Darien Magazine has a feature on Brian Cashman this month. Some highlights:
“My winter is harder than my summer,” Brian notes. “It’s all a lot of work, but the winter is that much more, going head-to-head on free agency, arbitration and trades.”
Cashman grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Nancy and John. His dad raised standard-bred horses for harness racing, and Brian and his four siblings were kept busy performing odd jobs.
“My father broke every child labor law,” Brian says with a shake of his head. Cleaning stables, he says, “gave me a work ethic and made me realize how tough it was to get by.” It also gave him a profound distaste for horses. He preferred basketball and baseball. His favorite baseball team was the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brian rejoiced when they beat the Yankees in the 1981 World Series.
“At that time I was one of the all-time Yankee haters,” Cashman admits.
Being GM would bring him much glory and stress, not to mention long work hours driven by his own fear of failure as much as by Steinbrenner’s fabled wrath. “Right now, while I’m talking to you, one of my competitors could be on the verge of completing something that will make the difference,” Cashman says.
“There are people who take some shots I don’t like, but then I go to the archives and find the same people have written some very positive things too,” he says. “I’m not saying I’m perfect at this, but I’ve gotten better.”
Late one evening in February 2004, Mary woke up to the sound of Brian talking excitedly on the cell phone in their bedroom. He was finalizing a deal that would bring Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees. Now in his third season as the team’s third baseman, having changed positions at Cashman’s request to accommodate shortstop Derek Jeter, Rodriguez was 2005 American League Most Valuable Player and is considered one of the two or three best players in the game today.
“Alex was huge,” Cashman says.
“I remember telling George Steinbrenner, ‘Boss, this is a can’t-miss move.’”
Cash keeps an “archive” on what people say about him? There goes my chance of ever working for the Yankees. Bummer.