Originally written on IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS caught  |  Last updated 12/23/12
Last January, when the Yankees signed Raul Ibanez instead of Johnny Damon for the position of third nipple, I went Wayne LaPierre on the rappelling rag doll known as Brian Cashman. I wanted Johnny - a great former Yankee - instead of a Philadelphia steak sandwich. When Raul didn't hit his weight - or hair count - in spring training, I rambled and ranted about Cashman's epic mistake. And I wasn't alone. After one exhibition game, I recall Raul facing a Gammonite siege, his slump now something like 0-25. He gazed into a forest of third chins and snow-cap pimples and noted that this was the largest group of Shakespearean talent he had ever faced. "Hooray for me," Raul deadpanned.Under pressure, the guy never flinched. Never. And a week later, Ibanez homered on opening day against Tampa, one of the few Yankees to matter in the clutch. "Raul, so cool," John Sterling said. And the Master got that one right. For a guy who hit .240 and went Judge Crater during the entire month of August,...
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