Editor’s Note: With the return of Robinson Cano to the Bronx as a member of the Seattle Mariners, editors Jason Evans and Billy Brost decided it was time to get their feelings about the issue off their chests, and you couldn’t find two more differing opinions if you made them up. This continues the monthly Editor vs. Editor series. ~BB
Jason Evans: You wouldn’t take the contract he got? He took the money it is what it is.
Billy Brost: I’ve always asked…how much money is enough? These guys are multi-millionaires several times over. At some point, it has to be about legacy, and impact on the game. That’s why I never liked Griffey, A-Rod or Randy Johnson. Mercenaries. Nothing more.
JE: Griffey got traded because he wanted to go home.
BB: I lived in that area (the Pacific Northwest). Griffey forced that trade and threatened to dog it if he didn’t get what he wanted.
JE: I never begrudge an athlete to get the most money they can. You get what you can while you can.
BB: Yeah, but again, how much is enough?
JE: If someone offers me $200 (million) or $240, I’m taking $240.
Who cares? If it’s offered you take it.
BB: (Michael) Jordan could’ve left Chicago how many times? It’s about legacy and winning.
JE: He got paid too let’s not forget.
BB: That’s where you and I differ. The difference between $200 and $240 is taxes and agent fees. He did (Jordan), but he also restructured his contract multiple times to bring in key pieces to continue winning.
JE: Still making more. And he was also suspended two years for gambling
BB: It’s the difference between Jeter and Cano. One does things right, always has, the other, a loafer who only worships the man in the mirror and the $$. Just like his agent.
JE: It’s a free market. Get your money when you can, while you can.
BB: It’s not like the Yankees offered league minimum. Would you rather make $175 million, and maybe walk away with a few rings…or take $240, be despised and tarnish your legacy, for an extra $65 mil that you’ll never live long enough to spend?
JE: Not the point
BB: That is exactly the point. No loyalty.
JE: Only people who hate him are Yankee fans. Get your paper and keep it movin.
BB: The only Yankees’ fans I know, are you guys. None of my friends, who are hardcore baseball people, they hate the Yankees. I’ve heard terms like selfish, typical new-age player, and bush league. The Yankees are like no other franchise. That is my point.
JE: He took a better offer. End of the day it’s a business
BB: I’ve got close friends in Seattle, and they admit the Mariners #1. overpaid, and #2, are hypocrites because they still moan about the A-Rod-to-Texas deal. Tell Derek Jeter it’s a business.
JE: Different ownership and of course they overpaid.
BB: Pettitte left. Mo, Jeter and Posada, stayed put.
JE: Not the point. End of the day, Yankees are a business.
BB: Bernie? Retired rather than taking money to hang on for one more year.
JE: Yankees didn’t want him because he was shot.
BB: Yankees were prepared to offer him a minor league deal to come to camp and earn his shot. He could’ve “Chased the paper” as you put it, but he didn’t. He had a deal in place with Oakland, and chose not to tarnish his legacy for cash. It’s a front of the jersey vs. a back of the jersey mentality. In my opinion, that’s why Cano never produced in the postseason. He didn’t care.
JE: Or he (Bernie Williams) just wanted to be a Yankee. I’m not gonna begrudge someone if they can make more money elsewhere. That’s foolish.
BB: He (Cano) cared about getting paid, not about winning. Nor will I (begrudge), but the difference and what he gave up for a few extra million, that was foolish. Seattle will be begging someone to take him within 3 years.
BB: For Cano, the M’s offered a quarter (of the total contract) more. The Yankees offered more per season, and are you telling me if he stayed, he wouldn’t have gotten the Jeter treatment at the end on a bunch of 1 or 2-year deals? As the great Lt. Weinberg once said in the classic film A Few Good Men: “It’s the difference between paper law and trial law.”
JE: No guarantee they would. The Yanks may have different ownership by then anyway.
BB: As could the Mariners. Then what? They dismantle the team, and sell off their parts. King Felix, Cano, etc.
JE: He wanted those years set. I can’t blame him for it. Nintendo guy ain’t going anywhere. I think Fox owns the Yankees within 10 years.
BB: Personally, my legacy and standing with my peers would matter more to me. Loyalty can’t be bought. Legacy can’t be bought. You either respect it, and push to make that part of who you are, or you are just a greedy leach that would sell their soul for a certain price. Fox had their shot at owning a team (the Dodgers), that isn’t happening.
JE: It’s not selling your soul getting $40 million extra. He can do what he wants. I’m not gonna be mad at the guy for doing it.
BB: When you throw away a legacy with the greatest franchise in sports not named Nike, and a chance to win year in and year out, what’s $40 mil?
JE: He’s still going to Hall of Fame.
BB:He can sit on that pile of money, while his ex-teammates and future Yankees stockpile rings and legends. Maybe he sees Cooperstown, maybe he doesn’t.
JE: Maybe? Have you seen his numbers for a second baseman?
BB: Right now he looks like a product of Yankee Stadium, which I think is funny.
JE: It’s one month c’mon.
BB: If he continued producing at his Yankee rate, absolutely a Hall of Famer. He’s 31, playing in a graveyard for a park, and will do so for the next decade. His skills and numbers will go down. Unless he gets to 3K, he’s borderline at best.
JE: He’s hitting .301 with a homer and 11 RBI (going into Tuesday)
BB: I’d love to see the spray chart of balls in play at Safeco placed in Yankee Stadium. Willing to bet he’d be at five or six bombs in pinstripes.
JE: We all knew his homers would drop.
BB: A .301 hitter for how much per season? What’s the Mariners record?
JE: It’s one month and baseball isn’t an individual sport. And they haven’t been exactly healthy
BB: For that kind of dough, you better be a franchise changer, not just an overpaid ego.
JE: You can’t win with one guy in baseball
BB: But then again, I’ve always said the Mariners will deal him within three years of that deal when they figure out he’s a right field porch product, his numbers start to slack, and his act begin to wear out.
JE: His homer numbers may, I don’t think he as a hitter is.
BB: I’m willing to bet, and I’m serious as a heart attack, that by age 34, he’s going to be struggling to be a .300 hitter.
JE: Most guys do. It’s called aging without steroids.
BB: So if he is, are you still calling him a HOFer? I’m not. Cooperstown is a long ways away for Cano right now.
JE: Where does he rank among second baseman by then? How many more Gold Gloves? How many doubles and homers does he have?
BB: I’m guessing less than you might think. Where does he rank right now for 9 years in NY?
JE: He’s 7th all-time in average.
BB: Okay. Like I said, his numbers in the Bronx are great. He won’t produce like that in Safeco, with diminishing skills and age. Not gonna happen. If he’s not ‘roiding, he will go over the cliff, just like other great second baseman, except he’ll go faster because of the park he plays in, and the weak lineup he has around him. You couldn’t pitch around him in NY. He’d never see a pitch in Seattle if I was managing in the AL West.
JE: Ya did last year.
BB: Again, I’m willing to bet, he’ll finish his career as a sub .300 hitter, less than 3K hits, and nowhere near 500 home runs. And until Pedroia retires, he’s the media darling at second base and will get the Gold Glove.
JE: His average will plummet by 23 points?
BB: And that’s if he leaves Seattle while still being productive.
JE: And with how many Gold Gloves?
BB: He’s on the wrong side of 30, and he’s not Tony Gwynn.
JE: If Bill Mazeroski can make it, Cano can too.
JE: The Hall of Fame is a joke.
BB: Biggio has 3K and Kent has an MVP and ranks among the all-time leaders for 2B in bombs. Both on the outside looking in.
JE: Biggio will get in next year. Kent was a douche so no one votes for him.
BB: Kent had to deal with Bonds, so he gets a pass from me. How do you play clean for 20 years, have 3000 hits, play in a World Series, and not get in first ballot?
JE: Because no writer trusts anyone. They all should be in…Bonds, Clemens, all those guys.
BB: We’ll save that for another day!