Yankees: Nice Try Brian, But This Is Definitely All About You – Reflections On Baseball

Yankees Brian Cashman: Too long in the saddle

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is not getting away with this. While Yankees fans misdirect their ire at Boone, Cashman is solely at fault.

When Yankees GM Brian Cashman emerged from his bunker in the bowels of Yankee Stadium to take to the podium this week after a month of the season had passed, he attempted to artfully dodge the fact that the team he handed Aaron Boone on Opening Day was filled with holes, and woefully incomplete as a team ready to compete against teams in the American League East.

He implored us, saying, “We have time to make up ground,” the general manager said, adding that he still thinks the Yankees can contend for a championship. “Don’t count us out. Don’t give up on us.”

Cashaman called Luis Severino, Carlos Rodon, and Frankie Montas “huge losses,” pointing to injuries to key players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton for the Yankees’ offensive woes.

All true, of course. But he does not say that he sat idle after signing Rodon and Montas while knowing he was dumping the Yankees’ problem in left field on Aaron Boone, even while Yankees’ owner, Hal Steinbrenner, was saying, “We’re not done yet.”

Yankees: Cashman’s Litany Of Misdirection

He tells us and asks us to believe that the trades or free agent signings he could have made have “proven to be bad moves,” but he expects us to take him at his word without providing examples.

Yankees Hal Steinbrenner & Brian Cashman - Blending Perfectly
Hal Steinbrenner & Brian Cashman – Blended Perfectly

He tells us this is not the time for the Yankees to pursue trades because teams are still assessing their strengths and weaknesses, buying himself two and a half months more inaction until the annual trade deadline in July.

Is he telling us that the Colorado Rockies (12-20), who are already mired in last place and going nowhere in NL West, would not be willing to talk about dealing their left fielder, Kris Bryant, even with that $182 million contract, and that Cashman isn’t able to get the Rockies to eat some of that money?

Go ahead, Brian. At least, put Steinbrenner to the test of his “we’re not done yet” remark to see if he’d okay the trade.

Or that Tyler O’Neill (.228/.308/.392 with 14 home runs, 58 RBIs, 38 walks, .700 OPS, one defensive run saved, two outs above average, and a 1.3 WAR), the Cardinals left fielder has mended all fences with his manager, Oliver Marmol, and is not worth a phone call?

Brian Cashman: Overhyped, Stale, And Gunshy

Brian Cashman is the Yankees’ longest-tenured general manager, serving his thirty-eighth year with the team. During the offseason, Steinbrenner awarded him a four-year contract extension through 2026.

I’m not the first to argue that was a mistake, and I’ve said many times before that Cashman is stale and lacks the energy and pride he had in those early years.

Gene Michael, Architect of the Yankees 90s run (Photo: AP)
Gene Michael, Architect of the Yankees 90s run (Photo: AP)

Nor have I been remiss in pointing out that Brian Cashman was handed the teams built by Gene Michael that led to “The Run” from 1998 to 2002 and that Cashman has yet to assemble a team that has won a World Championship.

It is no wonder that Yankees fans have recently vented their frustration and anger on Aaron Boone. Cashman hides, emerging from his lair only when he wants to, while Boone faces the media every night – win or lose, while playing with the deck Cashman has handed him.

Please make no mistake; I am not arguing for the dismissal of Brian Cashman by Hal Steinbrenner. That will never happen because Steinbrenner trusts that Cashman will always follow his rules.

Moreover, Steinbrenner is not hands-on like Steve Cohen, and Cashman need not worry about feeling the wrath of Steinbrenner for not building a true championship team, much less for solving the immediate needs of the Yankees.

Of course, the Yankees will again draw 4 million fans to the Stadium. They will lead MLB and nearly all professional sports in the sale of merchandise while continuing to enjoy a lucrative television contract. Steinbrenner and the shareholders will remain happy no matter what.

Cashman’s Comfort Zone Is Deplorable

Thus, the sole point I am trying to convey is that it’s not Aaron Hick’s fault he sucks, that Josh Donaldson has forgotten how to hit, or that Rodon and Montas came here with baggage…

Jamie Westbrook, Yankees Outfielder
Jamie Westbrook, Yankees Outfielder

Instead, the fault lies with Cashman’s willingness to tread water. Why not DFA Hicks, Donaldson, Oswald Peraza, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswaldo Cabrera, et al. What would it hurt?

Promote outfielders Jamie Westbrook and Estevan Florial (again!) from Triple-A Scranton. Run them out there, and see what they can do while continuing to play Jake Bauers.

The Yankees and Cashman appear to be holding their hat on players returning from the Injured List, but what if the team never takes shape, or what if their return does not work its magic?

There’s no guarantee it will, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I trust Brian Cashman to act decisively and with the energy he used to have to make me understand why we shouldn’t count the Yankees out yet.

Brian Cashman should not be allowed to dictate if and when he answers to the Yankees media. Conversely, the media must demand his attention every week without the softball questions and no follow-up by the in-house team mascots.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.