• The Life Of Brian

    Posted by on July 25th, 2006 · Comments (9)

    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.

    Comments on The Life Of Brian

    1. jonm
      July 25th, 2006 | 2:13 pm

      I think that Cashman has done a good job as GM. Of course, it is hard to tell who’s responsible for certain moves. I don’t think that he can be blamed for Wright/Womack, but I think that he can be blamed for Pavano. The Enrique Wilson-Marte trade was bad, but I don’t know how much he had to do with that.

      On the positive side, I don’t think that he gets enough credit for the Clemens, Justice, Glenallen Hill, Chacon, and ARod trades. We need another Glenallen Hill, circa 2000, this year.

    2. July 25th, 2006 | 2:18 pm

      Without PEDs, I don’t think there’s another Hill coming…….and, IIRC, Pavano was 100% Cashman.

    3. baileywalk
      July 25th, 2006 | 3:03 pm

      Pavano was an organization-wide decision. Every team in baseball wanted Pavano. HE chose what team HE wanted. If he wanted to play for Boston, he’d be in Boston. If he wanted to play for the Tigers, he’d be with the Tigers. The Angels, the Angels. The Mariners, the Mariners.

      People continually attack the Yankees for signing Pavano, and some media people even say they overestimated him, but it was a consensus opinion that Pavano was a stud pitcher who could lead a staff. They also got him at a reduced rate.

      It didn’t work out. If you look at Pavano as a Yankee before his shoulder gave out, he looked pretty good. Pavano looked like he had put his injuries behind him. If you’re afraid to sign a pitcher with injuries in his past, you’re probably going to be limited to half a dozen guys. I question the Wright move, but I think the Pavano move was a no-brainer.

    4. JohnnyC
      July 25th, 2006 | 4:55 pm

      Plus, where are all the Einsteins who thought the Red Sox one-upped the Yankees by signing Matt Clement? In this day and age, pitchers are literally a shrug away from TJ surgery. And it starts before ML clubs even get their hands on these kids. Zach Kroenke, a 2005 draftee playing now on our Tampa High-A team, recalls how college programs routinely force their best pitchers to throw 150-175 pitches a game. They simply don’t care what happens to you after you’re gone from their program. Should we be surprised that the majority of prospects encounter significant injury problems? Just based on scarcity, a healthy stud pitcher ought to be the highest paid player in the game not Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez.

    5. Raf
      July 25th, 2006 | 11:42 pm

      People continually attack the Yankees for signing Pavano, and some media people even say they overestimated him, but it was a consensus opinion that Pavano was a stud pitcher who could lead a staff. They also got him at a reduced rate.
      ñññññññññññññññññññññññññññññññ

      THose who thought that, werent paying attention

    6. baileywalk
      July 25th, 2006 | 11:52 pm

      Here’s what they were paying attention to, Raf: a young pitcher who had a solid post-season and followed it up with a stellar year (18 wins).

      Raf, all a pitcher has to do nowadays to get money is have ONE good, healthy year. Even though Ben Sheets is hurt every single year, and he’s only had one winning season (10-9), if he was a free agent this off-season he’s get twelve million a year. Because he’s so talented. There isn’t a lot of good pitching around and when a guy has a year like Pavano had, he gets big bucks.

      He had an excellent, injury-free season with the Marlins in ’04 and every team wanted him and the Yankees were the team he wanted to sign with. End of story. There’s no reason to “blame” anyone about the deal.

    7. Raf
      July 26th, 2006 | 2:17 am
    8. JohnnyC
      July 26th, 2006 | 12:30 pm

      Weren’t these the same people who preferred Matt Clement over Pavano? Second verse, same as the first.

    9. Raf
      July 26th, 2006 | 8:49 pm

      Weren’t these the same people who preferred Matt Clement over Pavano?
      ============================
      And to date, Clement has been better than Pavano, though not by much…

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.