Cashman, Yankees Look Forward to Spring Training…Already.

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 10/23/10

The words on his hat were sobering.

Just a half hour after the New York Yankees stunningly lost to theTexas Rangers in Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS, General Manager, Brian Cashman was seen sporting a cap that read, “Spring Training,” and featured a Yankees logo.

Yankees Look on As Rangers Celebrate Capturing the AL Pennant

Symbolically, the hat represented a positive look forward to the 2011 season and the franchise’s next opportunity to capture their 28th World SeriesChampionship.  But where did the hat come from so quickly?  It was a curious, pre-meditated decision to have that hat on-hand, to wear at that particular moment – a choice that had some Yankees fans wondering if their team was mentally into last night’s elimination game, or had already waived the white flag and were ready for a vacation.

It’s a moot point now.  The 2010 Yankees season came to an end last night, deep in the heart of Texas.  There will be no parade down the Canyon of Heroes this year.  To ensure the Yankees are back in the hunt in 2011, Cashman will have to remove his controversial Spring Training headgear and put on his General Manager’s hat for the next 3 months in order to re-stock his pinstriped roster with younger, and hungrier talent.

For sure, the Yankees will look to sign Cliff Lee away from the Rangers, and possibly woo the speedy Carl Crawford away from the Tampa Bay Rays, but interesting decisions will have to be made internally as well.

It will start with the future of Manager, Joe Girardi.  Cashman acknowledged he wants the skipper back in 2011, but admitted he had not confirmed the sentiment with ownership yet.

The future of the “Core 4” is in question too.  Captain, Derek Jeter is at the end of his 10-year deal, and will no doubt command a big contract to end his career with the Bombers.  Likewise, Closer, Mariano Rivera is a free agent, and at the age of 40, is still pitching as well as he ever has.  Standing at his locker last night, Andy Pettitte was indecisive about his plans for next season, admitting his desire to spend more time with his family.  Finally, Catcher, Jorge Posada is likely to be pushed for playing time by top catching prospect, Jesus Montero.

The 2011 Yankees will no doubt look different from the team that came just 6 victories away from a World Series title in 2010.  One thing is certain, whatever combination of superstars take the field in the Bronx next year, Cashman will make sure they contend for a title.

World Series hats tend to be more fashionable than Spring Training caps anyway.

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