When Robinson Cano was deciding between staying in New York and heading out to Seattle—still hilariously preposterous to think about—many attempted to examine the external factors that clouded the straight difference in the contract offers.
Seattle fans would say that, with Washington's lack of a state income tax, the gap between the Mariners' and Yankees' bids was even greater than the numbers indicated. Then, on the other side, we kept hearing about the vast "marketing opportunities" the New York market afforded, and the tens of millions of dollars those would produce, effectively closing some of what ended up being a $60 million+ gap between what the Yankees and Mariners were offering.
This is an attempt to look at Cano's "marketing opportunities" from the past. And let's get this out of the way right now: this isn't serious. After Geoff Baker's scorching exposé, consider these your Sunday comics.
In other words, here's some funny and cool commercials the Mariners' best position player appeared in over the past couple years. Also, having written two posts I had to scrap—one optimistic piece on what I assumed would be day two of the Cano recruitment for Friday, and then one on why fans should be hopeful about the organization that was planned for last night—I figured I should play it safe. But if Cano voids his deal this afternoon, you can blame me.
But, on those "marketing opportunities" (read: ads), Cano's most recent one was released just hours after he signed with the Mariners, as Nike rolled out their "Winning in a Winter Wonderland" spot. It isn't all Cano—hardly any—but he opens it, and has a non-Griffey Mariner ever apeared in a Nike TV spot? Here it is:
It's funny, because if you want to see what the weather actually looks like where Cano does his offseason hitting work, here's a look. More on that later.
For a little more humor, here's a semi-recent 'This is SportsCenter' spot featuring Cano. It seems appropriate for this time of year.
Two things here: is Cano going to take this handshake thing to the Mariners? I feel like we could use it. And second, can Cano bring enough attention—see: success—to the Mariners that Felix gets a SportsCenter ad? It could even be a sequel to this LeBron spot.
In another one from ESPN, here's a pretty great Sunday Night Baseball spot that focuses on Cano:.
Toothpaste. Of course.
Now, after a couple spots with intentional humor, how about some rich unintentional comedy? The Yankees have long built up their rich history by gouging the potential legacies of other organizations and stealing way their players, so it's humorous to have them see how other
half 95 percent lives—especially at the expense of the Mariners. But yes, unintentional humor:
Robinson Cano is, inevitably, going to take flak for choosing to get paid instead of continuing to build on his legacy with the Yankees, but you have to consider where he comes from. I linked to it above, but it's worth checking out the Getting to Know Robinson Cano show the YES Network put together: part one, part two, part three, part four.
Cano is a hero and an icon in the Dominican Republic, someone whose success—and salary—impacts more than just himself. Here's MLB.com with a video and write-up on Cano's charitable work.
For a more bite-size look at Cano's status in his native Dominican Republic, here's a trailer for a documentary on Cano's journey from the DR to the United States from Jay Z's Life+Times media company. Not sure if it's already been released, or eventually will be—I can't find the full product. But again, here's the trailer:
I don't know how many national spots we'll see from Cano now that he's with the Mariners. It may well be less, but it won't be because he's in Seattle—at least not directly. If the Mariners win, and Cano's a big reason—as he'd have to be—he'll get his. As fellow Jay Z client Kevin Durant has proven in Oklahoma City, you can make money for being famous from anywhere.
But even if the national spots do drop off, it is going to be wild seeing that first Robinson Cano Mariners commercial. Ideas?