Cashman’s Personal Life Is Not Our Business

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Has Brian Cashman ever sat in an interview and uttered such advertising-centric inanities as “my family is my rock” or other some such nonsense that Tiger Woods used to say about his wife and children while he was conducting multiple affairs on the side?

Does Cashman claim to be living under the vows of Catholicism or whatever religion he happens to be adherent to and extol his virtuous behaviors with sex only used within the bounds of Holy matrimony and, even then, for procreation and nothing else?

Is he, in part seeking public validation of being a “good” person, by saying he was a virgin as Barry Sanders did years ago and failed at it as he had a child out of wedlock; as Tim Tebow is doing now and, as far as we know, sticking to it?

Are Cashman and his girlfriend on the cover of US Magazine like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie talking about whatever Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie talk about on the cover of US Magazine?

What’s that you say?

You don’t care about Brian Cashman’s personal life because he’s neither a star athlete nor a Hollywood luminary?

That’s exactly the point.

Who cares about Cashman’s affairs?

Believe me when I tell you that one of the last things I want to be thinking about is Brian Cashman doing whatever it is he does when he’s not general managing the Yankees.

Apparently Deadspin does think and care about these things—link—as they’ve gone to the level of visiting his former mistress, examined a pair of pajama pants as if they’re on a level with Monica Lewinsky’s stained dress…

***I’ll pause while you go get yourself a cold drink and try to keep from throwing up.***

…and played a phone call from Cashman to the woman in question (“Lou”) in which his tone is eerily similar to what I imagine he sounds like when he’s calling a rival GM and attempting to trade for Sergio Mitre.

This is a man who basically grew up under the influence of, functioned and survived in the amoral and haphazardly run dictatorship known as the George Steinbrenner Yankees.

The most impressive thing Cashman has done in his 26 years with the organization was to keep his job.

It’s not as if his image is being sullied or he’s being cut down and exposed as a hypocrite—he never espoused to any “I’m better than you because of <X>” rhetoric. He’s not particularly likable; doesn’t have much of a personality; and, if anything, this humanizes him and makes him look more like a normal person than some dead-eyed corporate menace who, if he weren’t in baseball, would be a middle-to-upper-middle managing lawyer or accountant who you wouldn’t notice until you came face-to-face with him while riding a packed subway at rush hour.

The only things people are interested in with Cashman are the types of moves he makes on the field with the Yankees.

Was he carrying on these affairs while wooing CC Sabathia to re-sign with the Yankees without venturing into free agency after his opt-out? Did his girlfriend(s) accompany him as he went to talk to the representatives for Hiroki Kuroda? Was he in one of their apartments while negotiating with the Mariners for Michael Pineda?

If yes, so what?

This doesn’t affect his work as the peccadillos of Steve Phillips did while he was the Mets GM because the Mets—due to Phillips’s inability to control himself (it was a recurring life-trend)—were under threat of a lawsuit for sexual harassment. That was the business of the media because it was part of the way the Mets were being run.

But this?

Deadspin is trying to become the TMZ/National Enquirer of the sports world. While the audio tape, pictures and story will yield a few extra webhits (probably a lot of extra webhits), it’s like rubbernecking during a fender bender. It’s a minor distraction that’s not influencing nor hurting anyone.

So who really cares?

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Precision Strikes 6.30.2011

Games, Management, Media, Players

Yankees reacquire Sergio Mitre setting off a storm of hilarity.

Because Sergio Mitre is seen as manager Joe Girardi‘s pet, there’s a neverending wellspring of jokes at the righty’s expense.

But as far as middle-relievers who can pitch multiple innings, spot start and pitch in a blowout, is it that funny? No. Mitre’s not that bad.

Yes he gives up homers and when he gets hit, he gets hit hard; but he was pretty good for the Yankees in 2010; and he’s pitched well enough for the Brewers this season functioning with a horrible defense behind him. That won’t be a problem with the Yankees.

He is what he is and what that is isn’t worthy of the ridicule heaped upon him for being Sergio Mitre.

Managerials.

The Mets-Tigers game from last night will be shown in managerial courses everywhere.

No such thing as “managerial courses” you say? Maybe I’ll start one.

It’ll be shown for glaring examples of what not to do.

The two most bizarre/egregious gaffes came when Mets manager Terry Collins called for lefty reliever Tim Byrdak to pitch to Tigers pinch hitter Andy Dirks.

Sound strategy except for the fact that Byrdak wasn’t aware he was supposed to be warming up. He’d warmed up the prior inning and wasn’t ready.

It looked like a Benny Hill skit as Byrdak grabbed his glove and came running out of the bullpen. Dirks hit a floating curveball—that I think I could’ve hit—out of the park; a livid Byrdak slammed the resin bag onto the mound and was yanked right after that bit of satire.

As far as the blame game for that goes, hey, these things happen. Managers and coaches are human beings and human beings make mistakes. The Mets won. No harm, no foul. Don’t let it happen again.

On the other side, Tigers manager Jim Leyland brought utilityman Don Kelly in to record the final out of the Mets half of the 9th inning.

Why?

I dunno.

Maybe he wanted to loosen up his tight and struggling club; maybe he was telling his relievers they were so terrible that he was bringing in a position player to pitch.

I didn’t understand it even though Kelly retired Scott Hairston on a fly out.

If the Tigers win today maybe Leyland will be credited for being the grizzled, veteran manager who had his fingers on the pulse of his team and sensed they needed a laugh; in reality, if the Tigers win today, it’ll be because Justin Verlander is pitching.

But whatever works!

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Yankees Were Better Off With Mitre

Books, Management, Media, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, Players, Spring Training

You read that right.

As much of a butt of jokes as Sergio Mitre was, there are pitchers for roles and roles for pitchers; the Yankees didn’t need Mitre to be a starting pitcher despite the pretense they put up with him “competing” for a role in the starting rotation this year; they needed him to be a long reliever.

That’s what he was and he was okay at it; he never complained; pitched when asked; and for the most part was serviceable.

Today the Yankees traded Mitre to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Chris Dickerson. This comes a day after they signed Kevin Millwood to a minor league contract; the same Kevin Millwood who was said to be out of shape and threw an unimpressive session for scouts in a Scott Boras-arranged exhibition last week. The Yankees were the only team to send anyone to look at Millwood.

They have Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon vying for the final spot in the starting rotation. Ivan Nova will presumably be the fourth starter, although none of this has been officially announced as of yet.

What’s the plan now?

Is there one?

Since there hasn’t been a coherent strategy all winter, why should anyone expect something different as they continue the same pattern?

The Yankees had their entire 2011 blueprint contingent on signing Cliff Lee; when Lee took his talents to Philadelphia, the Yankees started scrambling in ill-disguised desperation. First it was a bizarre, Twilight Zone-ish attempt to bring back Carl Pavano; then they repeatedly called the Mariners about Felix Hernandez and have been told—over-and-over—that King Felix is not available.*

*After the attempted trade for Lee last summer that degenerated into an accusatory fiasco between the two clubs as to who said what and whether a trade had been agreed to, the Yankees supposedly decreed they weren’t going to deal with the Mariners again; what happened?

They’ve been pursuing Francisco Liriano and Brett Myers with the media treating these wish lists as if they’re the divine right of the Yankees to get the players they want simply because they want them.

Liriano and Myers aren’t available either.

So they brought in Garcia and Colon on minor league contracts; they were worth a shot and have pitched respectably this spring. And now they’ve signed Millwood.

Are they going to stick either Garcia or Colon in the starting rotation and the other in the Mitre role of long relief? How long’s that going to last?

Colon has relieved three times in his big league career and two of those times were in his rookie year of 1997.

Garcia has relieved once in his career.

That’s a combined total of four relief appearances for two pitchers who’ve been in 631 big league games.

Will they know how to warm up properly? Can they get into game face quickly? Will they pitch effectively in an unfamiliar role?

I highly doubt it.

At the very least, with Mitre, you knew what you were getting. It may not have been great, but you knew what it was. Games in which he’d enter as a long reliever generally meant the starting pitcher had put his team in a hole and they needed some length to get through the middle innings. The long reliever’s job is that and more.

If you watched Hisanori Takahashi with the Mets last season, you saw the true value of a competent middle reliever who could give 3-5 innings at a time. Takahashi entered games in which the Mets were in danger of getting blown out, calmed things down and gave the club a chance to crawl back into the game. With the Yankees lineup, that’s not a small thing as they’re never really out of any game.

Mitre wasn’t good, but he knew his place and was a usable piece.

With a rookie, Nova, as the fourth starter; either Colon or Garcia as the fifth starter; and Phil Hughes still on an innings/pitch count, wouldn’t they have been better off keeping Mitre than to trade for Chris Dickerson? Do they need another outfielder? Are they that worried about Curtis Granderson‘s strained oblique and were so undecided as to what they were going to do with either Garcia or Colon that they had to do this now?

This made no sense. In fact, it looked like the Yankees were confronted with the dilemma of what to do with all these over-the-hill and mediocre pitchers and jumped at the opportunity to get something for Mitre before the offer was pulled.

It was a mistake.

I published a full excerpt of my book 9 days ago here.

The book is available now. Click here to get it in paperback or E-Book on I-Universe or on Amazon or BN. It’s also available via E-book on Borders.com.

Now it’s also out on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook.


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