WASHINGTON — Brian Cashman says he didn’t have any knowledge that Robinson Cano was doping during his days as a Yankee.
But the GM did seem to suggest that he had his suspicions.
“I would have no knowledge, and if I did have knowledge I would be compelled to tell baseball about it or I’d risk a million dollar or more fine,” Cashman said Tuesday following the announcement that Cano had been suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s joint drug agreement.
“So part of the program and part of Major League Baseball’s initiatives is if I have any knowledge of anybody past or present I’m obligated to convey that knowledge to Major League Baseball, and I take that seriously.
“And so knowledge is one thing, suspicion is another.”
Later when asked to clarify what he meant by “suspicion,” Cashman walked back his stance a bit, saying he was speaking in generalities.
“I never suggested I had suspicions of Cano,” he said.
Cano played nine seasons for the Yankees before leaving the Bronx and a seven-year, $175-million offer for Seattle and a 10-year, $240-million contract.
Asked for his reaction overall, Cashman initially responded: “It’s not something I feel comfortable commenting on, given the fact that he’s a Seattle Mariner. Robbie was an impactful player here, he was always a great guy. We enjoyed our time with Robbie and the person he was when he was with us.”
Adding to the suspicion is Cano’s two best Bronx buddies, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, who both served doping suspensions.
Cano was banned for using Furosemide, a diuretic that is often used to mask PED use. He had appealed the suspension but dropped the appeal. Cano will also be ineligible for the postseason as a result.
And while the news of Cano’s drug bust shocked some former teammates like Dellin Betances, at least one, CC Sabathia, says nothing surprises him now when it comes to players caught cheating the game.
“It’s disappointing but just waiting to see what comes out I guess,” Sabathia said. “I don’t have an opinion either way. It is what it is. It’s surprising because I know Robbie. But after the Ryan Braun thing, nothing is surprising for me.”
Braun ultimately admitted to doping and received a 65-game ban when he was exposed in the Biogenesis Scandal of 2013. But in 2011, a Braun urine sample tested positive for an elevated level of testosterone, so high in fact a source told the News back then the sample was “twice the level of the highest test ever taken.” Braun was subsequently slapped with a 50-game that was later overturned on appeal after Braun raised chain of custody concerns over his sample. In a memorable press conference, Braun vehemently proclaimed his innocence to the media.
“It’s a shock for me,” said Betances, who found out about the Cano ban while he was eating lunch. “I really couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.”
Cano had once taken Betances under his wing when the eight-time All-Star second baseman was rehabbing a hamstring injury in 2006 in Tampa.
“He’d take me out to eat everyday,” said Betances, who was in rookie ball at the time. “He was the first guy I kind of got to hang out with in the major leagues. He was good to my parents and my family in general. We’ve always talked throughout the years. He’s a good friend of mine.”
Betances had just exchanged texts with Cano, who had just suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch. Betances didn’t want to reach out to Cano again, with everyone blowing up his phone.
Source: Ny Daily News