The Glam City Rock Marriage of Seattle and Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano thrives under scrutiny. 

Forever more every movement will be under the microscope. He only has to contend with Seattle’s media, pussycats compared to the cannibals in New York. Cano’s also going to earn $240 million over 10 years to play second base for a franchise that’s losing fan interest. 

It’s only the first game, and it was mostly against dust throwing Jered Weaver and the same bullpen no one, least of all him, respected last year. But Cano’s going to see the Angels a lot, as he tries to bend time and space to make the Mariners contenders in a league that’s been loading up. 

On Opening Day he feasted with two hits, a double, and a walk. Same easy glove. Same results — a win, as if he were a Yankee again. 

Mariners fans have long been oblivious to the feeling of winning, and the few that have stayed bask in the glory of a Felix Hernandez no-no, or just the feeling of watching Hernandez rock their team’s gear. 

But there was a bigger portion of that market who would trade the Mariners for the Seattle Super Sonics. If their city could really just sustain one pro team, they’d choose the Sounders over the Mariners. Gate receipts and merchandise sales are proof. Since Ichiro left, there’s been a parade of dispassionate ownership and bungling front office leadership. Eric Wedge, a well-respected manager threw his reputation away and almost died. No hotshot manager wants the job it seems, if it goes to current hire Lloyd McLendon, last seen getting the short end of a flammable Pirates stick. Taijuan Walker is already on the DL. 

But that’s part of this story line. 

Dustin Ackley could break out. Nick Franklin could follow as a converted outfielder. Justin Smoak is 27, ripe enough to pull a three-year Jack Cust turnaround. Logan Morrison may have found a nurturing (or permissive) enough of an environment to park his prodigious power in. 

It’s not perfect. Just read the names I mentioned again. 

That’s what I thought. 

But they’ve got something to cheer, and while it could come from the temporary high of landing the winter’s most coveted, definitely the most expensive, free agent, it’s something to talk about, it’s something to care about, it’s something worth cheering about. 

The Mariners will have to do a lot to win their fans’ trust back. There’s already skepticism surrounding Cano’s deal because of how much money the team spent to cover its other needs. Endy Chavez and Willie Bloomquist aren’t exactly the right compliments to a Cano endeavor. At least the Mariners aren’t paying for a multi-year Nelson Cruz surcharge. 

That’s progress. 

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