Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cash is the Man

We all know that Gary Sheffield is a pain in the ass. And during his contract year, he elevates his game to monumental pain in the ass status. Coming into spring training every reporter was waiting to hear the first salvo in the year long Sheffield contract drama. They waited patiently for the surly Sheffield to come out and speak to them and begin his "I don't get no respect" speech. What they got instead was a smiling and relatively happy Gary Sheffield. I say relatively happy, because I don't Gary Sheffield is every really happy. For some reason he feels that the world owes him something and $13 million a year to play baseball simply does not cover the tab. Anyway, he was happy yesterday because Brian Cashman had taken him aside and told him that the Yankees would "probably" pick up his option for '07. With one conversation, in which Cashman essentially promised him nothing, the situation was diffused, leaving a lot of reporters feeling dumbfounded. They had already written the headlines in their heads and were just waiting for Sheff to fill in the rest. Unfortunately for them, they got a relaxed and optimistic Sheffield instead.

Brian Cashman takes a lot of abuse in the New York press ( (I actually heard Mike Francessa yell at him on his radio show last year), but he gets little praise for all the things that he does right. If his master stroke with Sheff is any indication of what kind of year he's going to have, then I think the Yankees are in for a very good year indeed. Of course the Sheffield issue will rear its ugly head again, probably sooner rather than later, but Cash will once again handle it with the same deft approach that has served him so well for the last 8 years.



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