It's fair to say that Brian Cashman marches to the beat of his own drummer. Most general managers wouldn't repel down buildings or sleep on sewer grates for charity, and that's pretty cool. Most general managers wouldn't tell the most iconic player on their roster to take his crazy contractual demands to other teams in his first stint as a free agent, and that's kind of cool too (though your mileage may vary). And we won't even get into that mistress/stalker business, because that's just stacking the deck. Then again, no other general manager in the league would add fuel to a combustible situation involving a 23 year old who happens to be your most notable offseason acquisition in Spring Training, and that's decidedly not cool. And I think it's safe to say that no other general manager would tell one of his players to, um, STFU, and that is simply unacceptable behavior from someone in Cashman's position.
Honestly, I'm not even going to hash out the details again, or make any effort to defend Alex Rodriguez for his tweet, because I don't have to. It just doesn't matter what A-Rod tweeted, it is not okay for a GM to curse out a player through the media like that. Period. Cashman's previous outspokenness has endeared him to some while making others wince at the, shall we say, unconventional style he employs, but there simply shouldn't be any disagreement whatsoever about the inappropriateness of this action, for which Cashman deserves at least some form of official reprimand from his bosses.
Most worrying is that this isn't even the first time this month Cashman has gone after a subordinate in this fashion. Less than two weeks ago, Cashman savaged Kevin Long for comments he made about Mark Teixeira's injured wrist, a tirade that was downright shocking coming from an organization in which upper management and the coaching staff always seems to be pretty close.
“It’s alarming in the fact that K-Long would say that to the group of the reporters, but he never said that prior to that,” Cashman said. “This is a lot of times how things work out when things go bad, things get said. If K-Long felt that way he should have been saying that from Day 1, but we never heard that from K-Long.”
Or, in other words: K-Long is probably lying, but at the very least the hitting coach never shared this observation about an important player's health with the front office. That's an incredibly staggering thing to say about one of the most respected coaches in all of MLB, even if the language isn't quite so crude as his remarks about A-Rod.
I, of course, disdain armchair psychobabble as a basis for narrative about people I've never met, so I'm not going to claim that the stress of a floundering team, complying with ownership's budget plans, or watching the farm system he touted so much completely flame out now that they're needed in the big leagues is making Cashman crack. Instead, I'll just note that Cashman has taken his loose-cannon routine too far this month, and that, at the least, it's time for someone above him to reign him in and demand more professionalism from their general manager, at least if the GM is going to insist on being the main face of the organization to the press where front office matters are concerned. And if expecting Cashman not to attack his underlings in the press in this fashion and otherwise behave like a respectable executive is too much for the GM to handle, then I think it's time to seriously evaluate if an end to the relationship isn't in everyone's best interests at this point.