Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yanks GM Cashman setting self up for big fall

I’m not sure how strong that limb is that Brian Cashman is shimmying out on, but apparently, the general manager of the New York Yankees feels it’s pretty strong.
As in tree-trunk strong.
In a matter of 10 days, Cashman has come off as big-for-his-britches three times.
First, Cashman got everyone’s attention when he said he as overruled by upper management — i.e. the guys who sign his paycheck — on the signing of reliever Rafael Soriano.
Forget the fact that Soriano is an absolute hammer at the back end of the bullpen, going 3-2 with 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA last year as the closer for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The issue here is Cashman didn’t want Soriano, an all-star closer who will be stellar as the set-up man for iconic Mariano Rivera. And had to be told by upper management that this was going to happen.
Then on Tuesday, Cashman followed things up with a pair of doozies.
He started off by suggesting Derek Jeter, arguably the most popular Yankee of the era, could soon be moving to the outfield. This comes on the heels of a contract confrontation between Cashman and Jeter this offseason, which ended with Jeter signing a contract for lots of money, but maybe less than he wanted.
I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Cashman’s office when Jeter opens the door, smirks and says, “Outfield, huh?
Not only is late beloved owner George Steinbrenner rolling over in his grave, “The Boss” probably wants to reach out from the afterworld, grab Cashman by the throat and growl, “easy there, big fella.”
But perhaps the biggest set of words that came out of Cashman’s mouth were when he was asked at a fan breakfast who is better right now, the Red Sox or Yankees.
Cashman went with Beantown.
I’m sure all members of the Yankees’ brass loved that.
Especially since Cashman is the man responsible for building the best team in baseball.
Cashman better hope he is wrong. By calling out the management on the Soriano signing, but challenging Jeter with a contract issue and then by suggesting he’s headed to the outfield before his current contract is out, and by saying the Red Sox are a better team right now, Cashman has tightened the noose around his own neck.
If the Yankees don’t win this year, rest assured there will be plenty of fans lined up to kick the chair out from under him.
— John Kampf


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