Rude reception for Cano in his return to Stadium
Robinson Cano faced a chilly reception upon his return to Yankee Stadium Tuesday night in the uniform of his new team, the Seattle Mariners. Unlike the friendly exchanges he had with fans the night before during his appearance on “The Tonight Show,” Cano was met with loud boos among some token applause in his first at-bat. The only time there were loud cheers directed at Cano was when he struck out against CC Sabathia.
Red Sox fans were not as tough on Jacoby Ellsbury when he returned to Fenway Park with the Yankees as Yankees fans were on Cano. Perhaps the second baseman’s comments about being “disrespected” by the Yankees in contract negotiations over the winter created the sour mood. That and the unseasonable weather on a windy, 45-degree night.
It is hard to fault Cano for accepting a 10-year, $240-million contract from the Mariners just because of loyalty to the Yankees, whose best offer was seven years for $175 million. I doubt any professional athlete would leave $65 million on the table. Still, an offer of $175 million is by no means a sign of disrespect.
In a pre-game press conference, Cano declined to discuss contract talks, saying, “I don’t want to talk about the past. I just want to go out and play baseball. This is a business. I can’t tell the Yankees how to run theirs.”
Cano anticipated being the target of boos yet was complimentary toward the way Yankees fans treated him during his nine seasons with the club.
“I know it is not the same as when you’re with the home team,” he said. “It is different. The Yankees have won a lot of championships, and the Mariners are still looking for one. But I am happy about the way the team and the city and the fans there have embraced me. It feel good to be back to see my old teammates and play in front of the New York fans again.”
That feeling obviously was not mutual.