Brian Cashman’s broken right fibula has become symbolic of the state of the Yankees.
It’s a team is so bruised and battered, even its general manager is wearing a cast.
The Yankees’ center fielder, shortstop, third baseman, first baseman, No. 4 starter and lefty specialist are each on the disabled list. Their No. 2 and 3 starters, corner outfielders, replacement corner infielders, closer and designated hitter are each 34 or older. It seems that expectations — at least from those outside of the Yankees clubhouse — have not been lower since before the late 90s dynasty.
But Cashman has not only been symbolic of the Yankees holes, he’s also been a vocal leader in their defiant reaction to those who doubt them. Opening Day is one day away, and the Yankees will either crumble or prove some folks wrong.
“We’re down, but don’t count us out,” Cashman said yesterday. “Our job is to make sure we find a way. I’ve been using the words — I’ve repeated it a few times now already because it seems to fit — we need to find a way to survive and thrive despite what’s occurred. That’s what good baseball teams do. The injuries occur to teams on a yearly basis whether they occur in March or July or August. They come. You have to find a way to survive and thrive, regardless. Our job is to do that.
“We have a lot of talent, so we’ll focus on what we have and continue to try to find a way to reinforce that roster and wait for the guys that are down to come back. The schedule is not going to wait for us, so we’re not going to cry. We’re just going to go forward and fight and find a way. That’s what we intend to do. We have a lot of players here that believe in themselves and that believe in each other. We know our competition is fierce and tough and hungry. We made a lot of enemies for the last 20 years, 18 years, whatever it’s been. People want to take advantage if we’re down. Our job is to say, we’re not down. Our job is to prove we’re not down. Our job is to find a way.
“And we expect to do that.”