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Brian Cashman disagrees with Cliff Lee saying the Yankees “are getting older”

Mar 16, 2011, 12:20 PM EDT

Brian Cashman

Last week during a radio interview Cliff Lee said that he chose Philadelphia over New York in part because “it seems like some of the Yankee guys are getting older.”

First of all, technically “some of the Yankee guys are getting older” is a statement of fact. We’re all “getting older” (with the notable exceptions of Halle Berry,  Benjamin Button, and Mike Carey).

Setting that aside, Calcaterra noted that according to the average age of the rosters, the Phillies are actually the oldest team in baseball and the Yankees are merely the ninth-oldest.

Naturally general manager Brian Cashman was asked about Lee’s comments regarding the Yankees’ age and replied:

Some of our core guys that we have relied on have gotten up there, but we have a group of young players that we’re excited about. All we care about is being called champions. You can say anything else you want about us. When you call us old, that’s fine. It was a marriage that was not meant to be. That’s life.

All of which is more or less what you’d hope a GM would say when asked to respond to some random, one-sentence comment another team’s player made on the radio.

Lee turned down the Yankees because he’d rather play for the Phillies and rather play in Philadelphia. I’m not sure exactly how many times Lee needs to be asked to explain himself or how many articles need to be written analyzing the motives behind his decision, but I’m pretty confident the answer in both cases is “fewer than have already occurred.”

  1. BC - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Drew Barrymore is not getting older. She is just aging very well, thank you.

  2. Jonny 5 - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    “I’m not sure exactly how many times Lee needs to be asked to explain himself or how many articles need to be written analyzing the motives behind his decision, but I’m pretty confident the answer in both cases is “fewer than have already occurred.”

    AMEN Reverand Gleeman. Or is that priest, Rabbi, Lama, Flamen, or Hoodoo?

    • BC - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      I think it’s Grand Poobah And Master Of All Things Physical.

      • bigharold - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        “I’m not sure exactly how many times Lee needs to be asked to explain himself or how many articles need to be written analyzing the motives behind his decision, but I’m pretty confident the answer in both cases is “fewer than have already occurred.”

        And, yet here we are again.

  3. pisano - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Everything happens for the best. I think the Yankees were overpaying for a 33 yr. old pitcher anyway. They have a lefty that we’ll all be hearing about pretty soon and Lee will be long forgotten.

  4. derpdederpdederp - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    the yankees core has been reduced to cano, tex and CC. a-rod is in decline, as is jeter. their rotation below CC is a joke. a bounce-back year for burnett? dont count on it. the bullpen looks decent but thats not much help if the starters are handing them mop-up duties rather than save opportunities. their outfield is average at best. if one of their core 3 guys goes down for an extended period of time the yanks are gonna be battling for third place in the AL east

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      I love these types of comments. Yes, A-rod is worse than he was, but he was no worse than the second best 3B in the AL, and I don’t see that changing too much this year. What rotation outside of Philly is more certain the Yankees? Sorry boston fans, but if you look at the numbers you will see that Beckett = Burnett, Hughes > Lackey, though I give boston an edge at #’s 4 and 5. Who is a better AL shortstop than Jeter? What will Tampa, Toronto or Baltimore be running out there this year that is more of a sure thing than this Yankees team? And who believes the team won’t find ways to improve during the season?

      All this is to say that the Yankees core players were so great in their peak, they can afford some decline and still be great players. They don’t look bad when compared to their peers, only when compared to their younger selves.

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        thats assuming his numbers dont continue to go down this year, but my guess is they just might. beckett = burnett last year, but that was a terrible year for beckett but not so much for burnett (im a toronto fan, i watched burnett pitch, he is overrated and undependable on his best days). hughes may have the edge on lackey but buchholz > hughes, meaning bostons top 2 guys match up nicely with the yanks top 2. after that its advantage red sox. given jeters decline and the lack of faith the organization displayed in him this offseason its more than likely that he will not be able to give this team as much help as theyre going to need. i dont see how the yankees have much room for improvement during the season, they have more holes (outfield, catcher, rotation) than they have assets to acquire the quick fixes theyll be searching for come deadline day

      • indyralph - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        off the top of my head, the Dodgers, Giants, Rays, and Braves all have pretty good arguments for better rotations than the Yankees. Certainly in terms of depth at least.

      • garlicfriesandbaseball - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        “What rotation outside of Philly is more certain (than) the Yankees? ” Surely you jest. Giants come to mind.

      • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        “i watched burnett pitch, he is overrated and undependable on his best days”

        I’m also a BJ fan (heh) but I see it different re. Burnett. He’s not overrated. He has great stuff. His trouble is that he needs a catcher who understands how insecure he is. Posada is just not that guy. If Girardi is any kind of manager he’ll keep those 2 apart and give Cervelli to Burnett, then you’ll see that guy post some wins. The Yankees (damn them) are better than most are giving them credit for, I think. But only slightly. I see them finishing in a dog fight with the Orioles (who are actually going to be better this year). The Jays will scrap it out with the Rays and both of them will nip at the Sox all the way.

      • marinersnate - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:29 AM

        “Who is a better AL shortstop than Jeter?”

        I will “assume” that you are serious? (If not, good one).


    • bigharold - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      derpdederpdederp, really, .. another guy waiting for the Yankees to get old?

      This is the same team that had the second best record in the AL last year by one game. While they won’t have Pettitte, (who in fact missed much of last season), they will have a better BP. And, they still won 95 games. Jeter and Burnett had off years so if they return to form they are significantly better, (in fact Burnett can only get better), and A-Rod is completely healthy.

      I’m amazed at the consistent “drum beating” about the Yankees age. It’s like the guy that plays the same number every day figuring sooner or later he’ll be right. And, it assumes that the Yankees are not willing or capable of making mid season personel moves.

      Frankly your points sound more like wishful thinking. But, just like the lottery, .. hey you never know.

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        i like how everybody keeps talking about how many games they won last year. NEWS FLASH: that is not this year. the only addition to the BP is soriano, and while significant, he doesnt help much if the rotation cant give him the ball with the lead. jeter didnt have so much as an off year as he began his decline. yankee management seemed to hold a similar view this offseason, but what do they know right? as for burnett getting better, ive watched this guy pitch for years (speaking as a toronto fan and a baseball fan). yes there is room for improvement but that doesnt do much good if the ability isnt there. AJ has good stuff but the reality is hes overrated and doesnt handle pressure well. not ideal qualities if youre expected to be a #2 or 3 starter in the bronx. factor in how improved the red sox lineup and BP is from last year along with the fact they should have a better rotation 1 – 5 i just dont see the yankees being in a pennant race. as for in-season personnel moves, they dont have the minor league assets to make a worthwhile deal, meaning they would have to give up major league talent to get something. i just dont see that happening. but like you said, you never know

    • genericcommenter - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM

      Where are the holes in the outfield? Of course the older core guys are in decline, and the rotation is a mess. I’m just not enlightened about this outfield that has obvious holes. I think it’s pretty good, especially considering their combined salaries are less than 1 Red Sox outfielder.

      Above average LF who gets on base a lot and steals a lot of bases at a high clip and makes < $500,000

      Pretty good, slugging CF who doesn't get on base at a great clip, but OPS+ 136 in the 2nd half last year and has been at least average at the plate every year and above average career.

      Decent RF, All-star who gets on base and hits for power. Two of them provided almost as much value last season as that one guy who got the big contract this winter, and the Yankees CF has TWO seasons better than any season that other guy had, including 1 significantly better.

      All above average batters and none will hurt you in the field. Where are these holes?

      • derpdederpdederp - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        i misspoke, the outfield is average at best. gardner had a good year last year, what hes gonna do this year reamins to be seen. granderson has hit below .250 the last 2 years. not great. swisher is the only constant, but his BA last year was out of the ordinary for him. hell provide some pop but hes not the most defensively gifted. average OF seems to be the right phrase

  5. kellyb9 - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    “Setting that side, Calcaterra noted that according to the average age of the rosters, the Phillies are actually the oldest team in baseball and the Yankees are merely the ninth-oldest.”

    So you’re saying the Phillies resigned Jamie Moyer?

  6. Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Cashman has aged a decade and a half since November.

  7. seano21 - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    What a joke. Go position by position with the Yankees and red sox. LF sox have it CF isn’t close RF isn’t close, 1st base is a wash, 2B isn’t close SS isn’t close and I’ll give you a wash at 3Bbut we know that isn’t true. Both suspect behind the plate, red sox staff is slightly better for now and yankees have a better bullpen. Yea the yankees core is old okay so I’ll take saltalamacchia Scutaro and papelbum instead of jeter, Rivera, and posada, please.

    • greggbo - Mar 17, 2011 at 6:36 AM

      Seano, not realistic. CF and 2B are very close. 3B is a definite edge for the Sox — look at Youk’s OPS for three years and compare it to A-Rod’s decline. Lester = cc. Buchholz is much better than Hughes. Beckett is better than Burnett. Lackey = Burnett, but Lackey is our #4. Dice-K is a number five the Yankees would kill for at this point. Strong advantage Sox in the rotation. But the Yankees KEY players are old: 3b, ss, dh, closer. The only old guy the Sox count on is their DH.

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Anybody else wish Cashman would start walking around in a huge obnoxious toupee?

  9. billybeaneismyhero - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Funny thing that someone forgot to tell Lee that the Yankees have nine players on their 25 man roster that are over 30, while the Phillies have 15…

  10. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Cliff Lee is a DOUCHE, he lost another ” young” teamate to injury today, sixteen year old Polanco

  11. greggbo - Mar 17, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    Average age of rosters is not a good measure of anything. The Sox have some old players, but they are mostly spare parts: Wakefield, Cameron, Varitek. So their roster average age skews high. But their core team is almost all 32 or under. All five starters. The closer and both set up men. Seven of the eight position players (assuming Lowrie takes over at SS, which he should by May 1).

    So the only core players on the Sox over 32 are Drew (35) and Ortiz (35).

    The Yankees have SEVEN core players over 34: Jeter (36). A-Rod(35). Rivera(41). Burnett(34). It looks like Garcia(34) and Colon(37) may be the #4 and #5 starters — ages 34 and 37. Posada (39) at DH.

    One or two of these Yankees may maintain performance or even improve, but the majority will decline, just like we can expect declines from Drew and Ortiz. 100 years of baseball history tells us so. The team is still very strong and might compete in 2011 — but the team is in trouble in the next few years.

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