Robinson Cano 'not surprised' after being showered with boos in return to Yankee Stadium
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Robinson Cano was booed mercilessly by the small crowd at Yankee Stadium in his return to the Bronx Tuesday night.
Cano, who left the Yankees for a 10-year, $240-million contract with the Mariners, went 1-for-5 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base in Seattle's 6-3 victory.
Every move Cano made on the field was met with boos from the announced crowd of 37,484 on a rainy, frigid night. The real crowd was more like 5,000-10,000.
"I'm not surprised," he said. "You're going to get some cheers, some boos. You've got to go out there and play . . . That's not a distraction . . . I really had fun. Nothing bothered me at all."
The boos for Cano's first at-bat started as he walked to the plate. Cano saluted the Yankees dugout before CC Sabathia threw a pitch. He struck out to the delight of the crowd.
Cano was also booed during pregame lineup introductions. He hugged Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano behind second base and Jeter rubbed his new beard. Later, Cano doffed his cap and bowed at someone in or behind the Yankees dugout.
When he took his defensive position, Cano was greeted by a chant of "You sold out" from the Bleacher Creatures in rightfield. Cano said he didn't hear the chant.
Cano also grounded out, hit an RBI grounder, had an infield single and struck out on a disputed checked swing.
The Yankees decided not to show a video honoring Cano's nine years in pinstripes, and a team spokesman declined to say why that decision was made. Cano is the first homegrown Yankee in his prime to leave the team as a free agent since Andy Pettitte left for his hometown Astros after the 2003 season.
The Red Sox last week showed a tribute video for Jacoby Ellsbury, who left Boston to sign with the Yankees. Ellsbury, who was both cheered and booed, said he was "touched" by the team's gesture.
Sabathia, when asked why he thought Ellsbury got more cheers in Boston than Cano did in New York, said: "They showed a video."
When asked why he thought the fans were so harsh, Cano said: "I don't know. That's a question you've got to ask them."
Cano spurned the Yankees' offer of seven years and $175 million. He has said several times that he felt the Yankees did not show him enough "respect."
In a news conference before the game, Cano declined to discuss the negotiations.
"One thing to understand, this is a business," he said. "I can't control the Yankees. I can control myself. They made a decision, and I guess we're both happy because I'm happy where I'm at right now. I'm happy to be a Mariner. Good luck to them."
Rain before the game canceled batting practice. Cano's first appearance on the field came at about 6:40 when he stretched. The game time temperature was 46 degrees.
Before the game, Cano said: "I want to take this time to say thanks to all the fans. They were so kind to me."
On Tuesday night, they weren't.