Servais: "We love Robinson Cano. We really do and what he means to our ball club and the organization but just like a family member makes a bad decision or a bad choice, you still love them."
Here’s some of what Mariners manager Scott Servais had to say Tuesday after Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy:
(How do you deal with it in the clubhouse?) “Obviously it’s disappointing. Everybody knows what Robinson Cano means to our ball club and what a big part he is in our lineup and certainly our clubhouse every day, but the focus going forward is we got off to a good start this season, we’ve certainly got plenty of talent in that clubhouse and on the ball club that can keep it rolling here. That’s the goal. Guys just do what they’re capable of doing. Don’t want guys to try to press or ‘oh we’ve got to pick up for Robbie.’ No. We’ve got plenty of talent in there. We’ll be fine. We’ve just got to keep moving in the right direction and along the way we might see some guys switch some positions and do some things to help the ball club out, but if it’s about winning and the goal here — we’re not going to deviate from the plan. The plan is to get to the playoffs and that will continue to be the goal.”
(Have you talked to the team yet?) “Not as a group yet. I’ve talked to a number of guys individually just to make sure they understand where this is at. Again, we love Robinson Cano. We really do and what he means to our ball club and the organization but just like a family member makes a bad decision or a bad choice, you still love them. Robinson will be back and will be a big part of our team going forward but in the short term he’s not going to be here.”
(on Dee Gordon switching back to 2B and how he took it) “Pretty easy with Dee. He wants to do whatever is going to help the team win and certainly he’s very talented, he’s won a Gold Glove at second base. The thing that stood out for Dee… tremendous athlete and really good teammate. He wants to do what’s going to help us win and if that’s a switch he needs to come back into the infield, he’s going to work out the next two or three days with Manny Acta, our infield coach, see how it goes and make a final decision on this in the next couple of days.”
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(Will Dee Gordon continue to work in outfield too?) “Dee is going to play center field tonight. I want to give him a few days working out and see how he feels before we ask him to move in there permanently.”
(You played in the majors — was it clear to you that this substance was banned?) “I played in a different era before all the drug testing was in place. Certainly players are aware of it. It is a part of the game. It’s something the players have wanted in place for very good reason. Decisions were made and people get affected by the outcome and unfortunately it hurts Robinson in this situation. It hurts our ball club in the short term, but we’ve got plenty of talent on this team. We’re going to say competitive in a very competitive division. We need all the guys pulling together and I think this will help rally our team together.”