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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
First Pitch: Broadway Cano

By Andrew Marchand



NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano rolled down to 25th and Broadway in a black Lincoln Navigator. With his mother by his side, he emerged from the backseat wearing a blue suit, no tie and a million-dollar smile.

Broadway Cano was born on the red carpet at the 40/40 Club on Monday night.

This is the kind of scene Cano craves, and Jay-Z, his newly certified agent, put it all together.

Robinson Cano and Jay-Z
Robinson Cano is all smiles with new agent Jay-Z.
Jay-Z, the representative who is a bigger star than the stars his firm represents, arrived after Cano and speed-walked over the red carpet, declining to answer sports reporters inquiring if he was asking for "A-Rod money" from the Yankees, while celebrity paparazzi asked the father of Blue Ivy if he would weigh in on the merits of North West as a baby's name.

CC Sabathia, Kevin Durant and Marvel Comic heroes like Spider-Man showed up for the RC24 Foundation domino tournament, too. But it was Broadway Cano's night.

With his agents on hand, the question hanging over Monday night -- and all of Cano's nights -- remains: Will he be playing in the Bronx in 2014?

"Honestly, I don't really pay attention to that," Cano said. "We've just got to focus on winning games. Either way, at the end of the season, I'm going to be a free agent."

Cano clarified that he could still reach an agreement with the Yankees before free agency. But each passing day makes it more and more likely he will hit the open market.

Cano and the Yankees could eventually meet in the $175 million to $200 million range. But first Cano, Jay-Z and Brodie Van Wagenen, his CAA rep, might flirt with the Cubs, Phillies and Dodgers to drive the price up.

Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano poses with Marvel heroes on Monday.
At the moment, with a bunch of understudies around him, Cano is hitting .276 with 16 homers and 45 RBIs. If he really wants to be a star who owns this town, he needs to be a star who carries a team to the playoffs.

Cano had his night on Monday on Broadway. It sounded as if it would benefit a good cause, helping to build a school in the Dominican Republic. Cano always seems to have his heart in the right place, looking to please.

If Monday was just a preview of the life Cano wants, then he must start stirring the drink in the Bronx.

UP NOW: Alex Rodriguez is closer to returning. Also, Mark Teixeira is not. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a Teixeira surgery announcement at some point, maybe even later Tuesday.

ON DECK: I will be at Yankee Stadium as Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.78) and Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.84) meet again.

QUESTION: What is Cano worth in your mind?