According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and will be suspended for the entire 2021 season, forfeiting his $24 million salary for the year.
This is not Cano’s first run-in with these suspensions. In 2018, as a member of the Seattle Mariners, Cano was suspended 80 games for a PED violation. Apparently he didn’t learn his lesson… or just doesn’t care.
Cano started his career with the New York Yankees and was arguably the best second baseman in baseball during that time. Over the nine years he spent in pinstripes, he hit .309 with 204 homeruns. He was an 8-time All-Star, won two Gold Gloves, and five Silver Sluggers. After a massive free agency contract brought him to Seattle for five seasons, he was traded to the New York Mets in 2019.
His first season as a Met was a dud. He posted his lowest single-season batting average at .256. Many thought his career was tailing off. Then, in 2019, at 37 years old, he returned to peak form (albeit in a shortened season.) He put up a .316 average and ten home runs in 49 games played.
But you know what? Quite frankly, I don’t give a damn about any of that. None of his accolades or achievements mean anything to me as soon as it’s been proven that you cheated. Largely, that’s the reason that myself and many others in the sports world can’t stand the Houston Astros. Stop cheating the game you supposedly love. Stop making an ass of yourself and breaking the rules to try and extend your career. The MLB has made it clear in recent years that this behavior will not be tolerated, although I can understand a player’s confusion on their stance given that they appear to be okay with other forms of cheating.
“But Jon, this happens all the time. Everyone does it, it’s just a matter of who gets caught.”
I, for one, happen to love sports. I believe that the integrity of the game should be preserved and upheld. I believe that these athletes, whether they like it or not, are role models for the younger generations. If you mean to tell me that we should normalize and accept that it doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win, and we should send that message down the pipeline to the kids of today, then I will politely leave the chat. Probably without saying anything at all.
Sports matter. Athletes matter. Competition — fair and healthy competition — matters. Do you want the cherry on top? Shortly after being suspended in 2018, Cano said in a statement “I would never do anything to cheat the rules of the game that I love.”
Bullshit. You admitted to taking a substance that broke the rules then, and you just got busted doing it for the second time in two and a half years. Your credibility is gone.
At least the Mets know now that they should be looking for a replacement going into the free agency period, rather than Cano popping a positive test during the season.