Just got off the phone with Brian Cashman, who first expressed sadness – and surprise – about George Steinbrenner’s passing. Cashman said he last spoke to Steinbrenner on July 4th – “I wished him a happy birthday,” Cashman said – and was “shocked” when he heard the news about Steinbrenner’s death Tuesday morning.
“He had seemed to be getting better, honestly,” Cashman said. “He seemed to be getting better from what he was, health-wise, a few years ago. I was shocked, stunned, all of that when I heard.”
Cashman, who started with the Yankees as an intern in 1986, said Steinbrenner always “wanted two things: he wanted you to work, to keep up with him. And he wanted you to get the job done. The Yankees were his family. His employees were his employees, but at the same time, they were also his family and he cared about them deeply.”
In team news, Cashman said that while he had not yet spoken to Joe Girardi today, he believes that Alex Rodriguez is healthy and that there was no injury situation that would have kept him out of last night’s All-Star Game. There were reports that Rodriguez had a sore thumb, but Cashman said there was “nothing that I know of beyond the daily maintenance stuff.”
Cashman added, “Was he available (to play)? Yes he was.”