There is a reason the New York Yankees signed Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million deal the same day that Robinson Cano went to the Seattle Mariners for 10 years, worth a total of $240 million — it was a foregone conclusion that the two parties were not going to come to a settlement because they were way too far apart to start and never came close to an agreement.
Since Cano agreed with the Mariners, there have been more facts to come to light that prove that he would never don the pinstripes again. First of all, even before the media buzz that Cano would reside in Seattle for the next 10 years, the Yankees already knew they would not put forth a contract that he would sign. That is pretty evident, henceforth the signings of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann. They were also linked to almost every big-name free agent on the market. They said publicly that they were prepared to go forward without Cano in pinstripes, but they actually knew their future would not include him.
What is more disheartening is what Cano said about Yankees manager, Joe Girardi. A friend of Cano’s said that he didn’t want to play for Girardi because he batted Cano second in the lineup. Cano couldn’t produce enough runs from that spot and therefore hurt his market value once he hit free agency. This is not only selfishly looking for more money, but is detrimental to the team. If Girardi thinks it’s in the teams’ best interest to put Cano in the two slot, then lace up your cleats and hit in the spot where Derek Jeter usually hits; don’t complain. This, unfortunately, shows that Cano is an egotistical prima donna who only cares about his stats and himself, which is proven by his taking the money and running to Seattle instead of showing loyalty to the team that groomed him into the player he is today.
I thought a lot more of Cano before these free-agency discrepancies took place. But, I guess, in hindsight, I should have seen it coming with his lack of hustle and nonchalant play. He’s been an amazing player for the Yankees, but has shown what kind of man he is in these past few days. However, I believe the Yankees have come out better than worse so far this winter because for the $300 million that the Mariners and New York Mets spent on former Yankees Cano and Curtis Granderson, the Yanks picked up Beltran, Ellsbury, McCann and re-signed Hiroki Kuroda. They still have holes to fill, but it’s easier to plug those vacant spaces with four players compared to two.
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For the UCF Knights, make it eight wins a row. Make it an outright AAC title. Make it the first trip to a BCS Bowl Game in school history. All of these achievements were secured Saturday afternoon as quarterback Blake Bortles and his teammates held off a gritty upset effort from the SMU Mustangs en route to a 17-13 victory in surprisingly frigid Dallas, Texas.
Bortles has increasingly gained attention on a national scale during UCF’s run to an 11-1 record and a conference championship. This weekend’s performance should only continue that trend. The junior signal caller completed 24-of-35 pass attempts for 229 yards while rushing for another 36 and crossing the goal line twice on the ground.
In support of Bortles, running back Storm Johnson ran for 37 yards on 11 carries and had three catches for 39 yards. While this was certainly not his strongest effort of the year, the redshirt junior attained a personal achievement that should not go overlooked. To go along with 14 total touchdowns, Johnson now sits at 1,015 rushing yards for the season.
Back in August, before the season even got underway, the AAC crown was overwhelmingly expected to go the way of QB Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals. Well that prediction failed to take the talent and potential of head Ccoach George O’Leary’s Knights into account. About a month from now, UCF will have an opportunity to really make a statement and firmly place themselves on the college football map.