Of a situation that seems to have vexed the 2011 New York Yankees -- and threatens to vex them for another year or two beyond -- Brian Cashman recently said, "We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter. And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nunez."
This raised the ire of my friend Allen Barra, who wrote in the Village Voice:
That Jeter can no longer hit consistently or hit with power or display the range in the field of even an average major league shortstop is something that Cashman and most Yankee fans are willing to overlook as he closes in on 3000 hits. But the day after the party, everyone is going to have to face some hard realities.
And one of those realities is that Brian Cashman has a head full of German bean sprouts if he really thinks Eduardo Nunez is the solution to the Yankee's looming shortstop disaster. That is, unless Nunez, age 24, has some hidden talents that have somehow escaped detection during his six season in the minor leagues and 71 games in the majors, over which he has posted an on-base of .301 percent.
Cashman is correct when he says that Nunez could be playing for a playing of clubs, but unfortunately those clubs are in places like Columbus, Newark and Staten Island.
I don't know what fills Brian Cashman's head, but I'm 96.7 percent certain that he doesn't really think Eduardo Nunez has the makings of a good every-day shortstop. Not the sort the Yankees are used to, anyway. But admitting that right now isn't going to make anyone happy, or more productive. Also, the sad fact -- sad, unless you bleed those dark-blue pinstripes -- is that the Yankees can actually do quite nicely with Captain Groundout or Eduardo Nunez or Omar Vizquel or Phil Rizzuto's ghost or your Nana playing shortstop.
This is obvious, isn't it? For all of Jeter's deficiencies this season -- and oh, he's been deficient -- the Yankees have the best run differential in the majors, and once you get past the Red Sox nobody else is even close.
That said, I am 96.7 percent certain that the exact moment the Steinbrothers assent to a new and better shortstop, Cashman will begin the search with great enthusiasm. Great enthusiasm. Just wait and see.