Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since leaving the Yankees to sign a 10-year, $240 million deal with Seattle. Not surprisingly, he was booed. Here's his first at-bat:
Throughout the at-bat, Cano was booed in between every pitch and there was a loud roar at the conclusion, because he struck out.
It was all to be expected and pretty run-of-the-mill in terms of circumstances like this.
What was an interesting twist, though, was next inning when the Yankees were batting. A large group of fans in the stadium were chanting "you sold out" in the direction of Cano. It was loud and clear enough to be audible for those of us who were watching on TV.
And that ... is a head-scratcher, to say the least.
Look, I get the booing. It's part of being a sports fan. Logic says that us ordinary folk would pretty much always leave our current job if given such a substantial pay raise (the Mariners reportedly offered around $65 million more than the Yankees were prepared to pay), but being a sports fan means the "if you're not with us, you're against us" mindset wins out. And that's fine. Boo Cano all you want, Yankees fans.
But "you sold out?" Coming from Yankees fans? Seriously?
Hmmm. I'll try to sort this out through my laughter.
What do those names have in common? They all signed with the highest bidder in free agency, which just happened to be the Yankees.
I chose those four names for a reason, too, because I could have thrown in Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira or a host of others. But I chose those four because the argument seems to be that Cano is a "sell out" because he chased the dollars at the expense of winning.
Well, Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran and Sabathia all left playoff teams to sign with the Yankees when the Yankees were coming off a non-playoff season.
We could keep going here, but I don't see the need to belabor the point. The hypocrisy should be obvious even to the most strident Yankees fans. At this point, too, I feel compelled to point out that in no way do these "you sold out" people speak for all Yankees fans -- many of whom probably agree with me.
By all means, when you buy a ticket an event, get your money's worth. Boo all the players you want. Just realize that if you're a Yankees fan and are chanting "you sold out" to an opposing player, you sound real silly. And that's being nice.
Now, back to laughing about this ...