The time has come for Robinson Cano to return to the Bronx for a game at Yankee Stadium versus the New York Yankees on Tuesday with his new team, the Seattle Mariners, but should the Bronx Bombers honor their former star player?
The likelihood of major division in Yankees Universe on this topic is about as certain as can be.
Many fans are still angered and feel disrespected at being spurned by the second baseman when he took more money from a lesser organization rather than staying with a winning one with tradition like the Yankees.
Those fans feel betrayed and downright hate Cano for the decision he made. Granted, they have the right to feel that way, but would those fans have turned down all that money themselves in the name of loyalty?
Then, there are other fans who understand Cano's decision and quite frankly could not care less that he's gone. The Yanks are doing just fine without him and were able to go on an offseason shopping spree once he departed.
Furthermore, it's quite clear Cano's new team isn't going anywhere anytime soon and that there will be major growing pains for the Mariners before they and Cano do any semblance of damage in the American League.
As it stands now, Seattle is 9-14 and if not for the lowly Houston Astros at 9-17, the Mariners would be in last place in the AL West.
Cano is off to a slow start, or at least by Cano standards, as he's belted the same number of home runs that youngster Yangervis Solarte has for the Yanks: one.
He went from a hitter-friendly home park to a pitcher-friendly home park, which likely will hurt his numbers this season and in the long run.
So far it looks as though Cano made the wrong decision from a baseball standpoint, so that has to please even the biggest Cano haters.
But that's all sour grapes now. What's important in asking the question should the Yanks honor Cano is: what did he do for the organization while he was here?
Cano was routinely the best player on the team for most of his time in pinstripes and was good for 20 homers and almost 100 RBI with a .300 average and every season.
Numerous All-Star Game appearances meant Cano represented the Yankees as one of the premier players in the sport, on top of his Gold Glove honors that cemented him as the best second baseman in the game.
Although they fell short in 2010 and 2011, Cano had monster postseasons for the Yankees and was apart of the World Series-winning squad in 2009.
He made some fans angry with his lazy-looking approach to fielding and running out ground balls, but there's no denying he was an integral part of New York's success during his nine seasons with the Yankees.
To say he should be an erased memory that never existed wouldn't be fair to Cano or, more importantly, to the team's history.
Cano should be honored on Tuesday when Seattle comes to New York for the first time in 2014.
The Yanks don't have to retire his number or anything drastic like that, but a nice video montage similar to what Jacoby Ellsbury received in Boston when he returned would suffice.
After all, Cano didn't leave New York to go to Boston, so how big of an enemy is he really?
It's time to let bygones be bygones and remember Cano for the player he was while on the team and not the decision he made to leave it.
- Robinson Cano Tells GQ on Being a New York Yankee: You Never Want to Leave a Place Like That
- Former Yankees 2B Robinson Cano Already Critical of Seattle Mariners Lack of Offense
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