Brian Cashman held court To the media in New York on Tuesday. He wasn’t exactly in a charitable mood. Which is understandable, if he had the same job for 25 years. Anyone is bound to get a little fidgety. Consider the fact that he was dealing with the New York media and the New York fan base, and it’s a wonder he didn’t find a dark haven of his own. Although there are a few Yankees fans who would claim that he has been in a dark decline for a while now.
It’s also easy to understand that no Yankees fan under the age of 35 can remember a losing season. 1992 was the last time the Yankees couldn’t crack .500, and there is simply no team in North American sports capable of managing that kind of streak. The Yankees haven’t always been this way, but they also, by definition, haven’t sucked over 30 years.
Cashman has also survived two generations of Steinbrenner, which is probably enough to make a decorated Mother Teresa. Cashman was not afraid to hurl insults while speaking to the press.
“It doesn’t mean we’re working hard, it doesn’t mean we’re the best in the class, but I think we’re pretty good on a personal level.”
Cashman certainly made his share of mistakes, most of which were that the Yankees’ 2023 fortunes hinged on the health of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Carlos Rodon, who together might have a good chord between them. He also couldn’t count on Anthony Rizzo, who first tried to play through a months-long concussion and eventually had to sit out because of it.
Cashman may have been a little optimistic that former player Nestor Cortes would maintain his health and perform one more season. But the alternatives in the lineup or in the rotation that the Yankees might need or need are somewhat cut off by the Yankees not behaving like the Yankees when it comes to the payroll. Especially when there is so much involved with Stanton and Judge, both decisions made by Cashman (one good, one not at all).
Cashman became particularly sensitive when it was said that the Yankees were too analysis-driven:
“Nobody does a deep dive,” Cashman said. “They just throw bullets and bullets at us, and accuse us of being analytically run.”
On the one hand, he is quite right to be fed up with this kind of criticism. This is an old battle, one that the old heads lost long ago. There is still a large group of fans and media alike who would like to believe that only a certain group of players who possess something beyond measure are fit to wear pinstripes. While The Bronx can certainly present its own challenges, at the end of the day, good players are good players and bad players are bad players, and just because Mike Francesa might mention his name between on-air burps doesn’t make it truly untenable. A place to play for some.
The Yankees should start from a spot that not many teams would mind trading for. They have Aaron Judge, who was brought through the Yankees system by Cashman. They have a presumptive Cy Young winner in Gerrit Cole, signed by Cashman and one of the most effective free agent signings in history. There are a few kids ready to take on day-to-day roles, all of them drafted, acquired and developed by the Cashman system. It’s not the best, but it’s not the worst at all. Two free agent signings were made and suddenly the Yankees were there again.
It probably wouldn’t make Cashman any happier, though. New York takes a piece of everyone after a while.
Xande Silva’s missions
The highlight from last night that will make you feel better because even you could have finished this comes from Atlanta United’s Xande Silva during Game 2 of their qualifying series with Orlando City:
Fortunately for Silva, Atlanta would still win the match and extend the series. But this is the kind of failure where the player not only has to think about it every time he gets a chance for the next month or year, but might even think about it during daily activities. He could have let the ball hit him and he would have scored. Just one of those rare moments when time stops because the entire universe has to take a second to understand what happened.
Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @felsgate.bsky.social