Monday, October 24, 2022

We have met the enemy, and he's a putz


(Apologies to Pogo)


The Hammer of God said...

As much as we'd like to badmouth Cashman, I think it's HAL who pulls the strings. HAL is the Master of Puppets. Cashman is just another one of the puppets.

But even so, I'm so, so, so sick of Cashman and his stupid antics.

HAL is the exact opposite of his father King George. Instead of a circus madhouse, HAL runs a corporate cemetery, where nothing ever changes.

ZacharyA said...

I don't think Hal cares about the baseball side at all.

Hal cares about the profits alone.

So Cashman's ability to assemble a championship roster is irrelevant to Hal's decision-making.

I look at the last decade (plus) of postseason futility and think a new GM is in order.

Hal looks at the last decade (plus) of profit margins and thinks the current GM should stay.

JM said...

I don't know, Hammer. Cashman has been a putz longer than Hal has been in charge. MLB okayed him taking day to day reins in 2008.

Saying his hands were tied before then by George and after by Hal just doesn't feel right, at least not to me. There were many moves, usually noted on IIH, that would have cost the same or less money than moves that were actually made. And those cheaper or equal deals would have brought us much better players than what we got, overall.

So...yeah, I don't like Hal, but I don't like Cashman, either.

Doug K. said...

In the Arizona fall league you can challenge a strike call. Are they going to introduce this in the pros once they go to a computerized strike zone?

Celerino Sanchez said...

Cashman has bought one championship, outside of that he has been a complete failure. He's the only guy in world that doesn't think it's a good idea to a lefthanded bat or two in Yankee stadium. He has spent $30m a year on Britton & Chapman while these other teams have relievers no one has ever heard of, yet they are able to strike out Yankees like there's no tomorrow. As I've said before I'd rather watch a bunch of young kids try and lose, than see these over paid, sackless wonders win enough to lose in the WC round.

The Hammer of God said...

@Doug K. Actually, when they introduced video review, you should've been allowed three ball/strike challenges. The review should've been done by a fifth umpire sitting in a video room, with better camera set ups and angles so that the call would be correct. And the review should take no longer than 15 seconds.

And all the current challenge reviews should've taken no more than 20-30 seconds, at most. By a fifth (or even a sixth) umpire sitting in a booth. They've done a very poor job of it, so far. Wasted a lot of time. Broke up the flow of the game.

Doug K. said...

hammer - I agree. They've done a poor job.

The az one took ten seconds. They have the "zone" showed it. the call was wrong. they fixed it. pretty cool.

check it out. You have to cut and paste but the link works.

The Hammer of God said...

@JM, Oh I don't think it would be right to say Cashman's hands were tied by HAL. It would be more accurate to say that Cashman is HAL's hands.

And I'd say that, sometime after 2009, it has gotten worse and worse. To the point that now, I don't think anything gets done without the approval of HAL's accountants.

You say that there were far cheaper alternatives that they could have pursued. True, but you're not thinking like HAL thinks.

Case in point: Donaldson. Why the hell did they bring in this guy? They were getting rid of Sanchez. That's good. But they bring in a much older guy who makes a ton of money? And they also give up Gio Urshela?

That deal only makes sense if they wanted to take on more money, as well as weaken the team. That's right, that was the goal. To take on a big salary and reduce their chances of winning.

Why the hell would they do that? It all has to do with HAL's finances. If they wanted to get rid of Sanchez, they could've just waived him. Because he was just an arbitration eligible year to year young player, not under contract. But this way, they replaced Sanchez's salary with an even bigger salary. So it's clear that they didn't want the payroll to decrease. They wanted to reduce their profit by increasing spending. It was clearly a finance driven move.

I don't know if Cashman recommends these moves, and HAL gives him his blessing, after a meeting with his accountants. Or if HAL (and his accountants) orders them, and Cashman just does their bidding. But the end result is the same. These are financial moves, not baseball moves. HAL is the beneficiary, the Puppet Master.

The Hammer of God said...

@Doug K. I think they already do it in tennis. Computers show if the ball landed outside or within the white line. The player can ask for a review. It's done in a few seconds.

The Hammer of God said...

The sportswriters say that we fans have been spoiled by how successful the Yankees have been. To a certain extent, that's true. It's true to the extent that our brains have been conditioned to think that the Yankees are actually trying to win every year.

Unfortunately, such is not the case. Yankee management has not been trying to win for quite a while now. Other objectives, such as finance, have taken over priority.

It's a hard pill to swallow, that your New York Yankees organization is no longer trying to win, but it's the truth. It all makes sense in hindsight. After the 2009 championship, HAL started chirping about how he wanted to avoid the baseball luxury tax. That's all you heard about, for at least several years, that he wanted payroll to hold steady or decrease. You didn't hear anything about winning. At some point, it became all about finance.

And if you look around baseball, it's certainly not unprecedented, that a baseball club's management is not trying to win.

Look no further than this year's trade deadline, when the Washington Nationals management actually admitted that they traded Juan Soto because they feared that selling the team would be more difficult, if a Soto contract situation hung over the prospective buyer's head. (Translation: by trading Soto, they believe that they'll be able to sell at a higher price.) By the way, I heard Soto won't be a free agent for a couple more years. So those guys are looking down the road at least a few years, not even thinking of the immediate future.

And we all know that many teams are in it just to make money. Some are in it for the opposite reason, to lose money so the owner can claim a big tax write off. Some people, me included, think that there are only a few teams that are actually trying to win!

So it's not a ridiculous assertion to theorize that Yankee management is not trying to win.

Why, I believe that Yankee management actually railroaded Aaron Judge's season. They didn't want him to break the Roger Maris American League home run record. They didn't want him to win the triple crown. They didn't want him to lead the team to a championship. Because I think Yankee management wants to keep the status quo: Not make too much money. Not make too little money. They don't want to pay Judge a gargantuan contract, but they'd like to keep him. (Because he puts fans in seats.) But they don't actually want to win. Winning would complicate all their financial arrangements.

The Hammer of God said...

@Celerino Sanchez, Completely agree, except just to add that I think this is pretty much what HAL wants. A complete failure on the field, but still bringing in good money. Just the way he wants it.

Piiax said...

Gulp. You mean this is actually a Greek tragedy where the son kills the father.

Celerino Sanchez said...

I'd say we all went through the 80's and that mess, but the BOSS was always trying to win he just couldn't contain himself. As everyone has pointed out, there is no championship drive here, sure they have 30 straight years of being over .500. Now if this was the KC Royals this would be an achievement, but when you've spent more money than the GNP of half the world's countries, who cares.

JM said...

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the whole "don't win because I'll make too much money" idea. But that doesn't mean it's not true.

It certainly sucks, that much I know.

doo wop rebbe said...

hopefully pilly putzes will beat the houston assholes

The Hammer of God said...

@JM, Yeah, up until a few years ago, I was just like most other Yankee fans. I didn't think that management had such ulterior motives. But unfortunately, since then, I have eaten of the Tree of Good and Evil. And I now see the truth. These guys in ownership/management are devious, terrible people. They only care about their finances.

TheWinWarblist said...

This is a Greek tragedy, and we are the long suffering and unheeded chorus. A fine lot of Cassandras, we are.

The Archangel said...

I think some astute person once said in reference to the NY Yankees,

"It's like rooting for U.S. Steel."

That august person was right, he was just 70 years ahead of his time.
This is a soulless machine run by rich people and a corporate board of players whom are wealthy whether they improve the product or not and just keep the machine humming.

They don't care about the Yankees, just the brand.
They sit in their perches and laugh at the imbeciles who send hundreds of dollars per game on tickets, parking, "food" and merch.
The players? They tailor their games around the best way Acquire a series of contracts which will set themselves and the next several generations up for life. Hell, guys are making over 10 Mil in arbitration just waiting for free agency.

Get a contract and run out a drive towards the fence? or a ground ball? They'd rather not. They have direct deposit all set up.

Well, at least the bondholders are happy.

Time to contemplate my navel.

HoraceClarke66 said...

HAL is indeed, as Churchill said of the USSR, "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

I think all of you have part of it right—and we're all guessing—but here's my best guess:

—Does HAL NOT want to make more money? No. Judging by Yankees prices, I think he would like to make all the money he can.

—Does HAL NOT want to win the World Series? No. At least, he wouldn't necessarily MIND winning it, here and there.

—Does HAL want to make the bold moves and the big, risky decisions to build a dynasty? Also, NO.

I think this explains the hiring on of Donaldson, an overaged, overrated veteran, making a ton of money. I have no doubt, Cashman told him, 'Hey, we need this guy to be competitive for 1-2 years, but in the end, we'll pop Cabrera or Volpe into that position, and Peraza into short, and it will still all cost us a helluva lot LESS money than signing one of those big-name shortstops for 7-10 years.'

I think of the Yankees' management decisions are within these parameters:

—Spend enough to compete, but don't worry about winning it all.

—Spend enough to please the fans, including SOME big-ticket free agents, but don't get carried away.

—Don't get carried away with winning to the point where you offend the fellow owners in your cartel.

None of which...still...explains the longevity of Brian Cashman.

HoraceClarke66 said...

As for reviews on strikes and balls? I say no.

Either put in the robs-ump, or fahgeddaboutit. For that matter, I say no more reviews, period.

I'm sure there is some way to put censors/cameras on the foul poles so that they will automatically call every home run. Maybe the foul poles could light up automatically on a home run—which could be kind of cool.

But as it is, the reviews only slow a game that has already become far too tedious.

The Hammer of God said...

@Hoss, I largely agree with you. For instance, there is definitely an element of good press involved. That appears to be one of their concerns. They want good press and the fans on their side.

But concerning the longevity of Cashman, as we all know, the simplest answer is usually the correct answer. Is it that Cashman is stupid? No, believe it or not, that's not the simplest answer. The simplest answer is that Cashman is doing exactly what HAL wants, so HAL is happy and does not want to get rid of him. It's that simple.

And then, the question becomes, what exactly is it that Cashman is doing that HAL likes so much? Well, it's got do with their finances, what else is there? Whether it's making the maximum amount of money, whether it's avoiding taxes, I don't know exactly, but it has something to do with the finances.

The reason why the "Cashman is stupid" theory doesn't explain all of it is that you'd have to make all kinds of other assumptions and draw conclusions that don't make sense and are certainly not true.

Not saying that Cashman is not stupid, as far as baseball decisions are concerned, because he certainly is a buffoon and a charleton. But the Donaldson trade was not mere stupidity. That was a financial move. They wanted to take on more salary.

And that's not out of line with stuff they've done over the years. The Cole signing, the Stanton acquisition, you can go on and on. As soon as one huge contract expires, they take on another one. It's not mere stupidity, if you think about it. When a huge salary comes off the books, they need to replace that huge salary with another one. Otherwise, profits will shoot up like a rocket. They obviously don't want to pay taxes on that.

This is why they don't like young players with minimal salaries. Replace a huge contract with a major league minimum salary? What will that do their profit margin? It'll make it skyrocket, especially in the short term. That's why they always replace a huge contract with another huge contract.

Publius said...

Well observed, Hammer.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Yes on robo umps, provided the "STRIKE ZONE" is actually fair. i.e., pick a point belt to knees.

I must correct, we have met the enemy and they is us.

We keep rooting.

We keep going to games (i did it)

We keep watching

We keep buying shit.

Apathy is the only answer and none of us is capable of acting that way.

They are our masters and there is nothing we can do about it except bitch.

Mildred Lopez said...

I have long believed the owners are their own team. With increased competition for expanded playoff spots comes increased revenue. The revenue is shared so having more teams generating more revenue means more money in all the owner's pockets. Team Owner wins and wins big. This is why I think Fiscal Hal took on Donaldson's salary this year in order to free up money for his Team Owner teammate in Minnesota to sign a star player in Correa.

The Hammer of God said...

@Mildred Lopez, He was doing a favor for a business buddy, eh? Could very well be. Revenue sharing makes strange bedfellows.

EDB said...

Cheapskate Hal, Genius Cashman, Fat Slob Randy Levine, Loser Lon Trost and Manager Kumbaya, ah um, oh like you know, we played well in the playoffs. This says it all.