Tag Archives: Brian Cashman

THE DELUSIONAL YANKEES AND ALBERT EINSTEIN

"The definition of insanity is when  you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result"

Albert Einstein

It's becoming an almost arduous task to read our local New York papers these days.image Before the All Star Game, they talked about the "crucial stretch" of games before the break against sub .500 teams that would put together a run and put the team in serious contention. That didn't happen and the Yankees are back where they've been all year at .500.

Now, the talk turns to yet another set of "crucial series" against the Red Sox, Orioles, and Giants. And how A-Rod is asking for and is being given a chance to play first base again - and Nathan Evoldi is being given yet another chance to prove himself as a starter next Tuesday against the Orioles......and blah blah blah........

Like I'm supposed to get excited about all this wishful thinking as a Yankee fan?

I don't think so. I'll tell you what would get me excited though......

And that's if the front office could get a grip on reality by acknowledging that the 2016 Yankees are at best a mediocre and (still) very old team with little or no chance of making the playoffs this season.

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And stop treating me like a little kid telling me, "Don't worry son, everything's gonna be all right"......

Because it isn't gonna be all right......

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All ABOARD THE “SCRANTON – NEW YORK EXPRESS “

No doubt the Yankees hitting has been dismal to start the season. And their ability to hit with men in scoring position has been worse than that – abominable in fact. That’s scary enough, but their starting pitchers with the exception of Mashiro Tanaka have been missing in action, and there doesn’t appear to be a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

During theimage
off season, Brian Cashman (left) and Joe Girardi believed they had a workable plan, albeit with a bit of luck in avoiding injuries. It was a simple plan that only asked for five starters to give the team five plus innings each start. Behind that would be the tandem of Chapman, Betances, and Miller ready to meet the challenges of any hitting lineup in the league and beyond. Chapman, of course, has been serving a suspension and hasn’t pitched yet this season – but that hasn’t really been a factor in the woes of the Yankees.

Yes, they are hanging in there in a division that reeks of mediocrity. And theimage hot start by the Orioles who have their own pitching problems might be tenuous at best as the season moves along. But still, no team can afford to wait around for a collapse by another team – you have to go out there and get it yourself. And right now, the Yankees are stumbling around while shooting themselves in the foot, in search of answers that don’t exist – at least given the present composition of the team. 

imageTo understand that even better, tune in to any Yankee home game telecast and take a look at all those empty prime seats in the lower level. Because more than anything, that tells you the depth of their problems this year…….

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CC SABATHIA GETS THE BALL – AND THAT’S ABOUT ALL………..

To no one’s surprise, imagethe New York Yankees announced that CC Sabathia would be their fifth starter getting the nod over Ivan Nova. Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM continues to insist that it’s not really about the money ($25 million compared to $4 million) and for the moment let’s give him a pass and assume that is true. The real story then might be that Sabathia is the fifth starter and not the pitcher the Yankees gave that huge contract to back in 2009 when he was highly touted as a “workhorse” who would never break down. 

But thoseimage predictions were based on his arm never breaking down – and they have largely proved to be correct. The problem though is that legs are everything in pitching  – not necessarily the arm. Your legs create power and when used effectively take strain and wear and tear off your arm. 

So, it should come as no surprise that a 325 pound hulk of a man finds himself in a situation where his legs, and in particular his knees, have abandoned him from the pounding they have taken on the mound landing strip over the years. And as many of us know, knees are a special challenge for surgeons. Or to put it another way, there is no Tommy John surgery for knees.

But there’s more to the Yankees decision than meets the eye and that’s why it’s a story of life’s twists and turns  with built in intrigue – and therefore a compelling story about baseball ………..

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THE CONTINUED DEMISE OF STARTING PITCHERS

The trade for Ardolis Chapman by the New York Yankees serves as a beacon that imagedemonstrates how teams are building their pitching staffs these days. It goes without saying that the Yankees now have the best backend bullpen in baseball with Chapman, Betances, and Andrew Miller. More than that though, Brian Cashman may silently be  making a statement about his starting staff too…….they suck and he doesn’t trust them at all. In fact. Cashman is not alone when it comes to modern day team building and he’s absolutely correct……..except for the upper crust………starting pitchers are overpaid, overvalued, and underworked……… 

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WHEN ALL THE PIECES FALL INTO PLACE…….

As in life there are times in baseball when everything just seems to fall into place. A hitter goes on a stretch where the ball coming to the plate looks as big as a beachball. Likewise, a pitcher goes through a series of starts where home plate seems 30ft away. Teams also have runs where twenty five players and the coaching staff come together to form a juggernaut that seems destined always find a way to win.

The New York Yankeesimages-8 are giving every indication thatimages-9 they are that kind of a team this year. Under the laid back (but focused) leadership of Brian Cashman (left) and Joe Girardi (right) we are watching – not a great team by any means- but certainly a solid and steady team that is avoiding the predictable highs and lows of a long and arduous baseball season.

No, this is not the team of the five year run. This year’s edition of the Yankeesimages-7 images-6is not even comparable to the 2009 team. Except for Mark Teixeria, there’s not even a true All Star on the team.

What the team does have are a bunch of role players who complement and support each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Brian McCann (upper right) for example is proving clutch at the plate while handling a relatively young staff seamlessly. Mashahiro Tanaka (upper left) seeks perfection every time out there. To hear him talk about his start that day, you’d think he gave up ten runs if you hadn’t watched the game.

It goes even deeper than that with contributors like Jacoby Ellsbury (right) who if not the best leadoff images-10 hitter in the game today,  must  surely  be in the discussion. A natural center fielder who runs like a deer, clutch is fast becoming his middle name too.

Flying under the radar too is Chase Headley (left). A star by no means….your everyday ball player who shows up for work every day andimages-15 gets his one hit a night when it means the most. So too with Brett Gardner who Cashman refused offers for a year ago when the season was already lost. Now, he’s having a career year as a graduate of the Yankees much underrated farm system.

This is a good team that certainly can win its imploding division. And when they get to the crapshoot playoffs, look out because they just might find their way to an unexpected but well earned title.

 

New Life – New Plan (A-Rod and the Yankees)

As I was walking from the parking garage to Yankee Stadium last Sunday, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sprawling and magnificent city park that now sits where the old stadium was situated.

Countless ballfields, countless numbers of inner city kids off the streets and playing on green grass in the open air………..

It caused me to reflect on the  bonus owed to A-Rod by the Yankees. A sticky situation no doubt images-3with each side trying to tip toe around a sudden thaw in the relationship………especially eased by A-ROD’s resurgence this year. And after all, $6 million is a chunk of change.

But what if the two sides could get together and reach a common images-2ground? And what if that common ground was to donate the entire sum to charity and earmark the money to the kids who use this city park.

How many balls, bats and gloves could be bought with $6 million? How many off duty cops could be hired to ensure the safety of the kids using the park. How many players could be paid their expenses to conduct a clinic when school is out for the summer………and so much more. The interest alone each year would pay for most of these costs.

And as a real bonus (for them),  it would all be accomplished in the names of Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.

Alex…….the first move should be yours. The Yankees can’t say no……go for it!