- Last Updated: 3:20 AM, July 10, 2012
- Posted: 2:48 AM, July 10, 2012
As the baseball season hits the All-Star break, Steve Serby sits down to chat with general manager Brian Cashman, whose Yankees have the best record in the major leagues.
Q: Your first-half appraisal of your team.
A: They’re fighters. These guys play with heart and they play with passion. They just find a way.
Q: What were you thinking when the record was 21-21?
A: I’ve learned over time about sample size. Thankfully, baseball’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Q: Biggest surprise.
A: I want to say (Raul) Ibanez. It wouldn’t be fair to him because of his pedigree. Based on spring training, there was a question about Raul and his age and how the spring went and what his contribution could be or would be. And then after that, Cody Eppley or Chris Stewart.
Q: Biggest concern.
A: Just health. Everybody has to go through injuries. I certainly don’t want to take on any more disabled guys.
Q: Have you had to lower home-run expectations for Alex Rodriguez or are you expecting a big second half from him?
A: I just know that he’s an above-average third baseman still. Forgetting the contract, I think Alex Rodriguez is still an above-average player. The bottom line is, I’m glad he’s playing third base for us. He will outperform most at that position. As long as we keep him healthy, he’s going to be a massive threat for us going forward.
Q: Derek Jeter at 38.
A: He keeps racking it up. Three-thousand (hits) isn’t good enough. He’s pushing for 4,000.
Q: Is Pete Rose’s 4,256 possible?
A: Statistically you’d think it wasn’t possible. (Jeter has) done the impossible already. There used to be a saying that a shortstop couldn’t win a world championship past the age of 31. He won one in ’09 at 35. Now I’d like to have him win a World Series at age 38.
Q: What amazes you most about Robinson Cano?
A: When he was hatched out of the egg, they were invoking names like Rod Carew. Thank God we signed him to that extension. He would have been a free agent after last year. That would have been a disaster. He’s been an amazing Yankee. He’s always had that million-dollar smile. He’s always been working hard in the community to do good for others. He doesn’t want to just be a good ballplayer, he wants to be a Hall of Famer, and he wants championships.
Q: How close were you to trading him?
A: He was actually a choice to the Texas Rangers in the A-Rod deal with (Alfonso) Soriano. They could have picked one of five players. (Joaquin) Arias (player to be named later in the deal) was a guy, in fairness to Texas, who was ranked even in our internal rankings higher.Follow @NYPostsports