Robinson Jose Cano Getty

Robinson Cano’s dad says the Yankees “don’t seem to want” his son

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Last we heard, free agent second baseman Robinson Cano was reportedly on a private plane to Seattle to meet with the Mariners, who are prepared to offer him $225 million over the course of a nine-year contract. Meanwhile, the Yankees have been pretty firm about how high they are willing to go in negotiations. And as of now, it’s nowhere near $225 million.

According to Christian Red and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cano’s father takes this rigid stance as a sign that the Yankees don’t want his son back.

The Yankees insist they want Robinson Cano to remain part of their pinstriped family. The patriarch of Cano’s actual family isn’t convinced that’s the case.

“The Yankees don’t seem to want him,” Jose Cano told the Daily News when asked about his son’s status with the Yankees.

The Yankees want him back, but the Mariners appear to be doing everything in their power to pry the All-Star second baseman away from New York.

Multiple reports Thursday night indicated the Mariners were readying a nine-year offer worth $225 million for Cano, who was on a plane headed for Seattle to meet with club officials.

A $225 million offer would dwarf the Yankees’ current seven-year offer of $165-170 million, leaving the Mariners more than $50 million ahead of the Bombers.

There are high stakes involved here and a lot of emotions at play, so we probably shouldn’t look into Cano’s comments too much. He’s talking about his son, after all. But this is a business and every team needs to draw a line somewhere. At the same time, you can’t blame Cano if he ends up signing for the most money possible, even it’s in Seattle. On a related note, you always have to wonder where these leaks about contract proposals come from and who would stand to benefit from them being reported. Just something to keep in mind amid the Hot Stove hysteria.

For what it’s worth, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman suggests that the Yankees could move on to Shin-Soo Choo and Omar Infante if Cano ends up choosing the Mariners.

UPDATE: Cano also spoke to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York and said that his son is looking for a 10-year deal while the Yankees have only offered seven. He also indicated that he was irked by Brian Cashman’s comment from the GM Meetings that Cano “loves” money:

“I don’t know why he said that,” Jose Cano said. “I don’t know exactly everything. Tell me, who doesn’t love money?”

Cashman’s comment aside, Cano maintains that his first hope is for his son to remain with the Yankees.

Jackie Robinson: ” I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag”

FILE - In this April 11, 1947 file photo, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers poses at Ebbets Field in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Robinson's widow said Major League Baseball has yet to fully honor her husband's legacy. "There is a lot more that needs to be done and that can be done in terms of the hiring, the promotion" of minorities in the sport, Rachel Robinson said Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 during a Q&A session with TV critics about "Jackie Robinson," a two-part PBS documentary airing in April.  (AP Photo/John Rooney, File)
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One more bit of baseball via which we may reflect on the Colin Kaepernick controversy.

In 1972 Jackie Robinson wrote his autobiography. In it he reflected on how he felt about his historical legacy as a baseball player, a businessman and as a political activist. A political activism, it should be noted, which favored both sides of the aisle at various times. He supported Nixon in 1960, supported the war in Vietnam and worked for Nelson Rockefeller. He did not support Goldwater and did support the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He supported Humphrey against Nixon in 1968. He was no blind partisan or ideologue. When you find someone like that you can usually rest assured it’s because they’re thinking hard and thinking critically in a world where things aren’t always cut-and-dried.

As such, this statement from his autobiography, describing his memory of the first game of the 1947 World Series, is worth thinking about. Because it came from someone who spent a lot of time thinking:

There I was, the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps, it was, but then again, perhaps, the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment. Today, as I look back on that opening game of my first world series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.

Colin Kaepernick is not Jackie Robinson and America in 2016 is not the same as America in 1919, 1947 or 1972. But it does not take one of Jackie Robinson’s stature or experience to see and take issue with injustice and inequality which manifestly still exists.

As I said in the earlier post, the First Amendment gives us just as much right to criticize Kaepernick as it gives him a right to protest in the manner in which he chooses. But if and when we do, we should not consider his case in a vacuum or criticize him as some singular or radical actor. Because some other people — people who have been elevated to a level which has largely immunized them from criticism — felt and feel the same way he does. It’s worth asking yourself, if you take issue, whether you take issue with the message or the messenger and why. Such inquiries might complicate one’s feelings on the matter, but they’re quite illuminative as well.

(thanks to Kokujin for the heads up)

Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is a sports owner once again

File photo of Frank McCourt leaving Stanley Mosk Courthouse after testifying during his divorce trial in Los Angeles
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There aren’t many major league ownership reigns which ended more ignominiously than Frank McCourt’s reign as Dodgers owner. He was granted access to one of business’ most exclusive clubs — one which being a convicted criminal or even a Nazi sympathizer cannot get you kicked out of — and somehow got kicked out. The clear lesson from his saga was that saddling your team with debt, using it as your own private piggy bank and exercising bad judgment at every possible turn will not get you drummed out of baseball but, by gum, having it all go public in a divorce case sure as heck will.

McCourt landed pretty safely, though. By sheer luck, his being kicked out of ownership coincided with the vast appreciation of major league franchise values and the expiration of the Dodgers cable television deal. He may have left in disgrace, but he also left with a couple of billion dollars thanks to the genius of capitalism. At the time it was assumed he’d ride off into the sunset, continuing to make a mint off of parking at Dodgers games (he retained a big piece of that pie) and not get his hands messy with sports ownership again.

Such assumptions were inoperative:

The soccer club has suffered from poor financial decisions in recent years. So I guess it was a match made in heaven.