Yankees: A wild scramble for a coveted position in baseball

Brian Cashman, GM New York Yankees Photo Credit: MLB.com

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised the Yankees search for a new manager has all the elements of a presidential election, including endorsements, self-proclaimed candidates, favorites, dark-horses, and round-the-clock campaigning. After all, it is one of the most coveted positions in baseball. Take out a scorecard, because you are going to need one to sort things out.

Officially, the Yankees have only one candidate for the job of replacing Joe Girardi as manager of the Bronx Bombers. That would be Rob Thomson, who would be a logical in-house choice having been with the Yankees in a variety of positions for nearly three decades, including the past four seasons as Girardi’s bench coach. Thomson is the only one of what is now becoming a landslide of self-proclaimed and endorsed candidates to have been interviewed for the job.

The biggest name out there is still Alex Rodriguezwho this writer endorsed earlier this week. Now, former Yankee and future Hall of Famer, Carlos Beltran, was dishing out compliments too:

“If he’s capable of committing to the team, yes,” Beltran told us at Natural History Museum, where the nonprofit organization Delivering Goods was hosting their annual gala. Earlier this week, pitcher CC Sabathia got baseball fans talking when he suggested Rodriguez would be a good candidate to fill the gig left open when Joe Girardi was canned three weeks ago. “He’s got the knowledge, he’s got the capability, he played the game for a long time,” Beltran said. “He loved to talk about the game of baseball.”NY Daily News

Yankees: More hats in the ring

But, hold on. That was yesterday, and history waits for no one. Today, both David Cone and John Flaherty threw their hats in the ring, with both receiving accolades as individuals qualified for the job. Both Cone and Flaherty are widely known to Yankees fans who religiously watch games on the YES Network. Each has developed his brand of commentary offering insight and opinions challenging the idea of YES being a “hometown” soft spot for the Yankees to land.

Cone offered this “platform” he is committed to run on:

“I think you need a candidate nowadays that can blend old school and new school,” Cone said. “[Someone] that doesn’t lose the human side of it and understands relationships and communication with players, but also understands analytics, understands it’s also a team effort nowadays.”Sports Illustrated

Note that Cone added the buzzword of the day, analytics, as Brian Cashman has stated he’s looking for someone who understands and is willing to implement baseball’s version of Las Vegas. Cone impresses more like a touch and feels guy, which in my judgment overrides all the stats stuff. But then again, I’m not Brian Cashman.

Flaherty has the right “look” of an analytics guy, although his commentary is always pointed and true. The former backup catcher for the Yankees from 2005-2006, explained his interest in this way:

“The thought of getting back on the field has been there since I retired in ‘06,” Flaherty told Martin, though he did express that he doesn’t believe he’ll be considered as a viable candidate. “I just wanted [Cashman] to know I’m at a time in my life where I would be interested in it.”Sports Illustrated

Cashman couldn’t go wrong if he picked any of these candidates. And that’s because the Yankees brand is overwhelming as something to be dealt with. And therefore, the idea of Cashman bringing in someone “brand” new to the organization is almost guaranteed to fail. You have to “feel” the Yankees to be a Yankee, especially when it comes to a position as sensitive as this one.

By far, Alex Rodriguez remains the most intriguing choice, if only for his “connectivity” to players, young and old. But A-Rod may be playing a game of hide and seek with the Yankees, indicating he’s “thought more in the line of owning a team.”  Be that as it may, he also went on to liken the job of managing the Yankees to being the President of the United States. More intrigue.

Different than most manager searches

In sum, it’s good to see players like CC Sabathia (who also gave a pitch for A-Rod) and Carlos Beltran not dodge the question when asked of them. As veterans of the game, their opinions should be heard and weighed, and hopefully, Cashman has his ears tuned to the blogs.

Ditto Cone and Flaherty probably have a negative number attached to their name in the overall scheme of things in the mind of Cashman. But their willingness to put themselves out there, like say a Paul Ryan and Bernie Sanders against Hillary and Donald, says a lot about their character and their obvious delight in being part of the Yankees brand.

Stay tuned, because this is gonna be a wild one.

Footnote: 11/10/17

Even before the ink is dry on the above report, ESPN has dropped another name into the ring:

According to ESPN, Boone is a candidate for the job, though no interview had been scheduled as of Thursday night. Boone, now an analyst for ESPN, has never coached, but Cashman also said he was interested in talking to a “diverse” group of people and not just traditional managerial candidates.ESPN

Author: stevecontursi

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

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