Monday, May 02, 2005


...just wrote an epilogue to "The Last Night...", and it's on Worth a read -- I still haven't read the book, though want to now (making this a brilliant PR move on Olney's part). This brings us to a semi-argument we've been having for a while -- how good a GM Brian Cashman is. The stats show he's bad -- all the good stuff from the late 90's he can't take credit for, and all the bad stuff since then was done under his watch. But my question is this: is it Cashman's fault? Steinbrenner has made every major decision for the team since fall of 2001 -- get Sheff over Vlad, get Mondesi, pay anything for Giambi/Contreras/etc., trade away all the talent. (For example, Cashman didn't go after the Unit in 1999 or whatever because that would mean giving up Nick Johnson...who was traded in 2004 for Vazquez...who was traded in 2005 for...the Unit, who was 5 years older.) And the pitching woes may be traceable to Stottlemyre (or Torre in the case of the bullpen) what exactly has Cashman done (good or bad)?


  1. Okay, so apparently the whole ARod thing was originally Cashman's idea. The jury's still out on that one, I guess (given their unlimited budget). Though it's fun to wonder, if they had just forfeited the 3B position for the 2004 season, who'd they have now. Glaus? (Randa?!?)

  2. It definitely is hard to evaluate his entire body of work b/c of the George factor.

    But the trades have not really worked out. thus the evaluation of talent has to be considered lacking. I won't rehash them here - they are on this board somewhere.

    I think there are some real positives - all of which are really only applicable in NY.

    I think he is a bright guy that does a good job of managing upward and downward. He keeps George happy - getting on a plane and coming to TB to address the current mess is one example.

    He probably lets George know what he thinks they should do and then George can override him.

    When George wants something he gets it done - like RJ.

    I think he lets Torre run the team.

    Good question - if they don't get A-Rod last year (or Boone had not been hurt).

    I think there are only a two real possibilities - Glaus is a real possibility although injury factor makes it less likely. Likely guess is Beltre - that would seem to be a typical George move. Pay big $$ for that one big year a la Jaret Wright. Other possibilities though not as likely:

    Trading for Chavez (not likely since the A's just signed him last year and are trying to make him the corenrstone).
    Signing Coskie?
    Trade to get Lowell (back).
    If all of the above failed, would they have gone after Nomar to play 3B just to try to piss us off?

    And remember Sheffield allegedly volunteered to play 3B last year when Boone got hurt. He came up as a 3B. Although with his shoulder woes, they might as well put Bernie at 3B.
    Other than that, slim pickings,

  3. I tend to agree with you on Cashman. It's just I realized for all our discussions about him, we pretty much ignored the George factor, which is sort of dumb.

    Good quote by Cash today. When asked if he would hold a team meeting, he said, "If I had to talk to the players in a group setting, I'd have the wrong manager. Joe's covered it. We're leading the league in meetings."

  4. We did give him credit for dealing with George in our earlier posts - I was just a lot more focused on empiraical evidence (trades, lack of quality drafts).

    your quote: "So as you all know, I sort of like Brian Cashman. I think he's actually a fairly decent GM, and I really respect anyone who can take the kind of punishment he must get on a daily basis by working for Steinbrenner....

    my follow up: "I certainly give the guy some credit for being able to put up with Steinbrenner, I really don't think he is that good of a GM....."

    I think we did a good job of giving credit where credit was due

  5. Okay -- that just means you were way ahead of me, as I was referring to the abuse, not the overridden decisions.

    One other comment from the article. which is relevant to this. This stands out: "He had lobbied unsuccessfully to shift Soriano to the outfield and sign the Japanese-born Kaz Matsui to play second base in his stead." So that would've been a terrible move.

    Anyway, in the original post I said it was a "brilliant PR move on Olney's part" to publish the Epilogue on Yes, for about 2 hours. He lost front-page status sometime last night...thanks to his Yankees hitting the panic button. Given that the first month of the 2005 season has been worse for the Yanks than maybe anything in his epilogue, that's pretty damn funny. Time for a new epilogue, already?

  6. I have not read the follow up Olney article. I will probably print it and bring to my auxillary office later this AM.

    The book was pretty good - pointing out the mismanagement and bad decisions of the team. Pretty ironic it is off the front page as a result of the moves.

    Although I guess it won't be a problem finding it since it is one of the only free articles on espn.

    Speaking of books, I'm reading Faithful right now. I know you had "reviewed" this book earlier and I seem to recall you saying you wish there was more of King's writing. I agree - or if you didn't say it, I still think that.

    As for the O'Nan character, I can't decide if I like him or think he is pathetic. I mean his enthusiasm and optimism are amazing - I mean this is all being written in the middle of an 86 year drought with no idea that 2004 would be the year. He makes Matt's optimistic outlooks appear downright dreary. Of course I am only in June, so we'll see how reacts for the next month of the season. On the downsie of his ledger, how many grown men wear jerseys to the game (well okay, I might), birng their glove, a fishing net, and seek autographs. Wow. And he lives in Connecticut and drives 2 hours each way to get to a game. And he seems to go to a lot of them That is dedication. Yet still there is something about him that bugs me.

    It is kind of neat to recall all the games and I find myself surprised about how much I remember of each game - and this in a season that I went to the fewest and watched the fewest (due to move, wedding, etc) games in over 10 years.

    He had lobbied unsuccessfully to shift Soriano to the outfield and sign the Japanese-born Kaz Matsui to play second base in his stead." So that would've been a terrible move.

    Agreed - would have been terrible. So that would have been prior to 2004 pre-February 14th. Then they would have NOT signed Sheffield? Of would have been Matsui, Bernie and Soriano - but then they may have still made the A-Rod trade AND still signed Sheffield?? Not sure of the timing on the (little) Matsui discussions. Sheff signed early as I recall (before X-Mas). And Boone got hurt late, so maybe the wouldn't have done both (Matsui and Sheff).

    Okay,I have rambled on too much.

  7. Pkay, just went to print the Olney article and the primary story on the Yankees moves (also written by Olney) is an insider story. How can they justify charging for news?

    I know, let it go.

  8. I know I am probably WAY late on this, but that epilogue was pretty interesting (good read). Plus my favorite part was the break-down of the A-Rod/Varitek fight. I had never heard what was said between the players... "On July 24, Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Rodriguez with a pitch, and when Rodriguez started to bark, Arroyo's catcher, Jason Varitek, stepped in front of him and snapped back, "We don't throw at .260 hitters." "[Expletive] you," Rodriguez shouted repeatedly, and with that, Varitek rammed his glove into Rodriguez's face, igniting a bench-clearing fight."

    That is frickin' classic! Varitek, good catcher and witty!