Thursday, July 19, 2018

Performance Review for Management, Too! Part 2

Okay, time for Brian Cashman, whose Cooperstown plaque has been steadily burnished by the local sports literati—or literatty—this year, despite how assiduously he has ignored most of their advice.

His midterm from me may surprise you:


This is, mind you, a midterm, and it is in honor of what he has done—and not done—so far.

We give Coops his props—if not yet his plaque—for NOT pulling the trigger on one lame-brained trade after another espoused by the Knights of the Press Box.  (And, okay, yours truly.)

We still laud him for NOT acquiring Gerrit Cole.  Yes, Cole has flourished down in the Land of the Magical Fountain of Pitching Rejuvenation, but that doesn't mean he would have done so in New York.  (Sure, it was all about getting him to throw more breaking stuff.  Uh-huh.)

Thus far, at least, there has NOT been a trade for Happ or Hapless, no inordinate number of prospects swapped for this year's Sonny Gray or Jaime Garcia.  And so far at least, none of the sacks of young players he gave away last year have really panned out or even displayed much promise—something that could change in a heartbeat, of course.

Coops' biggest deal was for the Trojan Horse who is Giancarlo Stanton.  As we can now see, he would have been much better off forgoing Stanton's mind-numbing contract and outbidding the Sox for J.D. Martinez.  But still, Stanton has proven not to be the utter disaster he looked like at first, and he will probably continue to be at least a respectable addition to the lineup.

The worst things that Coops DID do were the panic grabs of Drury and—need I say it?—that Walker man.

Drury was picked up for very little, and may still have some use—though I worry that Coops and those around them are busy convincing themselves, with no real evidence, that he is somehow worth keeping over Andujar.

Walker has been the real disaster, not just for how wretchedly he has played, but also for keeping young players we desperately need to see from more at-bats.

All told, Walker has had 216 plate appearances this season.  Combine that with the 208 plate appearances Chris Carter got last year, and we're talking almost two-thirds worth of a season full of absolutely disastrous play from guys who were here solely on the basis of Coops' ingrained bias for veterans over young players.

Carter's extended presence last season almost certainly kept the Yanks from beating out the Red Sox for the division title, and who knows what difference that might have made in a playoffs where we missed the World Series by a single game?

Will Walker make a similar difference this year?  And who have we missed out on seeing, how much more uninformed will we be going into the postseason thanks to all of his at-bats?

Aside from that, there has been what we can only assume is Coops' all-out embrace of the New Baseball, with its inane dictum to swing for the fences, first time and every time.  Oh, except when you're daring to take a called third strike.

The farm system, too, as we have seen with all the injuries, is not nearly as deep this year as our local pundits would have it.  That is due in part to so many good young players having recently been called up, but there are glaring and serious shortages in majors-ready pitchers, catchers, and even outfielders.

Finally, with an exception here or there, such as A.J. Cole, there has been fairly little of Coops' famed dumpster diving.  Where are the bargain basement deals—never mind a truly bold and brilliant trade?

But hey, this team is good enough NOW that we don't necessarily need brilliance—just steady, careful, continued rebuilding.

The general manager's oath should be that of the physician:  "First, do no harm."  And so far this season, Coops has done very little harm indeed.  We salute him.

We also understand that this could turn on a dime, and we'll be back to the sentiments so nobly expressed in our current masthead.  Remember:  these are only midterms.

Or to paraphrase Kipling:

"Though we've beaten ya
And flayed ya
By the livin' God that made ya
You're...not too terrible a general manager this year, Brian Cashman."


Anonymous said...

Yeah OK a B is fair based on what he hasn't done. Kind of strange but it makes sense.

That said, the big midterm exam is coming up. So maybe it is an incomplete. Right now he's getting graded on attendance.

Still good with the B though based on your reasons. Let's get Hal to sign the report card.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

I must see our enemies swept from the field and hear the lamentations of the women.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Well, sure, that would be nice, too...

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