Robinson Cano Committed to Playing for Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic Despite New U.S. Citizenship

Robinson Cano may have his U.S. citizenship, but that doesn’t mean he plans to play for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

Despite the dual citizenship, the Yankees second baseman and four-time All-Star told the New York Daily News that he wouldn’t abandon his allegiance to the Dominican Republic.

“I still have to play for the Dominican, even if I didn’t want to,” said Cano, a native of San Pedro de Macoris. “If I played for the U.S., I don’t think they would ever let me come home.”

Cano cited the backlash that his Yankee teammate Alex Rodriguez received after infamously flip-flopping over the years. In 2006, Rodriguez waited until the last minute before settling on playing for the United States instead of the Dominican Republic. The decision didn’t go over too well in the Dominican Republic, where Rodriguez — born to Dominican parents in New York — spent three years of his childhood. That’s why Rodriguez switched allegiances yet again for the 2009 tournament.

After watching Rodriguez take all that heat, Cano has no plans to follow in his footsteps.

“You saw what happened with Alex,” Cano said. “A lot of people got upset in the Dominican when he played for the U.S.”

Even so, Cano is still proud of his new U.S. citizenship. He reportedly started the process before spring training and studied for the exam throughout last season.

“It means a lot to me; this is a country I appreciate a lot,” Cano reportedly said. “It gave me the opportunity to go to school, to be able to come here from the Dominican, to be able to work and make money — but also to help others in need. Now I’m a U.S. citizen and I’m so appreciative that I had the opportunity to make that happen.”