Counterpoint To The Wallace Mathews Post Two Below This One
My post two down from this very one, ONE PLAYER MAKES YANKEES FAVORITES IN AL EAST, is absurd and I said so in that particular post AND afterwards. This discourse on Brian Cashman was penned by Danny Knobler of cbssports dot com. Believe me, it makes a ton more sense than Wallace Mathews' idiocy. The holy and great Brian Cashman is human and can make mistakes? Oh yes. Read this if you have time and I'll be back with a few syllables...
Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?
"It's no surprise to hear someone say the Yankees overpaid for a free agent.
But it sure is a little strange when that someone is the general manager of the Yankees.
That would be the same general manager of the Yankees who joked to reporters just six weeks ago that his real title should be "director of spending." Of course, that was before Cliff Lee said no. What's going on here? Did Lee really do that much damage to this Yankee winter -- or to the Yankee front office? It may be that he did, and it may be that what we heard from Brian Cashman on Wednesday is the surest sign that he did. While it's not at all unusual for a general manager to get overruled by his owner, it is highly unusual for a GM to air the disagreement publicly. And that's exactly what Cashman did.
He admitted that he didn't want to sign Rafael Soriano as a setup man for Mariano Rivera -- not for $35 million over three years, anyway. He admitted that he took no part in Soriano negotiations, leaving that to club president Randy Levine. He even strongly suggested that Soriano was signed in large part to appease fans and sell tickets.
Asked if the Yankees felt the need to respond to what the Red Sox had done this winter, Cashman said, "I think [owner Hal Steinbrenner] felt we needed to do something regardless. We were not going to go into spring training without doing something big."
Cashman said he spoke out Wednesday only because he wanted to be "transparent." But some people who know him believe his strong comments were a sign of larger disputes within the Yankee front office. It's hard to say whether pushing the pace would have helped the Yankees, because some people who know Lee believe that he had no interest at all in coming to New York. But had the Yankees known earlier about Lee, perhaps they would have tried to spend their money on Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth -- rather than on Soriano. And, of course, had Cashman found a way to sign Lee, then there never would have been a discussion on whether to sign Soriano.
Cashman agreed Wednesday that the late Lee decision had left the Yankees few options on the free-agent market. He also admitted that signing Soriano made them a better team in 2011. And that's exactly why his strong public opposition to the move made so little sense.
These are the Yankees, after all. Even with the Soriano signing (and after the expected signing of Andruw Jones as a fourth outfielder), they're well below their payroll budget. They'll be under-budget even if Andy Pettitte decides to pitch (and Cashman said again Wednesday that Pettitte is "not in play").
Who cares that $35 million is a lot to pay for someone to pitch the eighth inning? Well, Cashman cares, and he was willing to say it. Some people who know him believe it's because Cashman wants people in the game to say he makes smart baseball moves, rather than just spend the most money. They point to his friendship with A's general manager Billy Beane. "He wants to be the guy the book is written about," one baseball official who knows Cashman well said Wednesday. He doesn't want to simply be the "director of spending. And he didn't want to spend all that money on Rafael Soriano."
OK, I'm back after that enjoyable read. I have nothing against Brian Cashman except for the company he works for. He tried to land Cliff Lee but was unable to do so. So the Steinbrenners (Hal in particular) ordered the opening of the purse strings and purchased the services of Rafael Soriano. Yes, he's a great bullpen pitcher and will step in to be closer when Mo Rivera retires. But the Boston Red Sox added three bullpen arms for late game action leading up to Papelbon time, Jenks & Wheeler as well as hot and heavy bats Adrian Gonzalez and speedster Carl Crawford. Don't forget the fallen. Youk, Pedey and Ellsbury, everyday players, all will be back. Add it up and what the pinstripers acheived was next to nothing. Hey Brian, when you put ALL your eggs in only one basket, this kind of thing will happen and usually does. Hats off to Theo Epstein. The NY Yankees favorites to win the AL East? Poppycock.
That's it for me on this Thursday, January 20, 2011. You can click on this post's title for more Red Sox comings and goings and as always, BE WELL. I'll be back during the snow tomorrow morning. Yes, more snow. Can you believe it?