George Steinbrenner is a starter and Brian Cashman is a finisher. We got a good look at both on Opening Day.
There were the obvious signs in free-agent addition Jason Giambi and big-trade acquisition Alex Rodriguez, but the subtle keys to victory were in Steinbrenner’s constant desire to win and Cashman’s ability to deal.
Bobby Abreu had two hits, scored two runs and had one big RBI on Opening Day. He fits so perfectly on this team that it’s hard to believe he hasn’t been here forever.
When the Yankees needed a big bat and a solid starter for last year’s stretch run, Cashman put together a deal for Abreu and the late Cory Lidle. The only drawback was that it would cost money. Steinbrenner, who has always plowed profits back into the team, quickly signed off because he wants a winner as badly as the players and fans.
Luis Vizcaino picked up the win in the opener on the strength of a perfect 7th inning. Cashman got him up – along with Ross Ohlendorf, Steven Jackson and Alberto Gonzalez – in the Randy Johnson trade.
The deals for Abreu and Vizcaino were so one sided in our favor that some in the Bronx have wondered if Cashman finished them with a ski mask and a .38.
“He robbed ‘em,” says my friend Javier. “But Cashman doesn’t need a .38. He just needs The Boss.”
The Opening Day victory proves we need them both.