With a payroll that exceeds the national budget of 35 countries, many observers don’t give Brian Cashman much credit for what he does. When you have that much money to play with how can you make the wrong decision? And if you hiccup it’s cleaned, stored away, and forgotten. Kei Igawa, anyone?
But, Cashman deserves some supreme kudos for the heist he pulled off on July 23. In exchange for cash and minor leaguers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, the Bombers received future Hall of Fame outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.
I can honestly say, I wasn’t expecting the world when the Yanks acquired him. Mired in one of his worst statistical years (.261 average at the time of the trade), he wasn’t that hot shot kid that swept baseball off its feet anymore. It wasn’t 2001 and the gray hair that now covered his head told a story of a player fading quickly into the sunset.
But like most of the time, I was wrong. In his 66 games with the Yankees, he was reborn and once again flashed the skills that made him an all-time great. Suddenly, the Yankees have a consistent base stealer, bunter, world-class hitter, and defensive wizard all in one player.
Yes, Ichiro will be 39 years-old in just a few weeks, but he’s not hanging up the cleats or leaving New York just yet.