Tuesday, October 11, 2022

They whisper.


So Aroldis Chapman is gone. Can't say I'm anymore sorry to see him go than the rest of you.

Chapman was a man of dubious character—to say the least—both onfield and off. His decision to empty a gun at a woman cowering in a garage is of course unforgivable, and would probably result in a lifetime suspension today—and rightly so.

As a player, he is easily the worst closer in the Yankees' splendid history. No other relief pitcher has blown so many big games, during and after the regular season, in the team's 120-year history.

The big home run to Rafael Devers that ended the 2017 pennant race...the 2018 debacle in Boston, a three-run lead blown in the 9th inning that effectively ended that pennant race...the 9th-inning, walk-off run in Houston in 2017, that put us in a 2-0 hole in games that ultimately proved juuust too much for us to climb out of...the 2019, walk-off shirt-clutch to Altuve, with Aroldis grinning his weird, rictus grin...the 2020, season-ending homer surrendered to Rays great Mike Brosseau...

Yes, a couple of those teams were cheating. 

But that was far from the whole story. Mike Brosseau? And the cheating Astros had scored all of one previous run in that 2019 playoff game. The 2018 meltdown in Boston began because he walked Sandy Leon, a .177 hitter that year.

Aw, he's stealing signs?  Throw a fastball past his .177 ass!

Aroldis Chapman was yet another example of Jaba the Cash being too cute by half. I can't help but think of the risible excerpt from Bob Klapisch's book that the Post ran back in 2019. The link is here: https://nypost.com/2019/03/20/inside-the-derek-jeter-brian-cashman-feud-that-festered-for-years-before-stanton-heist/.

Book and excerpt are an embarrassing paean to Cashman, its main source—and a big sliming of Derek Jeter, who I guess Klapisch was annoyed by later in his Yankee career. As such, it should be taught as a lesson in conflict-of-interest in journalism schools, provided such things still exist.

Really, you have to read the piece to get the full, hilarious measure of Klapisch's bro-crush babble therein—we're told about Cashie's "surprisingly broad shoulders...the fixity of his gaze and jaw line, the set of a man taken lightly for too long"—but it's mostly about how The Office Boy was about to start the next Yankees dynasty, and teach Derek a lesson by stealing away Giancarlo Stanton. 

"The courtship of a dejected superstar is one of the hardest dances in sports," Klapisch informs us.  "Done right, it's a whisper-quiet, three-step waltz among the GM, the player, and his agent."

And Cashman? "Cashman, like the three or four masters of his craft, is one part diplomat to two parts pickpocket. He can politely boost your watch and wallet and leave you thinking the heist was your idea."


It is, of course, Brian Cashman who has seen his watch and wallet boosted again and again—in deals he still boasts about. (Among other things, you don't leave other GMs in the dark by filling a book with stories about how you scammed them.)

The time to sign Chapman was straight out of Cuba, when he threw 105-mph and nobody had seen him before. Cashman and the Yankees displayed no interest. Instead, Cincinnati signed him, paying out about $33 million for 7 years—money that didn't even count against the salary cap, because he was a foreign player.

In the six of those years he was with the Reds—2010-2015—Chapman had a 2.17 ERA and 146 saves, and he might easily have been the difference in getting the Yanks over the top in 2010-2012.

Instead, Cashman the Player Whisperer picked him up cheap after the Cuban Missile became the Cuban Lone Gunman, then rented him out for a couple months to the Cubs—in exchange for Chicago's sure-fire, can't miss superstar, the Better-then-Jeter shortstop upon whom Cooperstown Cashie would build his own dynasty...Gleyber Torres!

And when Chappie was a free agent at the end of 2016—Cashman re-signed him!

Genius! Fixity of gaze and jaw! Broad shoulders!

Obviously, it was Brian Cashman (and Bob Klapisch) who got took in all of this. 

Gee, think it's possible that Theo Epstein, after a decade of eating Cashie's lunch in Boston, had figured out that Gleyber was NOT the Derek of the future? Or even a shortstop at all?

Think it's possible that Jeter himself understood that Giancarlo and his mondo contract was just a big millstone to drape around Whisper-Quiet Cashman's neck?

Funny, though: neither of them had someone write a book about it. Huh.

So...here we are, yet again, with trying to win a World Series with three key players who are not possibly capable of winning anything, though they take up a huge portion of our payroll. With the can't-miss, championship team that Bob Klapisch was sure he saw in 2018 mostly in ruins, and the hope of even one ring receding further and further than ever. 

But hey: we'll always have Jaba.


TheWinWarblist said...

"Yes, a couple of those teams were cheating."

We should have cheated better than they.

Fuck, is that not elementarily obvious?

The Hammer of God said...

OMG, Klapisch actually wrote all that stupid drivel? Wow, holy crap, that stupid moron should be burned at the stake!

13bit said...

Reading that stuff made me nauseous.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I left out some other juicy bits:

"Cashman also had the one great luxury in the room: permission to do absolutely nothing. His Baby Bombers had come of age two years early and bought him a full season to sit tight. With a mix of pending superstars on minimum-salary deals (Aaron Judge, Gary Sánchez, Luis Severino), cut-rate acquisitions on the cusp of stardom (Didi Gregorius, Chad Green, Sonny Gray), and just the right garnish of graybeard leaders to run the locker room (Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, David Robertson), he could bide his time for the auction to end all auctions: the 2019 free-agent class."


HoraceClarke66 said...

And this sounds like the Giancarlo we all know and love, right?

"Alas for Jeter, Stanton also had leverage — veto rights over any proposed trade. For eight years, he’d played the good-egg soldier, hacking ninety-loss seasons in 100-degree heat to stand sweat-soaked and disheartened in right field. As his agent, Joel Wolfe, told USA Today, “he spends Octobers in Europe, unable to watch the playoffs because it kills him.” Now he’d earned the right to go to a sure winner: a team with deep pockets, a stocked pond of talent, and the guts to push all in for five years."

TheWinWarblist said...

I'm gonna puke, preferably on Klapisch's pants.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I especially love this, for the part in which Klapisch contradicts himself in the space of two sentences:

"Cashman, sitting at a Galleria lunch spot that passes for pan-Asian in Tampa, is a short, pale fellow with surprisingly broad shoulders and a thrumming disinterest in small talk. There is, in the fixity of his gaze and jawline, the set of a man taken lightly for too long.


"But from the moment he got his foot in the door, there was no stopping Cashman on the come-up. He was a baseball gym rat in college: too small to play for a prime-time program, he started all four years at Catholic University as its leadoff hitter and second baseman. He broke the school’s record for hits in a season and batted .348 his junior year. Not bad for a guy who stood five-seven and swung at every first strike.

“The first pitch of the game was almost always a fastball — that’s why my average was so high,” he says. “I took advantage of what I knew was coming.”

"Perhaps because he speaks in a colorless burr and likes the back of the pressroom, not the front, he’s long been viewed as a kind of permanent temp, a substitute teacher who stuck around. For years, New York mistook him for an errand boy, the sad-eyed apparatchik catching hell from George Steinbrenner after a meaningless loss in April. He was paid less money than most of his peers, had smart trades sabotaged by The Boss, and appeared to survive where his forebears hadn’t because he didn’t punch back when abused. That last part was false, but he never troubled to correct it.

“He and George would have scream festivals for hours,” says Jean Afterman, the assistant GM of the Yankees, whose office at the new Stadium is next to Cashman’s. “I’d close my door but could hear them down the hall. Brian backs down from no one — that’s why George loved him.”

AboveAverage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AboveAverage said...

Feed us more, Hoss.

Feed us more…….*

*Feed everyone but Winny, because I fear it will be weeks before he can hold anything down.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Sure. With p.r. fronts like Klapisch, who needs enemies? Here Bob accidentally gives credit for the one championship that Cashman can claim even partial credit for...to Hal Steinbrenner:

"After years of acquiescing to the Big Stein template — wooing All-Star free agents and wildly overpaying them to placate fans and keep the Stadium full — Hal had come around to Cashman’s view that you couldn’t mortgage a championship anymore. It had worked for them once, in the winter of ’08, when Hal spent almost half a billion dollars to win the ’09 World Series and to baptize the new Yankee Stadium. But every max contract is a devil’s bargain: what you get from a star on the front side of his deal will cost you, in spades, later on. By 2012, the players he’d signed for vast sums — CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A.J. Burnett — were sucking air, and Burnett had tanked so badly that the Yankees paid the Pirates to take him off their hands."

HoraceClarke66 said...

Then HAL is given full blame for the "stars" that Cashman signed up in 2014—signings I seem to remember Cashie enthusiastically taking credit for at the time:

"In 2014, Hal splurged again on a haul of top free agents. That group, anonymous and painfully dull, never made it as far as the Division Series. It was out of their failure that a new way was born, a thorough reinvention of team culture. Mark Newman, the farm director and a George Steinbrenner holdover, was not so gently prodded to retire."

So who replaced Newman...?

AboveAverage said...

D u m b o ? (Spelling might be incorrect)

HoraceClarke66 said...


"His successor, Gary Denbo, was empowered by Cashman to radically overhaul the minor league chain."

No mention here that Denbo was Jeter's guy, someone who left for Miami to be with Derek—and after whom, all the development of the minor-league chain came to a halt...

HoraceClarke66 said...

But of course, the point of much of the piece is simply to smear Jetes, who Klapisch and Cashman seem to have bonded over mutually hating:

"Jeter’s style, by contrast, is to dictate terms and expect you to glumly accept them. His first act after buying the Marlins was to pointlessly freeze out Stanton. He didn’t book the obligatory get-to-know-you dinner with his star at a stuffy rooftop steakhouse in Miami. He declined to call Stanton and offer congratulations when he was named the league MVP. And he never phoned Wolfe, one of the powerhouse reps in baseball, to ask about his client’s choice of destinations.

“I was ready for the worst, which it was,” Stanton confided, looming at his locker in a pair of gold spikes after a workout in spring training in 2018."...

HoraceClarke66 said...

And more on poor Stanton:

“If that’s how you want to treat someone, then there’s no playing nice,” he said of Jeter. “I had had more than enough.”

HoraceClarke66 said...

And on and on, when it comes to sliming Derek:
In late November 2017, he’d been given a diktat by Jeter.

“It was, ‘Take this f–ing deal with the Giants or the Cardinals, or I promise you I’m trading everybody around you and you’ll be stuck here forever,’ ” said someone who was privy to those talks.

Stanton had seventy-two hours to agree. He didn’t, per our sources, need them. Replying through his agent, he was River Avenue terse: No, and HELL no, goddamnit.

"A thousand miles north, the Yankees looked on, appalled.

“Derek’s done a good job of pissing everyone off,” said a member of the team’s administration.

“I’m sure the guys at MLB now are scratching their heads, thinking, ‘What the f–k did we do by selecting him?’”

"Perhaps they looked at Jeter and mistook him for Magic Johnson, a hug-and-handshake natural who draws investors in droves and grows the worth of everything he touches. Instead, baseball’s bosses got a celebrity who didn’t seem to understand how relationships work at the executive level."

HoraceClarke66 said...

This is truly droll—and impassioned, exposing, no doubt, part of Klapisch's real grudge toward a less-available player:

"While Cashman insists that he liked Jeter as a player, it isn’t entirely clear that he means it. Or maybe it’s fairer to say that there were two Derek Jeters — the happy-go-lucky kid from Kalamazoo who came up at twenty-one and seduced the sport with his cool-hand poise, that gift for the big play on the grand stage, and the thirty-something Jeter who became somewhat hardened by fame.

"Treated like a civic institution in New York — worshiped by the faithful in their Jumpman-branded garb, teenage fan-girls rocking RE2PECT tank tops, and adored and protected by the tabloid scolds who trolled other stars on Page Six — he somehow remembered every slight and provocation. Jeter grew distant from writers who dared to notice that he couldn’t get around on a good fastball.

"His initial coldness toward Alex Rodríguez was as stark as it was cruel: there was that graceless moment in 2006 when a routine pop fly somehow fell between them. Jeter, hands on hips, glared daggers at A-Rod, emasculating him on national TV. That Derek Jeter wasn’t fun to general-manage — or to have playing behind you when you pitched.

“When Andy [Pettitte] came back from Houston, there was a ground ball up the middle, and Andy’s like, ‘All right, that’s an out,’ ” says Cashman. “Next thing you know, it goes through for a hit and he’s like, ‘Crap, Jetes can’t get to those anymore.’ ”

HoraceClarke66 said...

Annnndddd....we're back to the famous negotiating feud, wherein Brave Sir Brian bravely threatened to bring in....Troy Tulowitski.

Unmentioned here by name, for some reason. Just like the other "three shortstops." (Hint: none of them did what Jeter did in the rest of his time in New York):

"Nonetheless, Jeter wanted to get paid like the player he’d been in his middle twenties. In the fall of 2010, he became a first-time free agent at the age of thirty-six. He’d had a bad year at the plate and a worse one in the field, but he demanded a max contract into his forties.

"Cashman pushed back, declining to bargain against himself. The terms he set and stuck to — $51 million for three years — pricked Jeter’s damaged pride.

“Jetes sent messages through his agent that we were f—ing him when no one was willing to pay what we offered,” says Cashman. “I’m like, ‘How much higher do we have to be than highest?’ ”

"He invited Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, to go out and shop the deal. Jeter returned to the table smarting; no one had come close to the Yankees’ bid. Close even suggested a stark concession for his client: a piece of either the YES Network or the team.

“At the meeting, Derek said, ‘What other shortstop would you want playing here?’ and I started rolling off names,” says Cashman. “I got, like, three names down and Casey said, ‘Stop, this isn’t productive.’ Then Derek got up and goes, ‘You guys finish this! I don’t want to go anywhere else, but I don’t want to be in here either!’”


HoraceClarke66 said...

And on and on. I wonder if either Klapisch or Cashman has watched the Spike Lee doc. If not, they should.

I'll leave you with only another of Klapisch's hopelessly cliched scenarios, this of Cashman the strong man, quietly retiring to bed, now that his work has been done:

"Cashman sent the good news to Hal via text, knowing he’d gone to bed early. Then, having staged the heist of the year — adding the premium slugger in baseball to a monster lineup that had terrorized the league last season; clearing enough money to absorb Stanton’s deal and still get under the luxury tax threshold; and giving back nothing but a couple of kids who were years from the major leagues — Cashman drained his beer and went straight to bed, leaving the fantasy fallout to the press.

“I don’t think like that,” he says of the carnage to be wreaked by Judge and Stanton.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, almost forgot: a description of Stanton nearly as worshipful as those of Cashman.

"Like Judge, Stanton is one of those physical freaks you can’t properly appreciate on TV. It isn’t only his mass or stone-cut proportions, but the taper of chest and back to a tiny waist. There’s a quality about him that you sometimes find in art: grace and violence merged in random gestures."

He's like the wind. Or the stone. Or the windy stone, wet with the ocean. Or...somethin'.

Doug K. said...

Hoss - reading this is like watching the Captain but without the adulation.

I guess the Brian moves up in the org. and is replaced by Jeter is a no go then.

In other news.

Verlander gave up four runs in the first two innings.

Seattle 4
Houston 0

AboveAverage said...

Verlander and Scherzer - hmmmm?

That could mean that sad old Goo-Gone-Cole might throw a no hitter tonight.

The Hammer of God said...

"Stanton is one of those physical freaks you can’t properly appreciate on TV. It isn’t only his mass or stone-cut proportions, but the taper of chest and back to a tiny waist."

Klap forgot to mention the tiny brain and the sightless eyes.

13bit said...

Find someone in this life who wants to suck your penis the way Klapisch wants to suck Brian’s.

I must now take my leave so that I can wipe the puke off of my phone.

Thanks for taking my mind off the troubles of the day, Hoss…

The Hammer of God said...

Reading that crap made me think that Klap has some kind of homosexual fantasy fancy for Stanton. We should warn Stanton to stay away from Klap, especially when alone.

Then again, maybe Klap and Cashman were in bed together. It wouldn't surprise me, given the disgusting adoring sludge Klap wrote about him.

The Hammer of God said...

@13bit, See there, that's exactly what I was thinking!

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

The beloved wife of Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, Auntie Mame. has passed away. As a New Yorker living on Beekman Place she will surely tip tonight’s game to the home team.

AboveAverage said...

. . . eventually seeing the word KLAP over and over again will just read as GONORRHEA . . .

Joe of AZ said...

Lawd...if this what happening to Verlander....Cole is DONE done

Doug K. said...


You have my sympathy. I guessing most people know her better from Murder She Wrote.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Mr. bit, here's hoping your fortunes turn toward the better.

Beau, I remember her from The Manchurian Candidate. All I can say is: "What a fucking lying bitch". ...or should I apologize, a la agent K?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I'll take Jeter over Ca$hole any day. And I think Jeter was over-rated. (still very very good)

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Oh, and go Mariners. Beat those lying, cheating pieces o' shite.

Like a fucking drum.

TheWinWarblist said...

Verlander got shelled in Game 1. They are up 7-4 after 6 1/2.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Amazing career, Ms. Lansbury. From playing the saucy, very hot maid in Gaslight, to Manchurian Candidate, to Murder She wrote. Not too shabby.