What is going through the minds of Brian Cashman and George's heirs? Have they shunned the traditional Yankee stance? Where are the Roger Clemenses, Randy Johnsons and Orlando Hernandezes who used to represent the very epitome of acquiring successful, veteran Yankees hurlers?
Why didn't Cashman go after Johan Santana as was characteristic of the Yankees' operating philosophy of the recent past (was there an unwritten agreement made with Theo Epstein)?
Yes, the Bronx Bombers still have hopes for graybeards the likes of Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte. But the Yankees starting pitching staff is now comprised of youngsters such as Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes; who will probably be joined by Joba Chamberlain by mid-June.
The New York sports media maintain that it is the firm belief of Cashman that the Yankee pitching philosophy needed change. Accordingly, Cashman needed to cultivate and/or acquire younger arms (such as the three prospects previously mentioned). But given the strength of the Red Sox and the improvement of both the Rays and Blue Jays, will 2008 be the year that the Yankees' brass forego a run to the playoffs to concentrate on developing their young, talented stud pitchers for 2009 and beyond? It's almost that time to find out and hopefully, we will soon know.
One thing is certain: The supposed Clemenses and Johnsons of 2005-7 neither lived up to expectations nor brought the Yanks to the summit of the American League championship.