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Brian Cashman talks about being overruled on the Soriano deal

Jan 19, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

Brian Cashman

Since the moment Rafael Soriano signed with the Yankees, people have been reporting that the Brian Cashman wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger on the deal.  It was his higher ups, it’s been said, going against Cashman’s wishes. Today Cashman confirmed that:

“I didn’t recommend it … I’m charged with obviously winning a championship. I’m charged with building a farm system. I’m charged with getting the payroll down, and this certainly will help us try to win a championship. There’s no doubt about that, so that’s in the plus column, but I didn’t recommend it, just because I didn’t think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we have, and we had a lot of debate about that … My plan would be patience and waiting. They obviously acted. And we are better, there’s no doubt about it.”

He was pretty up front about it all, actually, as was team president Randy Levine, who said that the Yankees have a “sacred obligation” to the fans.  That obligation is to win now, and that’s the case even if it comes at the expense of Cashman’s long term plans.

Like I said when it went down: it’s not that big of a deal. At least not on the Yankees.  If it was a battle for the soul of the team or if doing X prevents them from doing Y, sure, there’s an issue. But it’s not like signing Soriano will bankrupt the Yankees. It’s not like it’s going to make Brian Cashman an ineffective leader.  If he goes to Hal Steinbrenner and says “hey, we need $5 million more for player development this year because the Soriano deal blew our budget projection,” he’ll get his $5 million.

Why?  Because that’s all part of the “sacred trust” too.  A trust that will only be at risk if there isn’t enough money there to fulfill it.  Which, in the Yankees’ case, will be never.

  1. smokehouse56 - Jan 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Could the Yankees survive outside of NY city? Not in a million years.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      Didn’t know they were moving. Are the Metropolitans THAT all-encompassing in the baseball realm?

    • Jeremy T - Jan 19, 2011 at 6:43 PM

      They wouldn’t be able to use the same methods that they use in NY, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t survive. They have the resources, so they use the resources. They obviously wouldn’t be able to win every single year with a $60 million dollar payroll, but I don’t see how that really means anything…

  2. phukyouk - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    and i will be hitting Bodog to see the over/under on how long till Hank/Hal run the team in the ground. if its 6 yrs ill take the under.

    P.S. i am very happy about the soriano deal but overruling your GM is not a good idea… unless his name is Omar Minaya

  3. larryhockett - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    This deal in and of itself does not bankrupt the Yankees or make Cashman an ineffective leader but the precedent it sets is downright destructive. After all these years, we have learned that payroll alone does not make championships. There has to be planning and well coordinated strategy. If the Steinbrenners have forgotten that lesson already then they should read up a little on Yankees history, 1979-1995.

    • florida76 - Jan 19, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      Payroll alone doesn’t guarantee championships, but everyone knows it’s a major factor behind the Yankees titles since 1996. The huge advantage in revenue plays a role in player development and international player signings as well. Had there been a salary cap like we have in our national pastime(football), no way do the Yanks win as many titles. They would have lost players to other clubs, even the Twins would have likely won a title.

  4. sdelmonte - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    I’m still surprised that Brian would admit this. Points for honesty, maybe, but not for tact.

    At the same time, if I’m the owner of a club with an established GM with Cashman’s skills and instincts, I listen to him every time. So I don’t really get how the Steinbrothers chose to ignore him this time.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 19, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      Brian had no reason to BS the press – everyone knew Soriano’s a Yankee because of those above him. But if I were ownership, I’d have let Brian just say he changed his mind or something, instead of making him look like he got entirely overruled.

  5. yankeesfanlen - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Does everyone forget that Cashman worked directly for George Steinbrenner for umpteen years?

    Move on, nothing to see here.

    • phukyouk - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      and did you forget that a few yrs ago he and George got into it and Brian ended up winning? yea…

      • yankeesfanlen - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        George liked winners.

      • phukyouk - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM

        you lost me….

      • Kevin S. - Jan 19, 2011 at 5:10 PM

        Brian won in the battle against George. George likes winners. Therefore, George liked Brian for winning against him.

  6. Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Craig, do you have any other photo of Cashman? One wherein he doesn’t look like a judge just awarded his ex-wife the house, the kids, the dogs, 80% of his salary and the boat?

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      It’s an entertaining “Woe’s me” photo, it’s generally pretty funny.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        More likely “Alas and alack”. Get over it, he knows that’s why he’s getting the big bucks.

    • bigharold - Jan 19, 2011 at 5:45 PM

      “Craig, do you have any other photo of Cashman? One wherein he doesn’t look like a judge just awarded his ex-wife the house, the kids, the dogs, 80% of his salary and the boat?”

      That would support the narrative. It’s not enough that there be a picture of Cashman, .. it has to be a picture of a forlorn Cashman. Frankly, this is not a big deal. If the owners decided to throw money a problem that’s fine. If it works great, .. if not it’s not like they can hold Cashman responsible.

      All the back and forth over this is more than a bit over done. I’m not aware of a single instance, whether it be baseball or any other walk of life, where the owner didn’t have the final say. It’s not like the Yankee don’t have the money or Cashman was blind sided being overruled. This is a lot about nothing.

  7. uyf1950 - Jan 19, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    People want to make more out of this then there is. Anyone that honestly believes there is one singles GM on a baseball team that hasn’t been overruled by ownership at varies times during their career is fooling themselves. It’s a fact of life.

  8. Panda Claus - Jan 20, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I hear a lot of rationalizing by Yanks fans here. Despite whether this happens to the other 29 GMs or not is somewhat immaterial. That it happened in NY again with this team, as larryhockett brought up, is entirely the point.

    Now about the picture, if there was one available of him crying and slurring over a mug of beer, ala Jerry Jones, that would be a better one to use.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 20, 2011 at 5:44 PM

      Actually you’re right about the fact the because this happened in NY it is the point but not for the reason some of you seem to believe. It’s an issue simply because it is the NY Yankees and virtually everything that happens with the Yankees is blown out of proportion. Leaving the “other 29 GM’s” out of this for a moment. Anyone who thinks this is the first time Cashman has been overruled in one of his decisions concerning a a player is fooling themselves. It’s happened before under the “Boss” and it’s happened under the “New Sheriff’s” as I like to refer to them as…and it will happen in the future. It’s ONLY an issue because outsiders want to make it an issue but in reality it’s a non issue as far as the operation of this club goes.

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