Robinson Cano can go to Hall, Mark Cuban’s pitch and MLB’s next big thing

Breathless reactions aside, we can at least agree that Robinson Cano has done a very stupid thing, even if he’s genuine in his explanation. A professional ballplayer in his 14th major league season has to know what is being put into his body. If he wanted, someone like Cano could afford to pay a nutritionist, a personal trainer and a medical doctor just to follow him around. Now, because he failed a drug test, he is going to miss half of the 2018 season, less whatever time he would have missed because of his hand injury. And he’s losing $11 million in the process.

Cano is one of the foundation players for Seattle.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale The Mariners are in their 42nd season and as yet have never won so much as an American League pennant. They aren’t favored to do so this season, either, but with a 24-18 start, it’s within the realm of possibility for the M’s to make a run. That is made more difficult by Cano’s absence. And even if Seattle gets into the postseason, Cano won’t be eligible to aid the quest.

That is the tangible fallout from Cano’s suspension, and it can be evaluated and weighed someday when we look at Cano’s career for its Hall of Fame merit. When we do, we must also consider that he’s likely to finish with more than 3,000 hits and already has surpassed 300 homers, 293 of which have been hit as a second baseman. That’s an American League record. We must also consider that he’s won two Gold Gloves, five Silver Slugger awards, played in eight All-Star Games and finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting six times. We must consider that, according to JAWS, he ranks seventh all time among second basemen and could finish in the top five.224

224

This is the résumé of a clear Hall of Fame player. These are all facts embedded in baseball’s permanent record. To my knowledge, they have not been stricken or asterisked in any way. Evaluating these facts in the context in which they were established is the primary task of the Hall voter. Many might say it should be the only task.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick laid out the reasons Cano’s Hall chances are now greatly diminished with this week’s news. That’s almost certainly true. My stance is that it shouldn’t be.

The problem there is that nebulous clause in the criteria laid out in every Hall ballot: “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played.”

If you ask 100 different people how they delineate and define the concepts of integrity, sportsmanship and character, you are sure to get 100 different answers. Those who won’t vote for, or support, proven or suspected PED users wave these words around like a matador’s muleta. To me, they shouldn’t be in there, but they are. Fine.

Are we going to say that because Cano failed that drug test he now lacks integrity,cheap nfl jerseys china nike sportsmanship and character? Look him up on your favorite search engine. His foundation has helped numerous underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic, New York City and Seattle. There is a school in the Dominican bearing his initials and number, built with funds raised by the foundation he established with his parents. Cano has twice been a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award. Regardless of how worked up you get about performance-enhancing drugs, if we are going to evaluate the character of a person, shouldn’t these things be considered as well?