New York Yankees: Nick Johnson in the News, Brian Cashman Cringes

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New York Yankees: Nick Johnson in the News, Brian Cashman Cringes
Nick Johnson strained his right retina during this photo shoot.

We all have regrets. Some of us more than others.

Take your author for example. While I was in Miami for a bachelor party last weekend, my girlfriend was in Boston visiting my friend's wife who recently had a baby.

Right about the time that my buddies and I were being seated at celebrated steakhouse Prime 112, I began receiving text messages with images of a familiar-looking teenage doofus dressed head-to-toe in Aeropostale.

Yes, not only was my darling two bottles deep into Skinny Girl Margarita, she'd also happened across an old photo album filled with incriminating photos from my youth. A youth, for the record, that featured a lower scoring average than former Knicks center Herb Williams, who haplessly waited for a table at 112 as we devoured N.Y. Strip.

(See what I just did there? That was an explanabrag.)

Anyway, among the greatest hits in the glossy late-nineties collection was prom night, a forgettable evening in which I wore a tux brilliantly accessorized with a white scarf. In retrospect, the scarf looked ghastly and ridiculous—the saddest part being that I'm positive I paid extra so I could look like I was attending prom on the North Pole. I guess it could've been worse—my buddy Bob rocked a top hat and cane.

Like I said, we all have regrets.

Brian Cashman likely had a tux scarf moment of his own on Tuesday, when he looked at his Blackberry and saw that Nick Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Why the Tribe signed the injury-prone 1B/DH is anybody's guess (Insurance write-off purposes? Elaborate practical joke?), but my only advice is to keep sweet Nick away from Shelley Duncan. I can already picture Duncan homering this spring then vaporizing Johnson's radius bone with a celebratory forearm smash.

The Johnson misfire was a mistake that Cashman chased all season, like a football team that goes for two prematurely and then spends the rest of the game trying to get the points back.

Of course, Hideki Matsui didn't exactly light it up in Anaheim last season, but it still feels like we got cheated out of one more season of Japan's shining son in the Bronx. Sorry Lance Berkman, but I'll take Godzilla over Fat Elvis any day of the week.

Cashman is going in-house at designated hitter this season, as Jorge Posada begrudgingly prepares to assume the role on a near full-time basis. As anyone who cringed during last year's playoffs can attest, Posada's best position on defense is the dugout at this point, making this decision for Cashman a no-brainer.

Cash has moved on from his error in judgment, just as I did when I erased every last image of prom night from my phone. Best of luck to you, Nick the Stick, may Cleveland replace its LeBron mural with a rendering of you slapping a single to left in an impenetrable safety bubble.

Dan Hanzus writes three columns a week on his New York Yankees site, River & Sunset. He can be reached at dhanzus@gmail.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus.

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