Robinson Cano left baseball’s brightest spotlight behind when he parted ways with the New York Yankees last offseason, trading in pinstripes for a massive new contract with the perennially cellar-dwelling Seattle Mariners.
The second baseman will make his lone trip back to the Bronx this week, and so far, he’s enjoying the more relaxed atmosphere up in the Pacific Northwest.
“I like it here,” Cano told Newsday over the weekend. “It’s nice. The team’s really nice. I like the team, the city. Playing baseball, the fans, it’s really nice. Here it’s more relaxed. It’s not as intense as New York. In New York, when the game is over, everyone is looking at what’s wrong. Here we don’t have that.”
Only the addition of the lowly Houston Astros to the American League West last season saved the Mariners from their eighth last-place finish in the last 10 years. Seattle’s 10-14 record has the M’s in second-to-last again through 24 games this season, but Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240-million deal in December, said he has been surprised with the level of support the team has received.
“(The fans) have been pretty nice,” he said. “We’re not playing really good lately until Wednesday, but you’ve still got fans coming over, being so nice and kind to us.”
Cano said he hopes to enjoy a similar reception in his return to Yankee Stadium.
“I have to say I hope it’s good,” he said. “Hopefully they understand that this is a business and I don’t have anything against the fans, the team, anybody. I can tell you I’m excited to go back and be able to see guys that I played with for a long time. Be able to see (Derek) Jeter play in his last year. Just looking forward to going back.”
The Mariners and Yankees open their three-game set Tuesday night.