Murray Chass has been writing about baseball since Abner Doubleday painted the base paths. And like much - if not most - of the Yankiverse, he has seen enough of Mr. Brian Cashman.
[S]how me a productive farm system that Cashman has built. The Yankees haven’t had a productive farm system since the one that produced Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada, and Cashman was a baby in the system at that time.
Chass is the second veteran NYC Gammonite this week to hone in on the sad record of Mark Newman, the Yankees (soon to retire) director of minor league operations. Sunday, Bill Madden ripped Newman in the Daily News, though he didn't directly attack Cashman, other than to ask why Cashman let Newman fail for so long.
Chass doesn't let Cashman off the hook.
Under Newman, the Yankees have squandered high-round draft choices and have developed no position players who have been major league worthy. For years the organization suffered from internal civil strife between the New York and Tampa offices, each fighting for its position of strength. When Cashman was negotiating a new contract in 2005, he threatened to leave if he wasn’t given complete authority over the baseball operation.
Steinbrenner gave it to him, but he never really used it, allowing Newman to continue doing what he had always done, hiring old friends to staff the scouting and minor league systems and making draft decisions.
Moreover, Chass says one MLB executive told him the Yankees were trying to trade Dellin Betances last year - an absolutely devastating move, considering that Betances is the lone jewel from their system. What does it say about the "baseball minds" of the front office that they almost gave away Betances?
I don't know if Cashman has been the problem. But he clearly is not the solution. The Yankees need someone from the outside to run the farm system and direct operations. It has to be someone who demands full control - mostly from the meddling hands of Hal. Maybe there is a place in the Yankee system for Cashman. Maybe not.
But this year's team has been an all-out disgrace, and we are likely to be worse next year.
Bravo, Mr. Chass, for speaking out!
Calling Mr. Lupica... Mr. Sherman... Mr. Feinsand... guys, are you there?