Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who Doesn't Like Cash?

It has since been overshadowed by CC Sabathia's stellar performance, A-Rod's big night and the 9th inning explosion, Eric Hinske's solo home run last night was pretty big at the time. It tied the game at 1-1, where the score remained until the top of the seventh inning.

It's nothing new for Hinske, as it was his 7th home run in only 65 at bats as a Yankee. Half of his hits in Pinstripes have left the yard, which is pretty much what you would hope for out of a lefty whose primary duty after being acquired from the Pirates was to provide some pop off the bench.

The trade for Hinske along with the one for Jerry Hairston, Jr. (who replaced him defensively last night) from the Reds have both worked out about as well as Bran Cashman and others vested in the Yankees' success could have hoped. We liked both of the moves at the times they were made, but Matt and I would both admit that they have exceed our expectations as well. Although Hairston has made two errors recently, he's played 5 defensive positions serviceably (2B, 3B & all 3 OFs) while hitting .273/.377/.477 at the plate, including a couple of homers of his own.

While many fans were disappointed that Cashman didn't swing a deadline deal for a starter such as Jarrod Washburn or less realistically, Roy Halladay, the Yanks have gone 23-7 since July 31st. During that span, Halladay has a 4.71 ERA while giving up 8 homers in 6 starts and Washburn has been even worse, racking up a 6.81 ERA and allowing 11 HRs.

Clearly, things could have shaken out differently had players ended up in different places, but nothing has happened so far to make Cash & Co. regret any decisions they made or didn't make at the deadline. Even Chad Gaudin, who came after July 31st, has been solid, posting a 3.21 ERA over 14 innings and filling the much needed role of another long man out of the pen. Don't forget Nick Swisher either, who Cash picked up for Wilson Betemit and some marginal prospects from the White Sox, who undervalued his contributions due to his frosty relationship with Ozzie Guillen.

As Matt predicted on August 1, after Sergio Mitre got shelled in Chicago and many were lambasting Cashman for not doing more to improve the team, all we needed was a little patience. Take a look at where the Yanks find themselves now. Would anyone go back in time and do anything different at this point? I highly doubt it.

Let's take a second and give Brian Cashman the credit he richly deserves but rarely receives. As a GM (or a manager, or the President for that matter) it's always easier to do something than to do nothing. And further, in a way it's safer to do the bigger, riskier, more obvious thing that falls in line with public opinion, because if it fails, people can say "Well, at least he did all he could!".

Cashman doesn't fall to into this trap. He had faith in the roster as it was currently constructed, due in part to the signings he made during the offseason and decided that it was unnecessary to give up significant pieces of the farm system.

With all due respect to George Steinbrenner, he made this all but impossible when he was at the wheel of the franchise. I don't think that it's a coincidence that since he's faded from power, the Yanks have become a more soundly run franchise and thanks in part to Hal, but mostly to Brian Cashman.

Here's to you, Cash.


  1. Well said, Jay. I concur. A friend and I were texting during last night's game, touting Cashman over the acquisitions of Hairston and Hinske. As you're saying, it's also not making knee-jerk moves such as acquiring Washburn, and trusting the roster, especially the younger players. Cashman has done a great job this year, starting with the off-season master strokes of landing C.C., Teixeira, and Burnett. Still, looking at the team now compared to a few months ago is a bit amazing, considering that Hairston and Hinske have added good depth, and with Hairston fielding versatility, to a team really needing it. Beautiful.

  2. I completely agree and also said right after the Hinske home run that a kudos has to go out to Brian Cashman. I think the moves he has made has allowed us to continue building our lead while being able to rest players.