Robinson Cano, Modern-Day Werewolf
by Patrick Dubuque
When I was a young boy, around three or four, I had two cartoons. This is not an indictment of my socioeconomic status, but rather my age: this was the early eighties, when entertainment was still in its nascent form. I had two cartoons, and I also honestly owned a set of Pick-up Sticks. The two cartoons were television specials hand-taped onto Betamax cassettes: one Garfield, one Bugs Bunny. Because I was a child and because children can consume infinite animation, I watched those videos over and over.
There was only one problem: I was allowed to watch the Betamax, but I was not allowed to operate the Betamax. My father worried that the forbidden knowledge of the VCR would end in me recording over his collection of Poirot movies, so I was forced to rely on him for the starting, and the stopping.
This is important. It is important because my episode of “Knighty Knight Bugs” happened to be taped over a recording of An American Werewolf in London, with the cartoon ending specifically at the moment when the eponymous werewolf tore out a man’s throat.
In retrospect, there are some troubling aspects to this story. It is troubling that my father would allow this to happen, and that he didn’t just record another cartoon after the first one. It is equally troubling that despite scaring the hell out of me, I continued to watch the cartoon over and over. I watched all the way through the credits, because cartoons were a precious resource and not one moment of it could be wasted. I watched until the moment the screen started to flicker. And then I would run out of the room screaming.
The reason that I share this story is that last night, a peaceful, Mariners-free evening of rest and quiet reflection, I opened up my laptop and alt-tabbed out into Chrome to find this:
Robinson Cano made me feel like a kid again.
(Bonus content: for those not aware, Cano was picked off third on a Logan Morrison walk, when he incorrectly counted the number of baserunners on the field. In real time, it was horrific and senseless. But watching it as a vine is somewhat easier to take: each time Cano gets called out, and blankly considers his own weaknesses as a person, the video leaps backwards and his innocence, his happiness at scoring a run, returns. In this sense, Cano goes from being a villain to being an avatar for each of us: making the same dumb mistakes in life, over and over again, and forgetting them for the sake of our own well-being.)