The news was devastating for the Yankees.
Just barely above .500 and (finally) climbing, they were looking for another huge effort from their staff ace when disaster struck in the form of a Taiwanese man not knowing how to run the bases properly.
Now that man is out for basically the season. Chien-Ming Wang, a two-time 19-game winner, is now out with a foot injury.
So what should the Yankees do?
Should they stick their middle finger up at the AL and go all-out for C.C. Sabathia?
Should they just concede the season and get Joba used to starting, seeing who among their prospects can actually live up to the immense hype they've received? (If they do that, then there will be a lot more suffering through Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes.)
Now that it looks as though Cashman is going to stay on as general manager, it would really be smart for them to see who can play in the big leagues and who can't.
There are a couple of young outfielders in Austin Jackson and Brett Gardner that would appreciate the playing time in the last season at Yankee Stadium.
Also, David Robertson, Alan Horne, Dan McCutheon, Mark Melancon, Jeff Marquez, J.B. Cox, Humberto Sanchez, and Andrew Brackman represent quite a bit of the future in the pitching department and should see playing time within two years.
They also might throw $100 million at Yu Darvish's team to get him to leave Japan so he can take his high-90s fastball and devastating curveball to the new Yankee Stadium. I would guarantee this: if he becomes available they won't lose him to the Red Sox!
(They also just drafted Gerrit Cole, but let's not assume anything right now, because some of their picks are unsigned and Cole has Scott Boras as his agent and a commitment to UCLA.)
If Cashman has boasted about the farm system, why not let him really try and exploit it? They could be much more valuable if they have shown glimpses of brilliance.
Damon, Matsui, and Abreu all have contracts up at the end of the 2009 season. Wouldn't it be nice to see if the guys down below are trade bait or can really help the Yankees win that ever-fading 27th World Championship?
I say yes!
The Red Sox have been smart building their team through their farm system and smart trades (Beckett and Lowell) and Cashman has been ridiculously outclassed by his Sox counterpart, Theo Epstein.
If Cashman is really the genius people claim he is, he should take his lumps now and leave the Yankees completely loaded for the future.
Plus, the Yankees need to stop chasing the Red Sox (like they'll ever catch them with a Steinbrenner at the helm) and just worry about forming the most insanely deep organization that money can buy.
And you know that all of the other 28 teams in the big leagues are frightened if this happens—not the Red Sox so much—but the other ones that saw the Yankees strip mine their farm system.
Imagine how scary the Yankees could be if they slightly shifted their paradigm.
People always wonder, well what if there's too much talent to go around in the farm system?
Let's just pray that Yankees fans can get to a place where the big league and farm system teams being full to the gills with young talent is a problem!
That would really make Cashman look smart.
In the meantime, Rasner, Chamberlain, Hughes, and Kennedy will try and learn what it's like to be quality starting pitchers, and the Yankees will pay for the mistakes they've made for years with the team of Steinbrenner and Cashman at the helm.