By Shane Lantz
The BS Show
Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games on Tuesday, for testing positive for Furosemide, a Diuretic drug typically used as a masking agent. So while Cano was not flat out caught using steroids, this suspension still casts doubt over many of the numbers he has produced as a Seattle Mariner.
Cano came out with a statement shortly after the suspension was announced, one where he didn’t deny using the substance, but did say that he was given it by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat medical issues.
Whether Cano is telling the truth or not, this is a hugely disappointing turn in his Mariners career. Though hated by some in New York for taking the big money in 2014 and signing with the Mariners, Cano has always performed on the field, justifying the $240 million Seattle committed to him five seasons ago. The suspension news not only clouds his legacy as a player and potential Hall of Famer, it casts major doubts about the Mariners playoff hopes. Without their number three hitter and lineup rock, the team now has zero margin for error or further injury.
We can argue all day about whether fans should care about steroids, and whether or not they should reflect on a players character. But the truth is that this is ultimately Cano’s fault. If he is lying, he knowingly violated baseball’s drug policy, and deserves his 80-game suspension. If he is telling the truth, and only used the drug to treat other medical issues, then he is guilty of carelessness, and possibly cost his team its best shot at the postseason in several years.
This suspension does not spell the end of Cano’s career. After injuring his hand on Sunday, Cano was going to be out for about a month, and thankfully he will be able to serve part of the suspension while on the DL. This incident is a black mark on his career, but it doesn’t mean he has to let it define him. Two of the Mariners most beloved players have served similar suspensions for PEDs. In 2013, Nelson Cruz was suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, though he never actually tested positive. In 2016, Dee Gordon was suspended 80 games for testing positive for PEDs. Both of those players rebounded from these suspensions and went on to successful careers afterward. Cano can still bounce back from this.
But he is also 35, with much more baseball behind him than in front. If what he says is true, then he will hopefully be the same player when he returns, and the Mariners could get a couple more productive seasons out of him. But if he is making excuses, as baseball players have done on many occasions in the past, and he actually was using a performance-enhancing drug, then maybe his production will decline, and he won’t be the same player that M’s fans have grown to love.
It’s all up in the air right now, and we won’t know the ramifications of this suspension on the Mariners and on Cano’s career, or Hall of Fame chances for awhile. His return will be in late August, but he won’t be eligible for postseason play, which is terrible news for the M’s. His career and this M’s season, which has been so fun to watch as a fan, now are stained with this suspension. But it doesn’t mean the end of the world. It means that this team has another hurdle to jump, and Cano is going to have to do a lot to regain his status.