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Oh Cano, the injustice

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  July 10, 2012 08:55 AM

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Please say a prayer today for Robinson Cano. A great injustice has been done upon him.

That's the way certain semblances of the media and New York fandom seemed to treat last night when the Yankee second baseman was greeted with Bronx cheers in Kansas City during the Home Run Derby presented by State Farm, Gatorade, and a rack of ribs. 

Cano, who went on to hit zero home runs in the competition, didn't choose homeboy Royal Billy Butler to participate in the competition, and the crowd let him have it. Big deal, right?

Oh, boy.

Based on the reaction from Yankee Jazeera, you might have thought the Kansas City fans collectively killed Cano's cat. Barry Larkin scolded the crowd from the ESPN Baseball Tonight booth before cooler heads came in the form of Terry Francona, who simply said, "They're just having fun."

Sanity, right?

Oh, no.

The tweets coming in last night from rabid Yankee fans and embedded media got so ludicrous that at some point you hoped you were in the midst of a Dick Clark-Ed McMahon production. How dare those yokels boo a New Yawka. Never mind it was probably the loudest that thirsty crowd has cheered in a generation, who in the world are New Yorkers to decree civility?

I love Newsday's Mark Feinsand, so I hate to pick on him, but this is the Tweet that put me over the edge.

mark.jpg

Oh, we're playing that card?

Mark is ludicrously referring to the State Farm Gold Ball, of course. If any player hit one out during the competition, the insurance company would donate $18,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of America. But correct me if I'm wrong, the player that Yankee fans booed lustily for years, Pedro Martinez, is considered something of a philanthropist himself in his hometown, where the churches he helped build are just the beginning. So, tsk, tsk, New York. How dare you.

I'm getting really tired of the hierarchy card when it comes to fans voicing displeasure. They pay for the tickets, they're the ones the players are there in the first place, because they care. What right does anyone have to tell some common Johnny from Burger King how he should greet a multi-millionaire who has been pampered his entire life? If there's not supposed to be any antagonism in sports we might as well light a campfire at mid-field, roast s'mores and sing John Denver songs with the athletes. At least that phony sellout streak would end rather quickly. 

Was Cano wrong to not pick Butler? No. Did the fans have the right to show how they felt? Of course.

We're already set up for months of Ray Allen's greeting discussion and it's July 10. I'm pretty sure I can't handle it. People are still burned over the way Johnny Damon was treated in 2005 even if they ignore his idiotic, offseason comments and benignly conclude it was simply because of the laundry. Adam Vinatieri...no, that one I don't get.

But Yankee fans are really this up in arms over Cano? Get over it.Get over yourselves

Do yourself a favor and read some of the comments over here for a break with hilarity. Many of us thought the whole thing to be humorous. We were wrong, apparently. After all, last night was such a pivotal moment for the game of baseball - a home run derby that nobody will normally remember past Thursday. But in this case, it will be the telltale signal of a disrespectful fan base, behaving like a crowd of ugly Neanderthals.

See, because when it comes down to it, Kansas City fans hate charity.

Yankees deserve respect. Always. Make a note of that.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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