Stuck at home and waiting for baseball to return, Robinson Cano can’t stop checking his phone.
“I'm just hoping every morning that I wake up,” Cano said, “that I might get a text from Luis Rojas or Brodie [Van Wagenen] that says OK, this is the day that we're gonna show up in Florida or New York to go back to spring training.”
In an interview with the Mets’ public relations staff and released by the team, Cano said he has been biking/running for up to two hours per day and hitting and taking ground balls in a batting cage he has at home in the Dominican Republic, all in an effort to try to stay in shape during baseball’s coronavirus pandemic-induced hiatus.
Cano, who went on the injured list with leg injuries three times last year, said this unexpected layoff has “been beneficial for me for sure” from a physical standpoint.
“My legs feel strong right now,” Cano, 37, said, reiterating a sentiment he also expressed upon arriving in Port St. Lucie in February. “Just can't wait to go back on the field, and then play.”
In the meantime, Cano is doing … not very much, it seems, other than working out. Playing cards with his family a bunch. Watching “The Last Dance,” a documentary about Michael Jordan (whom Cano believes is better than LeBron James). Staying in touch with teammates via group text.
And cooking, maybe? Nope.
“No chance of cooking, not for me,” Cano said. “I mean, I'm more about my body right now.”
Cano helped organize a food drive in the Dominican, where the pandemic and stay-at-home orders has disrupted people’s lives, just as it has in the United States. It resulted in 4,000 bags of food — rice, beans, tuna, spaghetti, sugar, salt, salami and more — going to people who need it.
Because he wanted to see their smiles and feel their excitement, Cano was on the ground helping deliver the food himself, he said.
“You know with quarantine we're all home and a lot of people are not making money in the Dominican,” Cano said. “People go out and they make money day by day. So now in quarantine and not being able to work, a lot of people are hungry. They need food, so that's what I did.
“I like to go myself because you know, the biggest thing is when you get there, you see the smile on their face and when they say, ‘God bless you and thank you, we don't have any food and now you're helping, you don't have to do this.’
“I want to hear from them. I don't want anybody else to come and tell me like their excitement and how they feel about it. I like to go myself and experience that.”
As the baseball-watching world awaits the fate of the 2020 season, does Cano have a message for the fans?
“We're all in quarantine, we just gotta follow the rules. Stay home and spend time with our family,” he said. “And you know that everyone stay safe. All our guys are getting ready and keep ourselves in shape to come back and be able to play. But you know, hopefully we come back stronger as a team.”