Not too long ago, it was a broken bone in Robinson Cano’s hand of unknown severity that was causing all of our sleepless nights this week, fretting the fate of a Mariners team seemingly on the verge of breaking a playoff drought longer than any other in major American professional sports. Yesterday, we learned of his 80-game steroid suspension, and it doesn’t even matter that the Mariners beat the Rangers in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 11th last night. This season has gone so far sideways that we can’t even sit around and mope about one thing for a single day before some other atrocity befalls this cursed franchise.
I mean, seriously, on the same day Cano gets clipped, some dickhole hits Nelson Cruz on the foot with a breaking ball? Sure, he should be back in a few days, BUT WE GET IT BASEBALL GODS!!! It can always get fucking worse for the Seattle Fucking Mariners. ENOUGH!
The earliest Cano can come back is mid-August. He should be weeks healed from the broken bone by then, but I’m not sure all that matters much. The real ramifications are, of course, that this essentially doubles his time away from the Mariners this season, which severely affects their chances to sneak into that Wild Card game. What’s even worse, of course, is that even if by some grace of the baseball gods the Mariners do manage to somehow grab that second Wild Card spot, Cano won’t be allowed to play in it. Or any of the other possible post-season games this year.
Just when you thought it was safe to be a Mariners fan again.
I’m obviously much less concerned with how this affects Cano’s legacy. I’m also less concerned with how or why it happened. Did he knowingly take something against the rules and then try to cover it up? Sure seems like it. Even if he didn’t knowingly take something against the rules, he’s an idiot and SEVERELY negligent for not knowing what’s going into his body. Either way, I guess this is a black mark on his otherwise Hall of Fame career, but again, what do I care? He did most of his Hall of Fame damage in a Yankees uniform anyway, and Hall of Fame inductions don’t win the Mariners any World Series titles, so fuck all that noise.
Before the season, I was dubious at best about the Mariners’ chances of making the post-season; with the hand injury, my doubts only intensified. With this suspension now? Forget it. While my overarching opinion hasn’t changed – this isn’t a playoff team, and more shit like this will chip away at the good start they’ve enjoyed – I have an even more concrete opinion of the 2018 Mariners and it’s absolutely unimpeachable:
Even IF the Mariners make the playoffs in 2018, as it’s currently constructed, there’s no hope of even sniffing the World Series, let alone winning it. Not with the level of competition that looks to vie for the other playoff spots.
So, Cano can get injured, he can get suspended, he can even retire in disgrace, it’s not going to matter.
What I hope for is that the Mariners take this $12 million they’re going to save and rent a quality starter for the remainder of the year. Might make things more interesting.
As for all the talk of moving Dee Gordon back to second base, I didn’t think there was a snowball’s chance that it would happen until the team acquired another proper starting outfielder. I mean, this was a team already too uncomfortable to play Guillermo Heredia on an everyday basis (settling on someone in Ben Gamel who’s been the fucking worst since the All Star Break last year and hasn’t re-adjusted to the way the rest of the league has adjusted to him), now we’re going to start BOTH of them? I guess when you take a look at our second base alternatives, it doesn’t sound totally crazy, but at some point I have to believe this team goes after a better outfielder (likely to stick in left field, with a platoon in center until Cano returns and Dee can move back). I know this team has more pressing needs elsewhere (like up and down the pitching staff), but figure outfielders are more prevalent and shouldn’t necessarily cost as much to acquire in trade.
Just a rotten, rotten day any way you slice it.