Canospotting in Detroit?
The rumor began circulating on Twitter Thursday from someone who cited his brother who was an air traffic controller that Robinson Cano and his well-known agent, Jay-Z, had just landed at Willow Run Airport.
By Friday morning, the rumor had been circulated enough that fans were tweeting he was still in town meeting with Tigers personnel.
By Friday evening, the buzz drew a speculative report in the Detroit News, centering around a charter jet owned by a private aircraft rental service that had taken off from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and landed at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti Friday morning, just after 8:30. The flight stuck around until 2pm, when it took off back for Teterboro. Because it’s a private jet, there was no identifying who was on the flight, which keeps the intrigue going.
By late Friday night, it drew a question and response from Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, who has a policy of not talking about specific free agents from other teams but told MLive.com, “We plan on having Ian Kinsler as our second baseman next year.”
It became quite a rumor, but there are some serious holes.
First, the rumor originated Thursday afternoon with the talk of Jay-Z and Cano landing in the area. Jay-Z was spotted shortly after that Thursday evening … in Oklahoma City. He was with his wife, Beyonce, courtside for the Clippers-Thunder game to watch his top sports client, Kevin Durant. Here’s Jay-Z at the game celebrating a fan hitting a half-court shot.
Second, a source indicated late Friday morning when the rumors were building that it was business as usual at Tigers offices. If Cano was in Detroit, he wasn’t with them. It doesn’t mean Cano couldn’t have arrived after that for a quick meeting on short or no notice, but that seems like a lot for an early-morning charter jet to a city for spontaneous talks. And if he was on that aforementioned jet at Willow Run, which took off for Teterboro just after 2pm, it would have made for a real quick trip. The airport is about 10 miles further west of Detroit than Metro Airport.
But there’s a third, more fundamental problem here: For Robinson Cano, a secret visit makes no sense.
By all accounts, Cano is looking for a standard-setting contract as the top free agent on the market, but the question — especially in New York — is whether there’s enough of a market to drive up the price. If Cano is getting on a plane and visiting a team, it serves his purposes more to get it out as much as possible, especially in New York media. When Jay-Z and agent Brodie Van Wagenen had dinner with the Mets earlier in the week in New York, the reports were rampant, with Mets personnel even commenting on it. Even if nobody wants to comment, a public sighting somewhere in town — eating lunch, getting into a car, getting off of a charter jet at Metro, anything — serves the purpose. A leak in New York does the same. A secondhand tweet does not.