Robinson Cano will be eligible to return to the field for the Mariners Aug. 14.
Robinson Cano said he doesn't "really pay attention" to the negative comments about his performance-enhancing drug suspension, and instead he "looks ahead" and only worries about the support he has gotten from those close to him, according to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times.
The eight-time All-Star apologized to the fans and his teammates when he spoke with reporters Saturday for the first time since he was issued an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic that can mask performance-enhancing drugs. Cano claims it was prescribed to him by a doctor to deal with high blood pressure, but the star second baseman eventually dropped his appeal of the punishment just before it was issued and will not be back on the field until Aug. 14 at the earliest.
"For me, this is the hardest thing that I've been going through in my life besides the death of my grandpa," Cano said. "As you guys know, I love this game so much. For me, baseball is everything. You know I hate to sit in the dugout and have a day off. Being away from the game and not being able to sit in the dugout and cheer for my teammates, that makes it even harder."
Cano explained how he was aware the suspension could be coming before it became official and he said it was, "not a good feeling what I went through for a month and going out to play every day and knowing that you are waiting and having to see what’s going to happen." He added how he could not talk with his teammates about the potential punishment he was facing during that time and said, "That was the hardest thing for me to do when you come in every day and knowing that you want to say something but you can't."
In addition to explaining how much it hurt to explain the situation to his teammates, Cano also harped on how he will "do anything for the team" to help them make the playoffs this season. Seattle is 3.5 games behind the Astros for first in the AL West at 56-34, and they hold a 6.5 game lead over the A's for the second Wild Card spot. The Mariners are just three games behind the Yankees for the top Wild Card standing.
Cano, 35, made sure to mention how he has more than a decade's worth of clean drug tests during his 14-year MLB career prior to the suspension. Cano also noted that, "We all makes mistakes," and he insisted that he would never want anybody to go through the situation he has had to deal with.
"I would say to young guys, one, you have to be careful and make sure about anything you're taking," he said. "Secondly, we all make mistakes. And third, I don’t want any of them to go through this situation. I think all of us in here make mistakes and some things we regret at times. But for me, I'm going to keep my head up and be the same man I am. This is not a thing that is going to put myself down. I'm going to keep going out there and do what I do in the same way that I play."
In the next few days, Cano will head to the Dominican Republic to pick up his training since he is about a month away from his return. However, he will not be eligible for the postseason, so Seattle will have to still manage getting time for Cano's replacement at second base, Dee Gordon.
The five-time Gold Glover was batting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 39 games this season for Seattle before the suspension, while Gordon leads the AL with 22 stolen bases and is hitting .283 in 79 games for the club.