A second failed PED test brings a year-long suspension for the Mets’ second baseman, and puts the legitimacy of an otherwise great career in doubt.
It’s been an interesting time for Mets fans, with new ownership bringing in a renewed sense of hope in Queens. The world seems to be the Mets oyster, and there is widespread belief that the Mets are going to be huge players in free agency this year, and thus, favorites for a strong 2021 season.
Of course, this is still the Mets, so good news is usually overshadowed very quickly by some disaster. Such was the case this week, when it was revealed that Robinson Cano, the former Yankee acquired from the Mariners prior to the 2019 season, will be suspended for 162 games after failing his second PED test.
Of course, the Mets traded for Cano after failing his first drug test (for a diuretic used as a masking agent)in 2018. He then went on to have the worst of his career, before bouncing back to have a productive 2020.
Now, of course, not only is the legitimacy of his comeback last year at the age of 37 in doubt, but a dark shadow is cast over a career that, when it was all said and done, would have put him in Hall of Fame consideration.
This comes at an interesting time too, as I think that fans have been willing to be much more forgiving of PED users with the passage of time. Fans seemed willing, or at least more willing than in years past, to look at Cano’s first failed test as a small indiscretion rather than a career defining failure in judgement.
With all of that said, there is a distinct difference between being suspected of PED’s and actually failing a PED test…let alone two tests. Just ask guys like Rafeal Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez.
Prior to his first suspension, Cano seemed destined for 3,000 hits, and maybe even 400 home runs, putting him on the fast track to the Hall of Fame. Even after that first failed test, Cano looked like he’d get to both, or at least very close, and be on the Hall of Fame bubble. Now, who knows, and even if he does, even if he bounces back and plays into his forties (he just turned 38 years-old), it’s going to be impossible to wonder how much “help” he had getting there.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up like the aforementioned Palmeiro…dropped from the ballot for receiving less than 5 percent of the vote when he becomes eligible for Hall of Fame consideration…and that’s a damn shame.
Sticking with baseball, I saw that this year’s Hall of Fame ballot was released, and oh boy, is it a stinker.
Not that I want to take anything from any professional athlete, as I could never even sniff getting paid to play a sport, but relatively speaking, the list of newcomers to this year’s ballot is full of solid players who had good careers, like former World Series champion Mark Buerhle and former batting title winner Michael Cuddyer. Guys who were good professional ball players, but not Hall of Fame worthy players.
Of course, the lack of any newcomers who scream “first ballot inductee”, it will be interesting to see what happens to many of the leftovers who inch closer and closer each year to induction. Is this the year we finally see the voters cave and put in Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens? Do the voters overlook what a shitbag Curt Schilling is and get him from 70 to 75 percent of the vote this year? Does defensive wiz Omar Vizquel, who’s career was every bit as good as Ozzie Smith’s, get the nod? What about Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, and Gary Sheffield?
There will be 25 total names on this years ballot. The 11 new names on the ballot are : Mark Buerhle, A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino, and Barry Zito. None of those guys are getting in the Hall of Fame, let alone first ballot. So with only 14 names left, and voters able to vote for up to 10 guys, I believe we will finally see if we are really at a point to forgive the players of the steroid era.
If guys like Bonds and Clemens, and to a lesser degree Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, and Manny Ramirez get overlooked for guys like Omar Vizquel, Scott Rolen, then I don’t think they’ll ever get in.
Even with no big new names on the ballot this year, this could end up being one of the most interesting votes in sometime.
Quick Thoughts: I played in my first men’s league basketball game, and I have to do a little bragging here. Not only did we win in a 29-point blowout, but I played well, putting up 9 points (on 4-of-8 shooting), 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. At 42, I was also the oldest guy on the court, playing with guys mostly in their mid-20’s to early 30’s. No injuries, and I felt really good after, so it was a win all around.
After watching Rudy Giuliani’s latest press conference this week, complete with “My Cousin Vinny” quote, “secret evidence” and of course, the Just for Men during down the sides of the former NYC mayor’s face, I’m convinced that Donald Trump and his team are not taking any of this seriously and are simply trolling America. There is no other explanation as to how he can publicly say Trump is the winner of the election even as his court cases get dismissed, recounts don’t go his way, and his cronies try to get officials to toss legal votes. Each one of these press conference looks like it came from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen. If I see Rudy pull of his face to reveal that he’s really been the Borat actor this entire time, I would not be shocked at all. That’s how fucking absurd this has become.
Back to the Mets. Want to know how poorly they’ve been run in recent years? Well, usually when a player gets a year long suspension for PED use, the fan base is seething. Upon hearing about Robinson Cano’s suspension, Mets fans were overjoyed, as visions of new owner Steve Cohen using the $24 million he won’t have to pay Cano this year on free agent danced in their head. If they could, I’m sure my fellow Mets fans would be happy to just torch remnants that the Wilpons ever even stepped foot in Flushing. Now that’s Amazin’.
Does anything say 2020 more than these pathetic pictures of the NYC Christmas tree in Rockefeller center? If that picture makes you feel bad, you should check out Cincinnati’s Christmas tree.
Working on a bunch of new things. First, I’m really enjoying writing this blog every week. I started a written interview I plan on doing once per week as well, called the 10 spot. this week’s subject is my buddy, sports card YouTuber Jimmy Gunz. Also had a great guest on the podcast this week, and for the next 10 spot, political strategist Jessica DeLoach. She’s a democrat from Alabama, and she talks all things with us from the last two elections, to Parler. That will drop next week.
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next week.