It’s been almost four months since Robinson Cano left New York for the greener pastures of Seattle. When Cano’s split with the Yankees first happened, it may have been difficult for fans to say anything but “Fuck the northwest” and “Hope that money eases the pain of SUCKING for the rest of your career.” Now that the dust has settled, a GQ profile on the league’s best second baseman has emerged, and it brings us an affecting anecdote from Cano on his time in New York.
Cano began his career with the Yankees, and it appears his decision to leave the only team he’d ever known was more difficult than we realized. (“You mean it wasn’t ‘more money over less money equals my signature’?”) Here’s the most surprising bit:
He played in a manner that suggested he might live out his career like that Yankee quartet—Pettitte, Rivera, Posada, Jeter. In fact, those guys account for both his best memories as a Yankee and the elements he’ll miss the most.
“It’s like growing up playing in your backyard. You never want to leave that place, those guys,” he says. “The three high points as a Yankee for me: when Jeter got 3,000 hits, Andy’s last game, and Mariano’s final ceremony. Those are the things that stick in your mind, in your heart.” With the latter two of those teammates having hung up their spikes and with Jeter in his final season, Cano’s exit seems perfectly timed.
Is there some recency bias at work there? Probably. But it’s still telling that he chose those moments over any individual accomplishments of his own. He doesn’t mention his five All-Star appearances, or winning a World Series, or recording the final walk-off hit in the old Yankee Stadium, or his Gold Glove award. It was all about his teammates.
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