing that out there before some troll throws that in my face.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      ….and I respect you feeling that way yourself and do not begrudge it in the least. There are many aspects of what you are saying which I 100% agree with.

                      However, if someone else wants to view him as the mask-wearing villain, sports do function as a form of entertainment, and that should be just fine as well.

          • LK

            How about if your job included 6 months off and 3 months on the road in various cities automatically, so the cross-country relocation only affected 3 months/year, and you knew that after 10 years you would then be free to live whereever you wanted? Would you accept a 40% increase in pay to live somewhere else for 30 total months spread out over a 10-year period?

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              If I were single, not married to someone who basically has a job for life in her current profession, and childless, I’d listen. I can’t say it’d be automatic, though.

  • TWTR

    I hope and believe that Cano gets a nice ovation (I don’t recall a player publicly requesting a standing o before), and no hits. But I would be surprised if he doesn’t have a good series.

    • lou

      I agree I hope he gets a standing “O” too.
      Walk him every time.

      • ALZ

        Just don’t give him anything good to hit. He hates walking.

        • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

          What do you mean? He basically walked out of the box everytime he got a hit!

          ZING!!!!

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Give this man a prize.

  • Jersey Joe

    Definitely hoping for significant rain on Thursday.

    As for Cano, I’d give him a standing ovation for the first AB, then carry on as if he were Willie Bloomquist. No need to make it a big deal as fans.

    This should be an easy series. Would like to see the offense beat up the Mariners’ pitching and bring us back to a positive run differential.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

    Sucks that Pineda is suspended and isn’t going to face his old team. I was really hoping going into the season that I was finally going to see a Jesus Montero vs Pineda showdown for the ages, alas pine tar and obesity got in the way of destiny, but hopefully not for long!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Would have been fun.

    • nyyankfan_7

      If I had a dime for every time pine tar and obesity got in the way of destiny….

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Then quit eating it? :)

  • Chip Rodriguez

    Ellsbury not in the lineup tonight. Hope it’s nothing more than just a day off.

    • Zach

      Same here, it will be a big blow if we lose him.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      You can’t have him and Abe Almonte in the same stadium.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    They really should have brought up Sizemore for tonight’s game, just to troll Robbie.

    • vicki

      love it.

  • John Duci

    Robbie is going to hit 5 bombs this series and we’re going to lose all 3

  • Zach

    Ellsbury might be hurt..not good at all.

    • Steve (different one)

      Or he might have the runs. Let’s wait and see.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’ve read absolutely nothing about injury yet. You think something would have leaked by now.

        Could be runs, but I’d rather those runs be scored on the board.

  • Bo Knows

    If you’re going to boo Robbie, just admit you’re a hypocrite

    How many players in the 40 years of FA have actually taken a substantial discount to be a Yankee, Name one?
    It sure has never been Jeter, or Posada or Andy or Mo (who actively used the redsox as leverage to secure another deal), or Bernie

    Wanna call Robbie a sellout? Selling out is the Yankee Way

    That’s how they ended up with Jacoby, McCann, CC, Tanaka, Clemens, Soriano (Raphael), Giambi, Tex, and countless others since FA has been a thing

    Also there is a big difference between being generous and being f’n stupid, Cano would have left over $70 million dollars on the table, if I was good enough to be an elite ballplayer and earn the contract he did, I’d be damned if I left that much on the table, and I’ve been a fan of the Yankees since birth. Hell, if the Redsox offered me the kind of money Robbie was given by the Mariners, I’d be in Boston faster than you could say “clam chowdah” taking selfies with Ortiz and the Midget with a hobo beard. Bottom line is its a business, loyalty doesn’t mean anything from ownership why should players care?

    • John Duci

      Cool comment bro.. Your the man

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Who says you can’t be a hypocrite as a fan? Shit, that’s what makes fandom fun.

      Yup, they all chose to leave their teams and become Yankees. Know why that’s fine? BECAUSE WE’RE THE YANKEES. Putting on that uniform is like repeatedly fucking Scarlett Johanssen. That’s how I want every Yankee fan viewing what it means to wear pinstripes.

      Hypocritical? Yes. Homerism? Yup. It’s a Yankee board. It’s not a “let’s be logical about baseball” board.

    • JAG

      Carlos Beltran would have, but the FO wouldn’t let him leave the Mets’ money on the table. Not his fault. He was willing to take less from the Yankees just to be a Yankee. Alfonso Soriano would only take a trade to the Yankees. Those are just off the top of my head.

  • John Duci

    Oh fuck now Pineda is hurt next yet in jeopardy. We need to call the cubs about the shark asap

  • OldYanksFan

    I’m guessing Robbie is already sorry he left the Yanks.
    If not, tonight should seal the deal.

    The real question is:
    Is it better to be a Mariner for life, for more money than you can spend in 5 lifetimes….
    Or be a lifelong Yankee with all it’s perks, for only more money than you can spend in 3 lifetimes?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I think you know my answer.

    • nsalem

      I think Robbie seriously thought about it and decided to be a Mariner for life. Not everybody has the same opinion of New York and the Yankees that we do. Just ask Maddux, Lee and Oswalt. After the signing of Dave Winfield in 1981 it took the Yankees over a decade before they were able to land a superstar free agent.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        George Steinbrenner told me Andy Hawkins would pitch like a superstar once he donned the pinstripes.

  • Noah

    Just kidding around here but… how funny would a swap of Ichiro for Robbie be!?

    Might actually make sense for the Mariners to get rid of his megadeal after they realized this season that they still suck and get back your former superstar who is now holding a 4th outfielder role.

    just a thought :)

    • hogsmog

      I’d wager the Yankees wouldn’t take Cano even if he and his contract were straight-up given to them. There’s a reason they didn’t offer him the deal he got.

  • nsalem

    Depending on the weather I should be at 2 of the games. I will applaud him when he comes up the first time, but will not be booing him after that. I check his stats a few times a week and am happy that he has not been succeeding. Part of this is because of my dislike for the Mariners and part of it is because of the way he plays the game. I do not begrudge him for taking the larger sum of money. Part of me believes he also left New York because he was fed up with the craziness that comes with playing in NY and he was just sick of playing under the microscope. Sometimes he seems not to take the game to seriously and perhaps he wants to play in front of those that think likewise. Like most people here I loved his swing and his GG defense, but was quite annoyed by his lack of hustle. Realistically I know that his jogging down the line on easy ground balls to the second baseman cost the Yankees very little in the win category and his ability to show up and play through any injury and pain 160 games a year far outweigh his flaws. He is not a leader, he very rarely carried the team (except for maybe the first half of last year). The 2 or 3 great playoff series he had Cleveland 07 Texas ’10 and Detroit ’11 resulted in loses so they are long forgotten. I think the Yankees offered him the right amount of money. There bis mistake may have been to not trying to resign him to a 7 year contact through age 35 or 36 after the 2010 or 2011 season. I believe that if the Mariners don’t go great lengths to improve their franchise Cano will become disinterested very fast and this contract will be a major disaster.

  • Kiko Jones

    As I mentioned in another thread, I would not applaud or boo Cano. I appreciate what he did for our team but I’m too disappointed in him to applaud him in any way, shape or form. And I don’t believe in booing. (Well, maybe Joe West is the exception.)

    I was looking forward to seeing Cano become the face of the Yankees once the last of the Core Four were gone. But he obviously did not want the burden of carrying the team and dealing with that kind of pressure.

    Listen, if you’re the best homegrown Yankee since the Core Four came up, and you’re gonna have a chance to be *the* Yankee of the foreseeable future, would you walk away from that for $1m a year less? (Which he could’ve easily make up for in endorsements here. See, pre-2004, when A-Rod was king, he had one endorsement—Nike Latin America—compared to Jeter’s endless array, so being NY-based matters big time in that regard.)

    Cano did not want that kind of responsibility so he made it about the Yankees allegedly not wanting him enough. Yeah, whatever. So, it’s all about business. Fine. Then I’ll be business-like, too.

    And speaking of business, I lost a bit of respect for his teammates for not calling him out on his bailing. Not to throw him under the bus but to be a little more curt about it. I mean, to hear players say “I’m happy for him and his family,” or words to that effect, was at best, inappropriate, and at worst, slap in the face to fans.

    More and more I’ve been feeling like just rooting for the team and not caring about any individual player—Seinfeld’s rooting for laundry quip comes to mind—if they see it as nothing more than a business, maybe it’s time I stop being romantic about baseball. (Sorry, Billy Beane.)