Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Open letter to Brian Cashman: It's time to think about the nuke button

Dear Sir,

Yesterday, I visited a buddy in the hospital, recovering from major surgery. We talked about the time we have left on this earth. I figure I've got six more Stephen King novels, four Springsteen albums and three Yankee world championships. But frankly, I'm not sure about those championships. I better eat right. They won't come soon.

Sir, we are staring into a long, deep abyss. Maybe you cannot see the abyss, because you are inside it. But every Yankee fan can see it. We see the ghosts of 1966 and 1984, as sure as you can see the words on this blog. (Forgive me: I realize you are NOT reading this blog. I am a lowly fan, and - yes - we Yankee fans do recognize the contempt that the Yankee organization feels for us. If you think that you've successfully masked it, you're wrong. Those feelings come through quite visibly. Yankee fans love this team, even though we know we're not wanted. ) But what happens over the next two months may determine whether I get to see three championships before I die.

Two years ago, the Redsocks were dead. Their manager was Bobby Valentine, their star was Carl Crawford, their ace was Josh Beckett, and they chugged beer in the clubhouse. Management pushed a self-destruct button. They scrapped the season. They changed their ways. Today, they wear rings.

Boston foresaw the changing dynamics of baseball, that under the expanded playoff system and rules of revenue sharing, no team can buy its way to the top with lineups of bloated, old free agents who are sewn into their uniforms with long-term contracts.

It is time for the Yankees to think of dropping the bomb.

We're not there yet. It's still May. Everything can change. But at the trade deadline, if this team is as listless as they have been lately - that is, if we're still at .500 - it will be time to flush the system.

I have three suggestions.

1. No trading of young prospects for emergency help. This is how a bad year becomes a bad decade. More than anything, I fear the Yankees will bundle what few top prospects they have for an Eric Bedard-esque starting pitcher, and then suffer the consequences for the next generation. We have some nice young players in our farm system, but not enough to let them go. Bite the bullet.

2. Dump salaries. Look to trade CC Sabathia, Alfonso Soriano, Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki and/or Mark Teixeira. We can come in fourth with them, or without them. Next winter, buy out A-Rod, or trade him to anyone who will take him. Cut, cut, cut. We probably cannot escape the ridiculous contracts given last winter to Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury. But I would try. Anything we can do to get out of these deals will help this team in the long haul.

3. Step down as general manager of the Yankees. Or move sideways, take a role as a "senior adviser." Give yourself a new title. "Chief of Office Czars."  I don't care. Somebody has to take the pie in the face for the sorry state of this team, and you should step to the plate. Most importantly, your replacement must come from outside the Yankee organization - not another of the hubris-affected old boys, who let the farm system crumble over the last 10 years, who drafted bizarre pet projects in top rounds, while other teams stocked their shelves.

Yes, I understand what people like you think of people like me: That we should just shut up and be thankful that the great and glorious Yankees - the passions of our lives - are willing to spend all those millions on players, and we should stand when they come to bat and keep our ignorant opinions to ourselves. But listen:

When the Yankees are well run - we do just that.

The Yankees are floundering. This is no championship team. Cannot you see that? Are you watching the same games we are? Are you looking at the same system we are? The next Jeter, the next Mariano - there's no sign of them anywhere. We must change our ways, and if Rupert Murdoch and YES don't like it, let them develop alternative programming, because September will just be a big Jeter farewell video anyway.

It is time to shrink - to go for that $187 million payroll and cut our luxury tax percentages. To make a long-haul investment in this team.

We are a .500 ball club... and you know what's really pathetic? We are lucky to be at .500.

If by June 20, we are still this bad, sir... it will be time to press EJECT.


John M said...

You know, I have almost no interest in this team aside from watching Solarte, maybe Ellsbury, and a couple of the young pitchers. It's nice to see Roberts get a hit or two, and Gardner knock a salami, and Tanaka go lossless for the season, but really, the rest? Feh.

If they got rid of everyone but Jacoby who's been signed in the past five years, I would love to watch that team. They might lose a lot, but not much more than these guys. And it would be a hell of a lot more interesting.

This is the worst kind of team. Boring.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I really hate to say this, but I refuse a request for a full blown MAYDAY MAYDAY JUJU since that would only prolong the misery and enable a terribly run system.

Never ever thought I'd wish for the worst, but something MUST shake up (mis) management, though I'm not hopeful as long as the Steinspawn control the team.

I agree with John M, this is the worst kind of team, and would add listless and going down fast with no sense of recovery in sight. Kinda like the Mets, UNLESS they are playing us!

KD said...

I actually gave up on them rather early last night and caught up on missed episodes of "Bob's Burgers". (I love the little girl in the pink bunny ears.) I could feel my IQ dropping and Anonymous will tell you I have too few points to easily afford losing any. Expect my posts to grow even dumber.

I have no confidence that we will not be swept by the Mets again this year. My bare thread of hope is that Tanaka will win one for us tonight, if we can give him 3 or 4 runs to work with.

seems like the only players that really interest me in this team are Tanaka, Solarte, Betances, and Murphy. Perhaps another "core four"?

I'm Bill White said...

Who would you hire as new GM? Lure a successful guy to NY? Young go-getter? Loyal retread?

ceeja said...

New Ideas:

1 C.C. and Girardi swap wives;
2 Use optic orange baseballs when Jeter, Ichiro, and Beltran bat;
3 Everybody grows a mustache and takes a new nickname;
4 Nick Swisher writes a tell-all book about how Jeter is a raging alcoholic and sex addict;
5 Pinch hit for McCann with a midget;
6 Adopt a mule as the team mascot;
7 Hire Giambi (and his special bag of "vitamin" shots) as team trainer;
8 Elect A-Rod co-captain;
9 The next time the Mets come to town, declare it "Disco Demolition Night";
10 Sell the team to some guy from Cleveland

el duque said...

I'd look to the A's, the Cardinals, the Tigers, maybe Atlanta or San Francisco,and I'd look for the smartest, youngest assistant GM I could find.

Somewhere out there is a GM, mid-30s, who could rebuild the Yankee organization - which means cleaning out the old guard that now for more than a decade has been resting on the laurels of Torre's teams between 1996-2000. I see the same names and wonder why they are still there, and why the young Steinbrenners are doing exactly what their dad did, when everything was rotting on the vine. Must they - like their dad - go through a long stretch of mediocrity before they get it right?

KD said...

Don't be too hard on the steinspawn, duque. They did fire that God-awful strength coach that caused all the "hard luck" injuries last year. Paying off this year with added strength and resilience, right?

I've often noticed that those that do the hiring and firing never get around to firing themselves....

steve said...

Francesa always says the nuke option is unrealistic because 1) the Yanks need ratings on Yes and fannies in the seats, and 2) Yankee fans are spoiled and will not put up with a rebuilding project. As for the Sox, no one will ride to our rescue like the Dodgers did, and they also has a good farm system percolating at the time.

Al said...

To el duque--
The Yankees of 1996-2000 were not "Torre's teams." They were Showalter's and Michael's teams. Torre was lucky enough to reap what they sowed.

To Steve:
Francesa is an idiot. The YES ratings and stadium attendance are in freefall precisely because of the Yankees' refusal to rebuild.

Paddy said...

Al makes two great points.

kadorseyusa said...

I hate hate hate, Brian Cashman. He is rude and stupid in his dealing with players and trades. the steinsinners are poor owners, oh if only The Boss was alive. We might not win but he would always be trying. And perhaps Giardi who handles bull pens so well need help with lineups. As most managers know, "Play the hot hand"!!! Move Solarte behind people who actually get on base. And look I love Jeter, but he needs to bat further down, too many double play balls. My heart hurts to see the once so might Yankees fall to such lows.