Robbie Cano, You Can Go

It truly is a new era in Queens.

I shudder to think about the alternate timeline here. If you know which family was still in charge, Cano would be betting fifth tonight. But we have owners that can afford to put together real rosters and sweep other general managers’ mistakes under the rug. The days of the Canos and the Bobby Abreus and the Gary Sheffields batting cleanup at age 50 are over and done with.

It’s important to remember that most of this is not Robinson Cano’s fault. It wasn’t his fault that a GM that was over his head stoking his iron at the direction of an idiot son made a horrible philosophical trade to bring him here, and it isn’t Robinson Cano’s fault that he’s 39 years old and his skills are declining. What is his fault is that he got clipped for PED’s for a second time and missed his entire age 38 season, which seems like it reasonably could have hastened his decline. But let’s be real about this: What is his fault wound up helping the Mets. They saved $22 million from the suspension last year, and the assumption bordering on reality that his skills declined from missing a full MLB season wound up making the decision easier. Because if he plays in 2021, and he’s hitting, say, .230 instead of .195, then he’s on the team today, and he’s probably in the lineup for tomorrow’s doubleheader. Now, the only thing that saves him at that point is the clubhouse support that he’s gotten, and that’s my next point.

Francisco Lindor had vocally supported Cano. I’m sure Lindor’s sentiment is totally sincere, and I’m sure he’s not feeling all that great today about his friend leaving the team. I’m sure Starling Marte is a little upset as he had “always wanted to play with Cano.” I’m not going to diminish that. But when Mike Puma asks Lindor about how he feels about Cano possibly being released, Lindor isn’t exactly going to respond with “Cut him, he’s hitting .195.” I mean, you really think a major league player is going to respond that way?

All I’m saying is that while it’s a concern that the sadness over losing the company of a friend is sure to create a little malaise (and trust me, I hate losing friends because of the “reality of the business”, and you do too whether you want to admit it or not because it really doesn’t matter whether the business is baseball or widget manufacturing), this is a veteran roster. Oldest team in the league, in fact, if what I think I heard was correct (although perhaps a bit younger after today.) If anybody is built to be hardened by the realities of the business of baseball, it’s the Mets. And I would hope that the players that are sad to see Cano and his veteran leadership go, understand that there are plenty of veteran leaders on the team, including themselves. I also hope that they understand that this is all for the greater good for them, for creating a winning atmosphere and a team that has a real shot to win the N.L. East and do some damage after that. I’m sure (hopefully) that whoever is bummed out this afternoon will realize that soon enough. I’d be willing to bet that Lindor already has.