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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brian Cashman forges ahead despite aging roster, pessimistic fan base

Wonder if Stars and Pinstripes will publish Haeberle’s photos of this massacre.

During the winter, the Dodgers usurped the Yankees as the game’s premier spenders. Cashman appears more than willing to cede that title. The Yankees will never feel like underdogs, he said. But they can adopt their rhetoric.

“Look at Vietnam,” he said. “The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either.”

...Starting under Gene Michael’s guidance in the early 1990s, the Yankees built a juggernaut, holding sway for nearly two decades. When promising starter Michael Pineda underwent career-altering shoulder surgery last year, a reporter mentioned the team’s bad fortune to a competitive executive. “I like Cash,” the executive said. “He does a great job. But it’s going to take a lot for me to feel sorry for him.”

“Listen, we’ve had our fair share of success,” Cashman said. “So we’ve developed a great deal of enemies along the way that want nothing but to beat our brains out.”

...Like Hal Steinnbrenner, Cashman chafes at the idea his team has become cheap. He framed their behavior as a product of prudence, not poverty, and of making “good, efficient, sound, baseball decisions.” Both Cashman and Steinbrenner have referenced the high prices paid on one-year deals for players like Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Kevin Youkilis.

“I would not have participated in the Greinke or Hamilton signings,” Cashman said. “Whether that ($189 million) restriction was in place, or not.”

In turn, Cashman laughed off the notion that the Yankees needed to reclaim their spending crown from the Dodgers.

“My job,” he said, “is to put a team out there that wins for the least amount of money possible.”

Yet, of course, there is the specter of The Boss.

“But I said ‘win’ first.”

Repoz Posted: March 24, 2013 at 08:33 AM | 52 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: March 24, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4395221)
“Look at Vietnam,” he said. “The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either.”


How appropo. I've attacked my team for lacking the will to do what it takes to win on more than one occasion.
   2. StHendu Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4395241)
“Look at Vietnam,” he said. “The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either.”


Estimated number of Vietnamese killed in the war: millions
Number of Americans killed in Vietnamese war: 58,282
estimated number of Vietnamese children born with defects due to Agent Orange : 500,000

Americans didn't win the war, but we did much better than the Vietnamese. The real winners were war profiteers like Dow and Monsanto.
   3. Darren Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4395243)
Look at Vietnam? LOOK AT VIETNAM? Cashman really is amazing in his willingness to just say anything to see if he can possibly get fired.
   4. Swedish Chef Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4395249)
Cashman really is amazing in his willingness to just say anything to see if he can possibly get fired.

Comrade Cashman is just trying out the Marxist pipe this year.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4395251)
Otto: You know your problem? You don't like winners.
Archie: Winners?
Otto: Yeah. Winners.
Archie: Winners, like North Vietnam?
Otto: Shut up. We didn't lose Vietnam. It was a tie!
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4395252)
Estimated number of Vietnamese killed in the war: millions
Number of Americans killed in Vietnamese war: 58,282
estimated number of Vietnamese children born with defects due to Agent Orange : 500,000

Americans didn't win the war, but we did much better than the Vietnamese.


To be fair, when you're both sides of the fighting, your country is going to take the bulk of the casualties. The Civil War is still Americans bloodiest conflict.

It is also almost never discussed that the U.S./South Vietnam actually won the war before we lost it. The Tet offensive and Operation Phoenix destroyed the Viet Cong in the south. From ~1969 forward, the war on the Communist side was fought almost exclusively by NVA regulars. The North won the war by conventional invasio.

In the 1972 Easter Offensive, the South (with the assistance of US airpower, but no ground troops) stopped a major NVA offensive cold and drove them back. There is no reason to believe that they could not defend themselves, as long as US airpower and aid was available.

However, after the oil crisis and Watergate, the US Congress slashed aid to South Vietnam, and we withdrew our air support. So, when the NVA invaded again in 1975, they were able to beat the much weakened ARVN. Due to the aid cuts, the ARVN lacked fuel for their planes and vehicles, and ammunition across the board.

The US absolutely chose to lose that war. It was a gross betrayal of our allies, and the aftermath was horrible.

Hell, in one year the Khmer Rouge flat out murdered more people than likely died in the whole war.
   7. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4395255)
"Look at Vietnam," he said. "The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either."


Mass murder just ain't what it used to be.

edit: this thread had gone five posts and I almost commented something to the effect of, "where's snapper? Whenever the horror of a huge number of deaths needs to be lessened, he's never far away," but kindness prevailed.

And, lo.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4395257)
Mass murder just ain't what it used to be.

It worked pretty well for the Communists.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4395259)
ESPN is reporting that Jeter will start the season on the DL
   10. tshipman Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4395260)
I think Cashman was just really bad at hiding what he thought, and it made him seem like a prick. Now that he's smoking the objective pipe, he seems so much more likeable as a result.

Good on you, Cashman!
   11. frannyzoo Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4395263)
Thanks Pasta, we very much needed a thread-reset and Jeter serves very, very well in that purpose.

Meanwhile, I'm not seeing nearly as many "best shape of his/their life" stories...it's all doom/gloom lately (Halladay, Lincecum, the Yankees, etc.).
   12. JoeHova Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4395269)
Hell, in one year the Khmer Rouge flat out murdered more people than likely died in the whole war.

The Vietnamese, not the Americans, were the ones who put a stop to that.
   13. Greg K Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4395276)
   14. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4395279)
The US absolutely chose to lose that war. It was a gross betrayal of our allies, and the aftermath was horrible.

The democrats deliberately chose to lose the war to punish America for reelecting Nixon in a landslide. And their cynical and disgusting policy has been to undermine war efforts under republican administrations ever since.
   15. GregQ Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4395286)
Frank Snepp wrote in "Decent Interval" that it was Kissinger and Nixon that sold out the S. Vietnamese. He said that they had a secret agreement that if they did not invade over a certain period of time that the US would not intervene when they did.
   16. frannyzoo Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4395290)
Or maybe I was wrong....c'mon Gift Basket man...use your immense threadjacking powers!
   17. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4395291)
I'm beginning to think Cashman has lost it, between the repeated parachute jumping (once apparently was not enough, so he did it again and broke his leg) and the weird things that keep coming out of his mouth. After the Teixeira injury, he was asked about trying to acquire players via trade or waivers from other teams, and he said he wasn't interested in other team's garbage, and then he tried to make a bizarre comparison/analogy to kids peeing in a pool. Then came his brief infatuation with Chipper Jones, where he decided it was appropriate to ask a reporter to send Jones a text message on his behalf, asking Jones if he would sign with the Yankees.

Now he's saying that Brennan Boesch is the kind of left-handed slugger he wants, "a big hairy monster," as he puts it. I like the pickup of Boesch and all, but he had all of 12 home runs last year; he's not exactly a big hairy monster, is he?

Now this comparison to Vietnam, which is completely off the wall and borderline inappopriate.

In the meantime, the clock continues to tick on the last significant trade that Cashman has made. It's now over a year and counting.

What's going on with this guy? Is it the divorce? Is it the stalker with whom he once had an affair? OR does he just feel that with George gone, he can say the first thing that comes to his mind. At this rate, he'll be hosting a talk show by July.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4395292)
“Look at Vietnam,” he said. “The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either.”


I'm not going to jump into the tarpit called Vietnam, but I doubt if Cashman was trying to make any profound political point. And what he said about the relationship between payrolls and guaranteed winning was the simple truth.

In the years after the war's end, there was a popular T-shirt worn by vets that summarized their sardonic view of their experiences. It read, "PARTICIPANT, SOUTHEAST ASIA WAR GAMES, 1961 - 1975 -- SECOND PLACE"
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4395298)
I'm beginning to think Cashman has lost it, between the repeated parachute jumping (once apparently was not enough, so he did it again and broke his leg) and the weird things that keep coming out of his mouth. After the Teixeira injury, he was asked about trying to acquire players via trade or waivers from other teams, and he said he wasn't interested in other team's garbage, and then he tried to make a bizarre comparison/analogy to kids peeing in a pool. Then came his brief infatuation with Chipper Jones, where he decided it was appropriate to ask a reporter to send Jones a text message on his behalf, asking Jones if he would sign with the Yankees.

When your team has given you an impossible situation to spin, you're either going to be mocked for playing it straight and bland, or you're going to be mocked for coming out with whatever emerges from your mouth or your airplane. Personally, since to me the only thing about the Yankees that matters is their W-L record, I'm just as glad to see Cashman provide a little levity by choosing the latter option. It won't cost the Yanks a single loss, and it'll help keep BTF in business. What's the problem?
   20. ??'s Biggest Fan! Posted: March 24, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4395305)
What's the problem?

It's a Yankees thread on the BBTF... Moral outrage is standard fare. You can't go wrong by being uncharitable in your interpretation of the Yankees organization's motives.
   21. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 24, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4395307)
I'm not so sure that it's just levity. The behavior is a little bizarre. And if the behavior is bizarre, is that affecting his ability to do the job?

This isn't outrage, just questions I'm asking and scenarios I'm posing.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4395334)
Ho Chi Minh had some good ideas, he just went too far.

< / Marge Schotted >
   23. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4395342)
OR does he just feel that with George gone, he can say the first thing that comes to his mind. At this rate, he'll be hosting a talk show by July.

I think much the same sentiment was expressed twelve months ago.
   24. frannyzoo Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4395343)
Chan Ho Park had some good pitches, he just went too far out of the strike zone too often.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4395345)
C.C. Sabathia will die defending Hamburger Hill.
   26. Sonic Youk Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4395348)
The horror...


The Yankees and Angels are in serious talks about a trade that would send outfielder Vernon Wells to New York, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com -- who also notes that the Angels would pay the lion's share of Wells' remaining salary. He's owed $42 million for the next two seasons.
   27. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4395351)
I would have to think the Angels would have to eat extremely close to all of Wells' contract for that to happen.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 24, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4395354)
Vernon Wells? Pass.

Doesn't seem consistent with getting below the luxury tax threshold in 2014, unless the Angels pick up almost all of the tab. Still, not enough upside to take the plunge, IMHO.
   29. JE (Jason) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4395357)
“Look at Vietnam,” he said. “The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either.”

Coincidentally, the Yankees didn't win during the Vietnam years, either.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4395360)
“Look at Vietnam,” he said. “The biggest payroll didn’t win there, either.”

Man, Repoz doesn't even need to do the heavy lifting any more.

Anyway, as I read this, Cashman intends to win the AL East by using a roster of 500 American Legion players.
   31. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 24, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4395368)
This quote definitely calls for a self-immolation thread.
   32. Depressoteric Posted: March 24, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4395371)
I've never liked nor respected Brian Cashman quite so much as I do right now.

That's not meant even the slightest bit sarcastically, BTW. I've always thought he was the single most underrated GM in the game (in terms of his actual talent level compared to the credit generally given to him by fans), and now he's gone gonzo...I love it.
   33. Darren Posted: March 24, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4395373)
Wells has an 1.112 OPS this spring. Better get a big return for him!
   34.   Posted: March 24, 2013 at 05:04 PM (#4395375)

That's not meant even the slightest bit sarcastically, BTW. I've always thought he was the single most underrated GM in the game (in terms of his actual talent level compared to the credit generally given to him by fans), and now he's gone gonzo...I love it.


Really? All I've heard about Cashman for the past decade or so is how his genius is covered up by the payroll and all the bad moves are not his fault because it's ownership and it's a shame that we can't see what he'd do with a "normal" situation. I suspect he might be the most overrated in the game.
   35. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: March 24, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4395390)
How many stars have the Yankees developed for themselves since the turn of the century? Same number the Pirates have, right?
   36. Greg K Posted: March 24, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4395408)
Actually a fun project. Homegrown Contributors (defined as players who appear in B-Ref's starting lineup, rotation, or played a significant role in the bullpen, who were produced by the team's farm system since 2000)

Robinson Cano
Melky Cabrera
Chien-Ming Wang
Phil Hughes
Joba Chamberlain
Brett Gardner
Ivan Nova

Nick Johnson?
Alfonso Soriano?

I would guess by this definition the Yankees have far fewer than most teams because they usually have the option of a free agent stopgap rather than bringing up a mediocre prospect to fill in any holes in the lineup.
   37. Greg K Posted: March 24, 2013 at 06:09 PM (#4395412)
As a comparison you could make a team out of the same group for the Orioles:

C Matt Wieters
1B Larry Bigbie
2B Brian Roberts
3B Jerry Hairston
SS Manny Machado
RF Nick Markakis
CF Luis Matos
LF Nolan Reimold

P
Sidney Ponson
B.J. Ryan
Daniel Cabrera
Erik Bedard
Chris Ray
Adam Loewen
Garrett Olson
Jim Johnson
Brian Matusz
Jake Arrieta
Brad Bergesen
Jason Berken
Zach Britton

EDIT: David Robertson should probably go in the Yankees group as well.
   38. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 24, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4395416)
I would guess by this definition the Yankees have far fewer than most teams because they usually have the option of a free agent stopgap rather than bringing up a mediocre prospect to fill in any holes in the lineup.

And they traded guys like Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson who were MLB ready when they were sent elsewhere.

As a comparison you could make a team out of the same group for the Orioles:

Yeah, but most of those guys suck. If you give Cashman credit for all the Jeff Karstens caliber players the Yanks have developed, they would have a much deeper homegrown team too.
   39. Greg K Posted: March 24, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4395418)

Yeah, but most of those guys suck. If you give Cashman credit for all the Jeff Karstens caliber players the Yanks have developed, they would have a much deeper homegrown team too.

Oh I agree. I was going to include a snide comment on that note, but decided against it. I didn't really mean to contribute at all to the Cashman: good or no? discussion. Just looking for a fun little project. And it was fun! (as a note, man the early 00s Orioles sure had a lot of guys I've totally forgotten).

Also educational: I didn't realize Rodrigo Lopez is actually a San Diego Padres product.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 24, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4395420)
When you draft near the bottom of the pack for two solid decades, your chances of plucking out jewels from the draft aren't quite as good as when you're picking near the top. That's just simple arithmetic, even if it doesn't excuse (in hindsight**) trading Kennedy and Jackson.

**Unless my memory is totally mistaken, those two players were regularly derided by the BTF armchair scouts, Kennedy for his low K rate and Jackson for his low BB totals and lack of power.
   41. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4395424)
Yeah, it's trivial to come up with your own Larry Bigbie, but you can't come up with your own Robinson Cano. In terms of the big picture, having a productive farm system is primarily about players like the latter.

(And the Yankee system of course had burped out not one but five such players just prior to the era you mention, in Bernie, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, and Mariano.)

Perhaps it's because I'm a Met fan and we've produced about three true impact players since Frank Cashen left, but I bet that Yankee list holds up just fine compared to most other teams.
   42. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 24, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4395426)
**Unless my memory is totally mistaken, those two players were regularly derided by the BTF armchair scouts, Kennedy for his low K rate and Jackson for his low BB totals and lack of power.


I remember there being one of the Yankee fans on here that was absolutely brutal on Jackson during or after the 2011 season. Pretty much calling him crap with little hope of improvement and destined for a lousy career.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4395461)
Certainly Austin Jackson was -- tools but not much else. Let's see what sticks from last year though -- he improved in pretty much everything (Ks, BBs, power) without losing the insane BABIP.

Also, one area "we" don't pay much attention to in scouting is defense. If you told folks Jackson would put up such incredible defensive numbers -- well, first they'd tell you how nuts WAR's defensive numbers are but then maybe say "OK, he could be average." 6 dWAR in three years would make him average even if he was replacement level with the bat.

Perhaps especially when it comes to prospects, we have a tendency to forget where average is and how many ways you can get there. By bWAR, Drew Stubbs is average for his career and he doesn't even have particularly good defensive numbers. Maybin is about a 3 WAR player thanks to defense and baserunning ... but still, just on oWAR, he's nearly average.

As to Kennedy -- I could be misremembering but I recall it mainly being Yankee fanboys who thought he was terrible although I don't recall anybody singing his praises either. But he had a minor-league K-rate of 10 (only 240 IP) so the problem for prospect hounds wasn't the K-rate.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: March 24, 2013 at 07:55 PM (#4395472)


I remember there being one of the Yankee fans on here that was absolutely brutal on Jackson during or after the 2011 season. Pretty much calling him crap with little hope of improvement and destined for a lousy career.


Please let it be dzop. Please let it be dzop...
   45. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 24, 2013 at 07:56 PM (#4395473)
Also, one area "we" don't pay much attention to in scouting is defense. If you told folks Jackson would put up such incredible defensive numbers -- well, first they'd tell you how nuts WAR's defensive numbers are but then maybe say "OK, he could be average." 6 dWAR in three years would make him average even if he was replacement level with the bat.

A lot of people, here and elsewhere, thought Jackson's glove couldn't stick in CF. The same thing was said about Gardner too. It seems to be awful difficult to get an accurate reports on a prospect's defensive abilities.

As to Kennedy -- I could be misremembering but I recall it mainly being Yankee fanboys who thought he was terrible although I don't recall anybody singing his praises either. But he had a minor-league K-rate of 10 (only 240 IP) so the problem for prospect hounds wasn't the K-rate.

Kennedy pitched like absolute dog #### in 2008 when the team needed him to step up. It doesn't matter what the fans thought (I seem to recall a lot of people thinking he might be a AAAA pitcher), the Yanks were done were done with him.

It wasn't exactly easy to get a read on either prospect. I can remember being alternately high and low on both of them. Both of them have turned in some pretty fantastic Major League seasons to date though.
   46. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 24, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4395483)
I think the rumored acquisition of Vernon Wells supports my theory about Cashman.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 24, 2013 at 08:38 PM (#4395498)
Unless my memory is totally mistaken, those two players were regularly derided by the BTF armchair scouts, Kennedy for his low K rate and Jackson for his low BB totals and lack of power.

I remember there being one of the Yankee fans on here that was absolutely brutal on Jackson during or after the 2011 season. Pretty much calling him crap with little hope of improvement and destined for a lousy career.


It might have been me, since I'm never too thrilled with players sporting low HR totals and high strikeout to walk ratios, which is what Jackson posted for his first two years in Detroit. Glad to see he's shown steady improvement on all counts.

As to Kennedy -- I could be misremembering but I recall it mainly being Yankee fanboys who thought he was terrible although I don't recall anybody singing his praises either. But he had a minor-league K-rate of 10 (only 240 IP) so the problem for prospect hounds wasn't the K-rate.


I always liked Kennedy, and was sad to see him go. I attributed much of his problems to injuries, and I'm glad to see him blossom in spite of the fact that it's not for the Yankees. But in both cases, it's really only with hindsight that we can see how they've turned out.

   48. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4395580)
"I don't see any connection to Vietnam, Brian."
"Well, there isn't a literal connection, Dude."
"Brian, face it, there isn't any connection."
   49. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 25, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4395654)
Jetechstoßlegende
   50. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 26, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4396494)
The US absolutely chose to lose that war. It was a gross betrayal of our allies, and the aftermath was horrible.

The democrats deliberately chose to lose the war to punish America for reelecting Nixon in a landslide. And their cynical and disgusting policy has been to undermine war efforts under republican administrations ever since.


I was sure this was utterly bizarre parody, a parody or parody, but coming from Joey you know he's playing it perfectly straight. I mean, how could anyone not being completely on board for Iraq?

@6, 7: snapper--you're the only person I've ever read anywhere who downplays the horror of mass murder, as long as you sort of agree with the politics of the killers. It's not something I've wanted to notice, believe me, but it's the sort of thing that jumps up and says, "I'm really ####### crazy". And, the next time the subject comes up, you'll do it again.

Hell, in one year the Khmer Rouge flat out murdered more people than likely died in the whole war.


So, is it the case for several million human beings dying, that it just wasn't that bad, or that it could have been worse?
   51. RollingWave Posted: March 26, 2013 at 05:32 AM (#4396502)
Tyler Clippard was also drafted and came up as a Yankee, of course he was a crappy soft tossing starter, then gets traded for a reliever... and gets converted into a much much better reliever than the guy he was traded for.

From 05 onward they've been pretty good at getting something out of their farm, not only is Cano probably a HOF player (PED possibility not considered) but they gotten a bunch of good players and perhaps more importantly, they manage to keep getting RPs that doesn't completely suck to fill the wholes, I think people overlook how much those last RP in the pen hurt a team in the regular season.
   52. RollingWave Posted: March 26, 2013 at 06:39 AM (#4396510)
As for Cashman, it is kinda true that he's in a weird situation where his control over things kinda come and goes, though probably not as bad as some of those Pre Stick Michael guys had it, but still. it does make things murky on who's actually calling the shots at times.

But yeah, the Vietnam analogy is head scratching as hell. Why not just point out that the Dodgers went nowhere last year or something.

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