When former Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was under siege after a series of racy photos he’d intended to send privately to a female follower on Twitter, he first denied that they were of him hoping that the controversy would die out. Then he kindasorta laid (heh) the foundation for a sex scandal that he still hoped to escape and politically survive by saying, “Well, maybe it’s me.” It was a sex scandal in the weakest sense because it doesn’t appear that Weiner actually got any sex out of the whole thing, which makes it even more of a waste of time and energy.
Naturally the subterfuge failed and snowballed with several women coming forward to relate their interactions with the former congressman. Try as he might to demonize the late gadfly Andrew Breitbart for publicizing the photos, the truth came out and Weiner wound up having to apologize to Breitbart and subsequently resigned his congressional seat.
After reading Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman’s cryptic statement about slumping ace CC Sabathia this morning, I saw Cashman as a Weiner trying to use verbal gymnastics to slap away questions as to why Sabathia’s velocity is down and he’s not the ace he’s been in years past.
The quote is nestled in this game report in the New York Times:
His velocity has dipped enough for General Manager Brian Cashman to say that he might still be fighting through some arm pain.
“Obviously, C. C. was signed to be an ace, so you anticipate that,” Cashman said before the game. “But at the same time, you know recently he was going through an elbow issue, so it makes you curious if that still bothers him or not, whether if he acknowledges it or not.”
So what you’re telling me is that the GM of the team—the most expensive and famous in all of baseball that is in the midst of a seismic collapse that will reverberate for years if they don’t stop it now—doesn’t know whether the ace of his pitching staff is under treatment for arm pain? That he’s unaware of the status of the pitcher upon whom the Yankees doled a lucrative contract extension last winter that essentially pays him at least a guaranteed $30 million in 2016 when he’ll be 36; and as much as $50 million for 2016-2017 when he’s turning 37?
It’s not the crime, but the coverup that dooms the participants. During and after manager Joe Girardi’s shouting match with Joel Sherman of the New York Post a week ago when Sherman asked about Sabathia’s health, was Girardi using anger as a distractive technique to shift the story from Sabathia and the possibility that he’s injured or pitching in pain? Is he hurt or not?
No matter how this season ends, if in its aftermath the Yankees turn around and admit that there was something wrong with Sabathia, how is that going to be spun to blame the media? Will it be used to justify Sabathia’s struggles? To divert attention from the fact that they were asked directly about the big lefty’s health and repeatedly said he was fine? It doesn’t work that way. You can’t say he’s okay to pitch and then use injuries to explain him not getting the job done.
Giving the moral high ground to someone like Joel Sherman is a sign that one needs to reevaluate his life. But on the scale of problems currently facing the Yankees, it’s just another small addition to the list that’s gotten them into this situation in the first place. And first place is something they may not be hearing in reference to their collective names much longer. Then Cashman’s going to have a lot more to worry about than how to navigate his statements to say things without saying them; to imply that there’s an excuse at the ready for whatever befalls the team from here on out.
He may have to worry about his job. Just like Anthony Weiner.