May 25, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (24) smiles prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
With the pen in hand and the greatest goon squad entourage surround Robinson Cano, he signed his 10 year, $240 million dollar contract just a few minutes ago.
Before I continue, though, you have to watch the Seattle Mariners vine of the signing: Jay Z standing next to a giggling Chuck Armstrong might be the greatest and most disturbing thing I have ever seen. And is Jay Z that tall or is Chuck really that short?
Back to the presser though:
I watched the conference live, and really went crazy typing down as much as I could muster to give you the best impression of what the presser was like. In a word: Happy. Everyone seemed happy to have Cano in a Mariners uniform, including Cano. Let’s start from the beginning.
They introduced Cano with a video montage with, what else, Jay Z’s “Show Me What You Got” from his Kingdom Come album playing in the background. It had Cano’s bunt double, and a number of towering home runs.
Cano is looking fresh in a beige suit and pants, with a MARINER BLUE dress shirt and tie. Class class class from the newbie. It also looks like a professional styled his beard… I wish I could pull that off.
Once Jack Z, Lloyd McClendon, and Robbie Cano got up to the podium, Z (Jack not Jay) thanked everyone in the dealings. He was clear that the stuff that ‘leaked’ about breakdowns in the talks (aka Howard Lincoln screaming at Jay Z) were farce, and that overall everything went smoothly. And Jack Z calls Jay Z “Jay Z”, wow. They are already on a first name basis. Or nickname basis? Who knows but it just feels like so many people are way too uncool to be chilling with Jay Z in Seattle.
Then Cano got to sport his new Mariners jersey, but of course Manager Lloyd McClendon has to undress him a bit first. Deuces wild. Surreal seeing him in Mariners blue. 22. “Mom, I know what I want for Christmas!”
Sitting up at the table Cano was all smiles, thanking his family, Jay (Z), and everyone else he could think of. His eyes got a little red and teary at the end.
When asked about Seattle Cano said it is a great city. He is excited to “get a chance to experience a beautiful city, a beautiful ballpark.” Says he has “always been excited to come play here,” when he was with the Yankees of course, but now he gets 81 games at Safeco Field each year for the next decade.
And Felix Hernandez, over the phone, told Robbie that the Mariners treat you like a family. That the Mariners organization is there for you. Cano said that played a huge role in his decision, that he wanted to be a part of a caring family. Maybe he wasn’t getting that loving vibe from New York. Especially after they backhanded the notion that he was a superstar.
“My goal is to bring a title to Seattle city.” We all sincerely hope you do, Robbie.
When asked more questions about the organization, Cano didn’t hesitate to express his comfort: “I feel like family here. Now is the time I can pass that [my veteran leadership, experience] on to the young kids.” He is going to be standing besides Felix as the face of this franchise for the forseeable future, and he is making it abundantly clear he feels safe and comfortable and excited to play for the Mariners. And again, he said the Mariners “Showed me love, showed me they wanted me from day 1. Wanted me to be a part of their family.”
When asked about leaving New York, Cano said he was surprised to leave New York, but he is excited for the love of Seattle. He already feels a part of something here and is glad to be wanted.
Cano was also asked about adjusting from the New York life to the Seattle life. Regarding the biggest adjustment he said: “I feel like I belong here. I know start spring training I am going to have a good relationship. This is going to be my second home.”
Then a general question about Cano’s skill as a player was thrown at McClendon, to which he replied “he is one of the top 5 players in the game. Not only offensively but defensively.” Then he proceeded to talk about how excited the other Mariners are to have Cano in the fold. Which isn’t surprising seeing as he is one of the best players in the game today.
Jack then got a little light and fun about the negotiating process. The entire conference it was readily apparent that Z was a very happy man. “We had a birthday cake for Jay Z. A little get together.” I guess Jay Z’s birthday was the day before they began negotiations. Then came more on being a family in Seattle: “Robinson wants to be a part of a family. We both feel that way. He is a part of the fabric here, where we want to get to.”
In regards to the length and money in the contract: “a tremendous investment by this organization, tremendous commitment.” Jack Z made it clear that he believes Cano will be a bargain in the first couple of years, and that he is certain Cano will age well and be a constant value to this team.
“He’s a handsome guy. Look at the frame he has. He is going to age well,” Zduriencik said laughing gaily. We know who is paying for dinner tonight…
Then, of course, Cano gets asked a question in Spanish and everyone just gets absolutely confused…
Finally, reiterating what had been the sentiment the entire press conference, Cano adds: “I can’t explain how happy I am. Not because of the contract, but just the way I’ve been embraced by the Mariners organization.”
And lastly, someone had to ask Jack Z about Jay Z and their relationship. To which Jack replied: “I’m hip-hopped. We are going do a duet together.”
For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen. But a Macklemore, Jay-Z collaboration wouldn’t be so bad.
And neither would Cano, the World Series Trophy, and a Seattle Mariners uniform.