Aside from the fact that I’m anything written under the premise of “if The Boss were still running things…” this is completely baseless speculation from Madden. Shocking, I know. Not being privy to private conversations, we have no idea what went in to the team, and team officials’, public statements. It’s just as likely that, given how public Cashman’s lack of desire to sign Soriano was and given that it was already well known that he wasn’t in favor of the signing, it was better to have Cashman be up front about things, rather than engaging in some sort of silly double speak.
And if he hates his job so much, he is of course free to resign his position. He hasn’t done so, and no one has reported he intends to do so, so color me skeptical. To say nothing of the fact that these stories have taken on a life of their own, neglecting the fact that Cashman hardly seemed angry about the matter, even if he didn’t agree with it.
Madden isn’t done though, by any means.
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.
Ok, let’s take a look at that. Since the 2008-09 offseason, Cashman has traded Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy for Curtis Granderson, traded one of his better pitching prospects (at the time anyway) for Javier Vazquez and the $11 million he was owed in 2010, attempted to trade his best prospect for a 2 and a half month rental of Cliff Lee, and then offered 32 year old Lee a 7 year, $150-170 million contract. Obviously these are the actions of someone who just hates spending lots of money on baseball players and spends his nights dreaming of being the GM of a team with the budget of the Marlins, Pirates, or Padres.
And then, we start getting really deep into the weeds:
Um…what? More money means more resources, and that means more flexibility to do your job, Every GM in the league would like to have more money. Less money is the real albatross, because it limits your options in terms of putting a team together. If Madden is right about this, I’m basically forced to conclude that Brian Cashman is the most irrational person in baseball. Of course, Cashman has made many rational moves in the recent past, so by process of elimination it seems more likely that, as is usually the case, Madden is peddling complete bovine excrement.
And now Madden has just completely taken us to Oz in his quest to make whatever point he’s making. To wit, while I suppose opinions may differ on the matter, rather than stating his “goal” to bring down payroll, Cashman has always seemed to be stating his charge. And that, of course, fits nicely into both facts and logic, as we know Hal wants to run the team on something of a budget, and it’s ownership, not management, who has an interest in keeping payroll low since, you know, it’s their money being spent. The idea that Cashman has a concern for lowering payroll simply for the reason of lowering payroll is just absurd, and Madden has, at this point, pretty much lost all semblance of being tethered to reality in this column.
And, of course, most logical people can recognize that the reason Cashman is still upset about the A-Rod contract is that it was an unnecessary expenditure of a lot of money that Cashman could be using somewhere else.
Hmm. I was sort of young then, and growing up in the midwest, but I seem to vaguely recall the Yankees being a pretty decent baseball team from 1996-2001. Can someone confirm that for me?
This is quite possibly the one thing Madden has right in this whole column, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.
Of course, literally everyone other than Bernie recognized that Bernie was completely washed up well before Cashman “fired” him, so this accusation makes no logical sense. There’s a difference between sentimentality and stupidity. Giving Derek Jeter a little bit too much money is one thing, guaranteeing Bernie Williams a roster spot in 2007 would have been quite another (and, for the record, I love Bernie).
And once again, I seem to remember the Yankees enjoying a decent amount of success in the 1950’s. Anyone want to get me Ken Burns’ email address so I can ask him to help me out?
And there’s two obvious problems with this conclusion. The first is that plenty of small market jobs have opened up recently, and Cashman made no attempt to leave for any of them. Sure he’s under contract, but there are ways out of those. He certainly isn’t being forced to work for the Yankees against his will, as no one would keep on a general manager with a stated wish not to be doing that job. And the second is that “an ownership that will give him a free hand” doesn’t exist. Even in a hypothetical situation where Cashman leaves and goes to, say, Cleveland and the owner gives him complete autonomy to do whatever he wants with the roster, the owner is going to control how much money he has to do it with. You can pretend that that’s not something other than “complete control,” but how many resources you have to work with is a lot more of a controlling factor than having an owner who decides he wants to spend $35 million on one of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
And that’s it. The rest of the column is devoted to other subjects. So Madden tossed up a column speculating about what Brian Cashman thinks or may want to do in authoritative, specific terms without a shred of reporting. Seriously, there isn’t even an anonymous source or one of those persons in person X’s camp Madden is famous for. It’s all complete conjecture, and Madden doesn’t even make a minimal effort to make it look reported anymore.
This guy has won sports journalism awards people.