Bob Nightengale speculates on Cashman’s survival rate:
Brian Cashman, Yankees
• Survival odds: 25%
Cashman, the most popular GM among his peers, has grown tired of being owner George Steinbrenner’s whipping boy. Then again, if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, Steinbrenner won’t give him a choice.
Cashman is telling friends that he is gone. He would love to work in Baltimore, apparently figuring that even with Angelos and his sons running the show, Camden Yards would be like Club Med compared to dealing with Steinbrenner.
• Prediction: Cashman departs, and vice president Damon Oppenheimer replaces him.
So, who is Damon Oppenheimer? From a recent Madden column:
Oppenheimer, 43, played college baseball at USC and then joined the San Diego Padres (where his mother, Priscilla, was director of minor league operations) as an amateur scout. He was hired by the Yankees in 1994 as a cross-checker in their player development department, but he managed to get himself assigned to Michael’s major league postseason scouting team.
“Stick was like a mentor to him,” said one Yankee organization man, referring to Michael. “But after time, Damon kind of separated himself from him as he rose in power down in Tampa.”
Ever see the movie Coneheads? If you did, do you remember the character of the suck-up INS Agent played by David Spade? Why can’t I get that image out of my head when I’m reading that summary on Damon Oppenheimer?