Thursday, January 27, 2011

Running Low On Cash, Man

I've got to admit it. I am beyond baffled at the number of Brian Cashman haters that seem to be out there. No matter what he does Brian Cashman can do no right. I don't get it. Message to the haters: I don't think you get it. If any of you happen across the post, I'd love to hear some sound logical arguments for the anti-Cashman perspective. Again, I just don't get it. I'm a BC supporter and will continue to be one despite the backlash.

Here's the bottom line: Brian Cashman puts together a winning ballclub year after year after year. The Yankees are 1272-830 under his watch and only twice have they won less than 94 games (hat tip to River Ave Blues via Twitter for the stat). They've missed the playoffs once and have won 4 WS titles. If not for the greatest closer of all-time blowing the save in game 7 in the 2001 WS it might be 5 titles. If not for the ALCS choke in 2004, again at the hands of the GOAT (sort-of), it might be 6 titles. The GM's job is to put together a team that can win. It's up to the guys to play their parts and execute. As we all know it often doesn't work out that way. But again, bottom line, and this really can't be disputed, the guy puts winning teams on the field every year. If you want to dispute that, be my guest. You'll fail miserably.

I think a lot of people are jumping on the Bash Cash Bandwagon because this offseason hasn't been the greatest for the Yankees. I'd argue that the offseason has been fine and the over-reaction has more to do with Yankee fans being spoiled than anything else. If you really think that the Yankees are going to sign all the top free agents, like they did in 2009 when they signed Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira, then you don't know baseball. I think the expectations this offseason was that the Yankees were going to sign Cliff Lee and/or Carl Crawford. As nice as that would have been, it didn't happen. And if you're blaming Cashman for those guys signing with Texas and Boston respectively, you're nuts.

If you paid any attention to the Hot Stove this offseason then you'd know that Cliff Lee was never coming to New York. There was nothing Brian Cashman could have done to make that happen. The Yankees offered him the most $$ and Cliff took less to sign with the Phillies. As for Crawford the Yankees really didn't have any interest in him. Should they have? Maybe. Do they need him? No. Cashman somehow got ripped for those guys going elsewhere. In my opinion, not his fault.

Cashman took a little heat for Kerry Wood signing with the Cubs. Like with Cliff Lee, there wasn't anything Cashman could have done to get him to sign with the Yankees. Wood took a huge pay cut and turned down more money from several other clubs to go back to the Cubbies. Cashman took a little heat for that. I don't quite get why.

Cashman's latest move, signing Bartolo Colon, has also come with a little heat. If you're down on this move then I don't think you get baseball. It's a minor league deal. It's not meant to solve the Yankees problems. It's a no-risk signing. You hope for the best and if it doesn't work out it's no skin off their back. Think of the Red Sox signing John Smoltz a few years ago. It's a reclamation project. It's better to sign the guy and see what he has then to not even take a look.

It's apparently Brian Cashman's fault that the Yankees rotation is in shambles. It's not his fault that Andy Pettitte still hasn't decided if he's going to play or not. If he comes back then the Yankees virtually have the same rotation that took them to the ALCS last year. If Pettitte retires then there's a problem. But if you consider the 2011 free agent market there wasn't exactly a lot out there other than Cliff Lee. They reportedly made an offer to Carl Pavano for crying out loud. That's how bad it was. The only other option is to explore the trade market.

If you think Brian Cashman hasn't checked in with other teams on their top quality starting pitchers than I don't think you get it. Making trades in real-life is not like making trades on a video game. It's not as easy as that. Cashman has been smart not to mortgage the farm and overpay for major league ready talent. Listen, I'm all for trading prospects for proven talent, but only in a fair deal. It's not a wise baseball move to trade all of your top prospects for 1 guy. It's all about giving up fair value. I think people are quick to bash Cashman for some of the deals he hasn't made. Sometimes though, those are the best moves a GM makes. Just think, if Cash made all the moves people have wanted him to, the Yankees wouldn't currently have Phil Hughes or Robbie Cano. They'd also have Johan Santana instead of CC Sabathia. In hindsight, great job by Brian for not making those deals. And yes, not every move works out. That's how it is for every team though.

Yankee fans are spoiled. It's all about winning now and worrying about the problems next year. Who cares about the farm system? Trade them all and sign the big free agents. As we've learned this offseason you don't always get to sign the best players on the market. Uh oh. What do we do now? Turn to the farm and hope you either have guys that can fill in or guys that you can possibly deal for someone without overpaying. The Yankees farm system was just ranked the 11th best by Keith Law @ ESPN and 5th best by CBS Sports. Remember when the Yankees farm system was one of the worst? It wasn't long ago. Cashman gets no love for building that up while continuing to put a winning big league team on the field. Kudos to you BC.

Continuing to strengthen the minors is one of the reasons why he wasn't in favor of signing Rafael Soriano. Personally, I'm glad the team signed Soriano but I get why Cashman didn't want to. He wasn't signed to what I would call a very smart contract. There were a lot of RPs that signed for less and would have been equally as serviceable. This might be the one area I'd give Cashman a little heat for.

Recently, Cash has also taken a little heat for some comments he made at a radio-sponsored "breakfast" regarding Derek Jeter. Cashman basically said he'd be surprised if Jeter lasted the four years of his contract at shortstop and a move to the OF was possible. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the comments. Everybody complains that Jeter is the worst defensive SS in the game. Is it safe to assume that four years from now he's going to be even worse? Absolutely. It's logical thinking, from a baseball perspective, that a move to the OF is possible (see Robin Yount). I don't think Cashman was saying anything derogatory about the Captain and I think this is a non-story that became a story when it shouldn't have. I think a lot of it is open to interpretation and I question the reading comprehension skills of people that took it as a slam. That's my take on it.

Cashman has also gotten some heat from people for some off-the-field events he took part in. People bashed him for rappelling down the side of a building while dressed like an elf as part of a holiday event. Really? Why should that matter to anyone? What really blows my mind is that he gets trashed for tending bar at a charity event. Let me get this straight. The guy gives up his free time, for charity, and that's a bad thing? What the eff. That's a little ridiculous. I could go on and on about this but I'm going to let one of my tweeps, Chris aka SimplySmoov, do the talking for me over at his blog, The Gospel of Smoov. You can read his rant here. For another good pro-Cashman read, you can also check out a post that another tweep of mine, NYYEric, wrote as a guest post on a blog of another tweep, The Stace. Twitter. If you're not using it you're missing out.

Wow, that took a while to write. I think that this will hit home with the logical and smart baseball fans. The ones that get it. Brian Cashman has done a pretty damn good job as the GM of the Yankee in my opinion. I have 100% confidence that he is going to do everything in his power to build a winner. He does it every year.

Peace, love & Pinstripes,