From poor outings by most of the starting rotation to Alex Rodriguez's double-dip of steroids and hip surgery, reasons for optimism about the 2009 season have been in short supply around Yankee camp this spring. It didn't seem like it got any brighter when Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte returned from the World Baseball Classic with shoulder pains. They both needed MRIs and it seemed like a matter of time before the next punch to the guy put the team further behind the 8-ball.
There may be more bad news, but it won't come from Cano and Marte. Neither man has any structural damage to their shoulder and should be just fine when they start playing games that count.
Hopefully Cano and Marte enjoyed their experience, because, assuming they're still on the team, it is doubtful that the Yankees will be willing to let either guy play next time. Cano hid the fact that his shoulder was already bothering him before he left to join the Dominican team, a fact that has to make blood boil across Yankee camp. As it should, especially when they see what Cano had to say about his dishonesty.
"Maybe if I said from the beginning, it would be good by this time," Cano said. "The good thing is that it's only a few days. This is about your country. It's not about just going to play and have fun. I don't want to be one of those guys that they say, 'We needed you and you didn't want to play.'"
It's swell that Cano didn't want to leave his country in the lurch, but he's more than a little disrespectful of the Yankees. Until the Dominican Republic offers to pay him up to $57 million over six years, their needs are a distant second. What Cano did isn't any different than lying to your employer about being sick so you can skip work to spend the day doing something else, he's just lucky that he's too important for the team to take any punitive action.