Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brian Cashman: Beyond Therapy?

Can the story by Will Leitch have some truth to it?
My old teammate Lyn Lary went ballistic over it:
Amazing. I didn’t think it was possible to write a stupider, more ignorant article about Cashman in particular and baseball in general than what usually appears in the NY Times. But Will Leitch has done it.
My favorite line is this one:

“The Yankees have always been a dysfunctional franchise, even when they were winning championships.”

Right. That makes a lot of sense. “The Apollo 11 mission was a failure, even as its astronauts walked on the moon.”
The mission of the Yankees is to win championships. When they do that, they—by the very definition of the word—“function.”
For all his pretense at new insight, Leitch has simply fallen for the same old Brian Cashman con, which is the big “mystery” by which he survives. That is, he has become adept at both belatedly and pre-emptively blaming various Steinbrenners and their minions for anything that already has or may yet go wrong with the team.
You can look it up. In Brian Cashman’s eyes, every single great move the Yanks have made since 1998 was Brian Cashman’s doing; every bad move, somebody else’s.
People like Leitch love to write the following sort of cliched crap:

“Sad to say, though, the Yankees are the Yankees: Overpaying for expensive older free agents is their birthright. Cashman can construct a smart roster all he wants, but when the guys with the purse strings want to buy a player, who is the G.M. to say no? Why would he want to? It’s not his money.”

Yup, that’s why Cashman traded an inexpensive, useful, part-time outfielder, and a minor-league ace who’s now throwing 101 mph, to the Braves last year for Javier Vazquez. That’s why Cashman probably cost us the 2004 World Series by throwing Yhancey Brazoban into his Jeff Weaver-for-Kevin Brown deal with the Dodgers. That’s why Cashman was itching to deal Jesus for Cliff Lee last year. That’s why he took Nick Johnson over Vlad the Lad for the same money last off-season.
Brian Cashman is first, last, and always about making Brian Cashman look good. He has no concept of building a good ballclub, much less the sort of “Moneyball” club (and what a crock that turned out to be. Has Will Leitch noticed any of this little steroids scandal percolating around?) that Leitch is talking about. He is awful at assessing talent, has no concept of the value of a deep bench or bullpen—traditionally, the real key to the many championships of the “dysfunctional” Yankees—and comes up with bizarre ideas such as signing injured pitchers because they’re cheaper.
The one and only time that Brian Cashman ever won a championship on his own (as opposed to, typically, taking credit for a team built lock, stock, and barrel by Gene Michael) was when he went out and just signed the top three agents on the market...exactly the sort of approach that Will Leitch—and Cashman—want us to believe Cashman abhors.
Think George Steinbrenner knew Yhancey Brazoban from a hole in the ground? Think Hal and Hank know who Androys Vizcaino is? Or, for that matter, Aroldis Chapman?
No, but Brian Cashman does. And he doesn’t think they’re worth any attention over redeeming his own previous mistakes, by bringing back the likes of Vazquez and Johnson.
Leitch is right about one thing. Cashman will never willingly leave the Yankees. On any other team, he would be quickly exposed.

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