• Cashman Blames The Players

    Posted by on June 29th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    Via Peter Abraham -

    Cashman said he is shocked the Yankees are under .500 three months into the season.

    “What has me scratching my head is that I think we’re a better team offensively than we were last year when we led the majors in runs,” he said. “People say we can’t hit lefties, but these same guys hit lefties as well as they hit right-handers last season. This season has made no sense.”

    “Our problem is that the players we have on the roster now are not living up to their potential. I don’t have to name the names, everybody knows who they are.”

    File this one under “A bad workman quarrels with his tools.”

    Comments on Cashman Blames The Players

    1. Mike Z
      June 29th, 2007 | 8:45 am

      While I agree that Cashman has made many glaring mistakes, I don’t know if you’re being completely fair. I mean, would *you* have predicted that the Yankees would be playing like this, looking at their roster at the beginning of the season?

    2. RICH
      June 29th, 2007 | 9:06 am

      Steve predicted the Yanks to finish 1st for the season on March 29.

    3. James
      June 29th, 2007 | 9:26 am

      And I bet Cashman thinks 1b, the bench, and bullpen have been improved too.

      Some Yankees have been bad. But there were exactly zero backups to help. As the bullpen has been a mess, he’s done little to swap out guys.

      One can’t make predictions by expecting injuries or ineffectiveness. The GM should have been prepared for them or not signed the trash he did.

      The starting lineup in March looked like they’d score a ton of runs, and the pitching would be decent enough. But we all knew that if any of the infielder’s went down, they’d have a huge blackhole in the lineup. Count Minky+Giambi as one player and that’s exactly what happened. Add that to the offensive struggles of Cano and Abreu, and that explains the current team: Average pitching + average hitting = average team.

      Even then, a big chunk of Yankee fans wanted Torre fired last year. More would argue now, he’s closer to the problem than the solution, especially after Tuesday night.

    4. June 29th, 2007 | 9:41 am

      ~~~Steve predicted the Yanks to finish 1st for the season on March 29.~~~

      Actually, it was 3/27:

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2007/03/predicting_the_3.html

      I over-estimated the Yankees hitters too. But, I’m not getting paid to run the team. Cashman should be smarter than me, no?

    5. baileywalk
      June 29th, 2007 | 10:50 am

      You can quibble — Cashman didn’t get the team a backup catcher, the bench sucks — but that’s not the ultimate reason they are struggling. Cashman did set the pitching staff up with numerous options, but he has either failed to use them or they got hurt. Amazingly, his top three major-league-ready pitchers — Kartsens, Rasner and Hughes — all got hurt. Now you can say you knew Pavano was going to go down, but all THREE of those guys (who each got hurt on the field)? No way. He also had Britton as a backup for the bullpen, and now you can add Ed Ramirez to the list (though he refuses to bring either guy up right now).

      The team doesn’t have tremendous depth on the position-player side, but he set it up with a ton of pitching. Which he probably thought meant they were a better team.

      Anyway, he made two big deals in the off-season: he dumped Sheff and he dumped Unit. He didn’t get much back for Unit, but it was the right move: they got rid of that money and Unit is hurt again. But what about Sheff? Cashman essentially chose Abreu over Sheff, who’s a loudmouth, but who would you rather have right now? Sheff is having another terrific year — for a direct competitor.

      I was all for the Sheff deal, and it made sense at the time, but it’s starting to look horrible. It wouldn’t be a problem playing Sheff and Abreu together right now (which Cash admittedly didn’t know at the time), and the lineup could certainly use his right-handed power.

      Was the Sheff trade a mistake? Looks like it might have been.

    6. MJ
      June 29th, 2007 | 11:33 am

      Hindsight being 20/20, sure the Sheffield trade doesn’t look so hot right now. Sheff’s got 19 homers and has deepened a lineup in Detroit that didn’t look as imposing in 2006. In return, the Yanks got only one high-ceiling prospect who also happens to be out recovering from major surgery.

      But Sheffield was also an older player coming off major surgery himself. There was no position for him and the Yanks would’ve had to eat money on Abreu’s deal to retain Sheffield if they wanted to play him in RF. I can’t explain what has happened to Abreu in 2007. But I know that Sheffield didn’t fit in on this team and he didn’t even want to be here.

      I find it disingenuous (sp?) to blame Cashman for how the Sheffield deal worked out when we all roundly praised him for placing him in Detroit instead of him going to Boston and saving them the nightmare than JD Drew is becoming. We can definitely blame Cashman for how pathetic the Pavano signing was in 2005. We can blame him for continuing to count on Pavano in 2007. We can definitely blame him for having the $200M payroll but having no room for at least replacement-level bench players. But we can’t really blame him for making a very defensible move in jettisoning a malcontent with no role and getting minor league pitching in return. That’s kind of bullshit.

    7. June 29th, 2007 | 11:57 am

      ~~~Was the Sheff trade a mistake? Looks like it might have been.~~~

      I’m not ready to go there yet. Yes, he would have helped this year. But, you had to extend him to get him to be a happy camper. And, I would have been against extending him.

    8. RICH
      June 29th, 2007 | 11:57 am

      James, are there any particular players you would have liked Cashman to have as reserves when the season started? I’m not challenging you, I’m trying to remember what players were available during the off-season who would have signed as a reserve.

    9. Raf
      June 29th, 2007 | 12:13 pm

      The Sheffield deal could’ve gone either way. I still think he could have been convinced to play 1b. Remind him that he offered to play 3b when Boone went down.

      Sheffield may be a loudmouth, a malcontent, or whatever label people put on him, but the fact is he has always come ready to play.

      If he complains, let him run his mouth while he posts another productive season. He really isn’t that big a distraction, not with Rodriguez on the team.

    10. baileywalk
      June 29th, 2007 | 12:16 pm

      MJ, I did write “I was all for the Sheff deal, and it made sense at the time, but it’s starting to look horrible.” So I wouldn’t exactly say it’s “bullshit.”

      We shouldn’t be surprised that Sheff is having a great year. You know why? Sheffield ALWAYS has a great year. He’s going to get old eventually, but I didn’t think he was going to fall off because of his wrist injury. I wanted Sheff gone because he’s annoying.

      There was no rule in place that Sheffield, Abreu and Giambi couldn’t be on the team at the same time. They would have had to be creative to get them all playing time, but it could have been done. And since Giambi is injured every year anyway, it wasn’t a stretch to think that Sheff would have been the DH.

      They also didn’t HAVE to extend Sheff. If they didn’t, he still would have played — because he would have been playing for his next contract.

      So far, Cashman’s returns on the Sheff deal have been minimal. I like Whelan, but he was demoted back to high-A to regain control (which is significant since he was supposed to be a big-league option THIS year). Clagget is also starting in A-ball (and having a so-so year). And Sanchez had to have TJS and looks headed to the bullpen.

      So yeah, everything in hindsight is 20/20, etc., but that doesn’t mean you can’t look back and acknowledge a mistake.

      The Yankees traded Sheff for prospects that haven’t worked out, to a team we’re chasing; he’s having a great year offensively; we could use his bat right now; and he could be playing every day WITH Bobby, who was chosen over him and isn’t playing well.

      Cashman may laugh, but I think he would change his mind right about now.

    11. Garcia
      June 29th, 2007 | 12:16 pm

      I’m in 100% agreement with MJ. It’s hard to blame Cash for the Sheffield trade.

      I get more pissed that Cash went hard after Igawa. I was hoping they would never sign the guy.

      I know I wanted Cash to keep Pavano because there was so little he could actually get for him. Trading Pavano made sense last year, but not this past off-season.

      Oh well, whatever product we have right now then that’s our team. That’s the team I’m rooting for, flaws and all. I can’t pretend that I don’t want them to pull it off. They are a bit bipolar and dysfunctional, but I still hope they make some noise. I hope they go out and do something dramatic. All I have left is hope, as long as I have that then I’m being entertained and in the big scheme of things….that’s all I really want. Make it fun for me and I’ll accept whatever outcome awaits.

    12. James
      June 29th, 2007 | 1:32 pm

      I call BS on having to extend Shef. The Braves didn’t in 2003 and that turned out just fine. Besides, if Shef wanted to play in 2008, he was going to have to earn his next contract. And he always seemed to play best when there was chip on his shoulder.

      As for the Shef trade. The word is Cashman knew Humberto would need Tommy John. That makes that trade almost criminal in my mind.

      Cashman’s biggest mistake was assuming everyone would stay healthy. Sure, he had Melky for the OF. But didn’t the six weeks that Cano missed teach him anything? He set it up such that Minky and/or Cairo were going to get major playing time. That’s terrible. Just disgusting, really.

    13. James
      June 29th, 2007 | 1:57 pm

      Rich -

      It’s about time the Yanks made some trades in the O’Neill/Tino mold. Guys that have been in the league for a few years and are two years from free agency. Like the Overbay trade – that would have worked nicely two years ago.

      Sttict free agents – I was big Chris Gomez guy. Mike Lieberthal would have worked too.

      Otherwise, overpay for a Barajas or B.Molina. It’s insurance against Jorge’s age.

      For the infield, if not Gomez stick Phillips on the roster and tell Joe he can play 2B and 3B.

      1B wasn’t looking good. But D.Young could have worked or even Millar or Ward.

      The best solution would have been to go young and old. Sign guys like Gomez, Lieberthal, and Young AND get above average prospects. At 1B it should have been easy with all that pitching.

      Problem is: I think Cashman is such a piss poor talent evaluator, he can’t decide which pitching prospects are moveable from the Marquez, Horne, Smith, Karstens, Rasner group.

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