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Would Brian Cashman rather run a small market team?

Jan 24, 2011, 2:10 PM EDT

Cashman profile

Over the weekend, Bill Madden of the Daily News wrote a column about the Brian Cashman/Rafael Soriano press conference.  The premise: Brian Cashman is chafing at what it means to be the general manager of the New York Yankees:

If you listen to some of things Cashman has said over the years and look at the pattern with which he has chosen to operate in the last few years – the CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira winter notwithstanding – a picture emerges of a GM who clearly wishes he was running a small-market team like his pal Billy Beane in Oakland. Indeed, you get the feeling that Cashman is tired of being labled a “checkbook GM”, while viewing that $200 million Yankee payroll as an albatross rather than a built-in insurance policy for making the postseason every year.

I suppose there are any number of ways to read this — Brien at IIATMS, where I saw the column linked, has a pretty robust takedown of it all here — but I tend to revert to Occam’s Razor whenever possible.

A simpler explanation than Cashman wanting to prove his brains to the world by running a team with a relative handicap is that Cashman would simply prefer to run the Yankees without being overruled by anyone and that he got a bit miffed when he wasn’t allowed to.  Doesn’t mean he wants to leave. Doesn’t mean he wants to prove himself by turning the Pirates into a winner or something. Like all of us, he just wants to do the job he currently has in a manner that makes him happy.

Cashman’s reaction to the Soriano business is a human one, and unless we hear of more palace intrigue from Yankeeland, I’m inclined to believe that this is simply a matter of a guy venting a bit as opposed to some crisis of confidence like the one Madden describes.

  1. BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    So he’d rather run a team that has a chance of winning every 15 years instead of every year?
    C’mon, man!

  2. steve keane - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    to go more into this, supposedly Yankee President Randy Levine was the guy who pushed Hank Steinbrenner into the Sorriano signing. The by-passing of the Baseball Ops guys is what has (to your point Craig) Cash pissed off. As crazy as it sounds, the Yankees have been an after thought in the NYC sports scene this winter. Even the Nets chasing “Melo has been covered more than the Yankee off season so Levine felt the organzaiton needed to do what they do best, throw stupid money at a player no one was bidding on

  3. Jonny 5 - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    I read this article first thing today. I thought it was a load. He’s assuming way too much. I figure he would be better off with a story based on this headline ” Does Cashman want to work as GM of a team that will actually let him be the GM?”

  4. umrguy42 - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    If Cashman could take the Pirates to the World Series again, the man would belong in the Hall of Fame for that alone…

  5. baseballstars - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    As a Yankees fan, I have to say “good riddance.” His performance has been painfully mediocre.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Name one person who’s significantly better at his job? All these guys have hits and misses. AA is the big hero now (previously Sea’s GM, and Theo before that), but in a few years some of the trades are going to go sour. They all do.

    • phukyouk - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:01 PM

      Agreed. buh bye Bri. dont let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya

  6. Old Gator - Jan 24, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    That was an uncharacteristically stupid column by Madden. Not just off base, but stupid. I have to wonder how long he lay in bed yesterday morning staring at the ceiling in wait for a bright idea to come to him, then got up and wrote this piece when one didn’t.

    • Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      He tried watching Spongebob for ideas but all he could get was “How cool it would be to live underwater.” columns.

      • Old Gator - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:07 PM

        More likely he had that jungle of Sunday morning commentary and interview shows droning away in the background. If he was tuned in to one of the TPN pundit shows, it might explain just why he turned stupid for the time it took him to write such drivel.

    • BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      I think it must have been tidal. Or maybe sunspots.

      • Old Gator - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

        And then there’s radon. It’s not much good for tracking airplanes anymore – all those carbon composites make them invisible – but it can seep up through your floor like the irredeemably monotonous base lines of the hip-hop CD your idiot downstairs neighbor insists on blasting 24 hours a day and throw your sodium and potassium pumps out of whack too.

  7. yankeesfanlen - Jan 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Late one weekend post a couple of weeks ago ufy and I were having a discussion about the Soriano signing, and I wrote this little SNL skit.

    Scene: Universe HQ, Tampa.

    Hal: “Take it easy on the payroll, Randy’s all over me on this luxury tax thing”.
    Brian: “Sure boss, Lee flew the coop, we’ll just wait”.

    Enter, stage left, Hank smoking a Marlboro
    Hank: “Hey guys, just signed Sori for 3 years, 30+M”.
    Hal: “Great, now we have another inning covered”
    Enter Randy, carrying a case of bubbly. “That’ll fix those damn Sox”
    Hilarity ensues.

    Or something like this. Methinks Brian has the crocodile tears bit down well.

  8. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 24, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    His name is Cashman.

  9. uyf1950 - Jan 24, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    I’m convinced some of the writers in NY write pieces just to see their name in print and because they have to put out a piece to keep their editors happy. This article makes no sense. Cashman may or may not bolt but it certainly won’t be because he longs to run a small market team. I can just imagine Cashman sitting around a conference table in some small market ML city. When the owner says to him here Brian we have $5M in this years budget to sign 4 players. We need a quality starting pitcher, a set up guy, CF and a backup catcher. I want your game plan on my desk in 48 hours. Brian works diligently on the options for 48 hours goes back to the owner with his recommendations. Where with the straightest face he can muster he says my recommendation is “patience”.

  10. dondbaseball - Jan 25, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    the thing that chafes me and what I think really irritated Brian was not the fact the Yanks signed Soriano AFTER he told the numerous reporter he didn’t want to give up the draft picks but the ridiculous terms of the contract. It obviously had to be done without the “baseball” people as I have never seen such a one sided deal on which the player has no down side. You either give him the money and keep the option or he gets less money with the options but not both. I don’t blame him for being irritated. But at the same time, the Yanks still have a starting pitching problem that could be partially offset if Cashman would at least acknowledge Joba Chamberlain could be a candidate for the role as he is clearly better “than 5 inning” Nova and “I’ve got guts but no real command of my pitches” Mitre.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 25, 2011 at 4:52 AM

      I don’t understand why some fans are so disgruntled about the Soriano signing. Is it one sided probably so. But there is a saying “desperate times call for desperate measures”. The Yankees were is dire need of pitching there were/are no quality starting pitchers available for the Yankees to sign presently. There only option was to sign a 1st rate setup man. Soriano more then fits that bill. I have absolutely no problem with ownership overruling Cashman. It’s their money it’s their franchise. In actuality the problem that I have more then anything is with Cashman boxing himself into a corner by being so adamant publicly about what he would do with his 1st round pick before the fact. It is never a good idea to take such an inflexible stand publicly especially when you are not dealing from a position of strength…and this year with the Yankees pitching woes and the lack of available “quality” pitchers on the market Cashman was not dealing from a position of strength.
      As for your comment about Joba. I don’t know what Joba has shown you over the last year and a half that you can say he is “clearly” better than Nova. He probably is better than Mitre. But in my opinion Joba is already lacking confidence another spring training where he is competing for a “starting” job and fails (should that be the case) I think would do him more harm then good. In my opinion and it’s just that my opinion it’s best for Joba to have his job with the Yankees clearly defined. Rather then he might start, he might not. But that’s just my opinion.

  11. mvd513 - Jan 25, 2011 at 5:56 AM

    Thats Agent Smith right? “Mr Anderson…”

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