By Steve Silverman
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You just hope it isn’t so.
These days, there is no way of knowing who is using performance-enhancing drugs and who is not.
But the idea that Robinson Cano has used PEDs is enough to sicken any baseball fan or official.
Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera are tied to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic and they are two of Cano’s friends. Cano was asked directly by reporters about Biogenesis, and the New York Post reported on February 19 that Cano said he never used PEDs or visited Biogenesis.
But when your friends have been implicated and you went into a slump during the postseason last year, it allows the question to be asked.
Who can’t be questioned these days?
Mike Trout comes into Angels camp 10-to-15 pounds heavier after one of the greatest rookie seasons in major league history, and it makes you wonder. Why would Trout alter his body so much after such a stellar year? Why does he need to change after dominating for the Angels last year?
The answer will play out during spring training and the season.
But if Cano was using PEDs, it would truly hurt. He has a classic swing and is one of the best-hitting second baseman of this or any other generation. It would not hurt as much as if Derek Jeter was ever implicated, but Cano seems to belong with the greatest hitters in the game.
Last year’s postseason slump was troubling because you just don’t want to see a hitter like Cano acting like Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox.
Dunn seems to make it palatable for hitters to strike out one-third of the time because he can hit the long ball. But that’s no way for a team to win in the long run, especially if they have more than one player who is striking out a similar amount of time and there are not enough balls being put in play.
You simply can’t give away outs, and that’s what Cano did in the postseason.
The Yankees have all kinds of difficulties on the salary front thanks to the Rodriguez contract. It will make it difficult for Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman to come to an easy agreement with Cano when his contract is up at the end of the season.
These are certainly different days for the Yankees. When The Boss was in his heyday, he simply got the best players that were on the market and made sure they stayed Yankees when their contracts were up.
This team can no longer follow that philosophy, and future Yankees teams will try to build through the draft and the minor leagues — at least more than they have done in the past.
It means that contending for the title every year could be a thing of the past.
The Yankees have been favorites in the American League East for years, but it would shock nobody if the Orioles, Blue Jays or Rays won the division this year.
That’s due in large part to the new economic reality surrounding the Yankees.
Seeing them slip behind Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay would hurt any Yankees fan, but hearing bad news about Cano would make it worse.
Nobody in baseball is above being questioned anymore — not even those with the nicest swing in the game.
If you were a betting man (or woman), would you put money on the fact that Robinson Cano has used — or is using — performance-enhancing drugs? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…