• Sherman: Farns A Brown/Pavano Hybrid

    Posted by on July 30th, 2007 · Comments (13)

    Joel Sherman unloads on Kyle Farnsworth -

    Whether out of desperation or simply having too much money to burn, the Yankees have brought in players in recent years such as Kevin Brown, Kyle Farnsworth, Randy Johnson, Raul Mondesi, Carl Pavano, Gary Sheffield and Jeff Weaver, who all had long rap sheets on character issues. And, lo and behold, they all had character issues with the Yankees.

    The days of the Yankees believing they could bring any malcontent in and that malcontent would be converted into pinstripe obedience by the peer pressure of professionals in the room is gone. The inmates are not exactly running the asylum in the Bronx. But this is not the same emotional brew that existed during the championship years when vocal clubhouse sergeants such as David Cone, Chili Davis and Tino Martinez would assure that the moaners and complainers would be cowed. Derek Jeter is a pro, but he is not a get-in-your-face captain.

    To this end, the Yankees need to get rid of Farnsworth by Tuesday’s trade deadline and if it means accepting inferior prospects and/or eating a piece of his contract, so be it. It seems the Yankees were the only organization in the majors that believed Farnsworth could handle being a Yankee. He can’t. He is a cross between Pavano and Brown, fragile physically with the personality of a lawn mower.

    Gotta love a guy who let’s it fly like Joel is doing here. Notice the message under the message here – about the poor acquistion performance of Cashman and the lack of leadership in the Yankees clubhouse.

    Comments on Sherman: Farns A Brown/Pavano Hybrid

    1. baileywalk
      July 30th, 2007 | 1:05 pm

      Why is it admirable that he “lets it fly”? Joel is a friggin’ blowhard who assumes he knows more about baseball than every executive in the sport. He comes up with cockamamie bullshit all year long and never once accepts that he was wrong. I used to read Sherman, but he’s become a bitter, know-it-all crank. Attacking Farnsworth is like throwing a crippled midget out of his wheelchair. Big deal.

      Excluding Mondesi and Weaver, all of those guys came from 2004 on. The reason: Cash had no farm system to draw pitching from and was desperate to replace the parting Clemens, Wells and Pettitte, so he snatched up anything he could get. He traded Weaver for Brown, Vazquez for Johnson, and paid Pavano forty mil.

      Cashman wouldn’t have to do that nowadays because he could promote actual talent or make trades.

      Sherman is the king of 20/20 hindsight. I think he should occasionally remember the motto “it ain’t easy.”

    2. jonm
      July 30th, 2007 | 1:25 pm

      baileywalk makes some good points, but I like Sherman’s comments in that column; I’m just sick of having to look at Farnsworth.

      I have a theory about the Yankees’ acquisitions of bad character guys: maybe, in a sense, the Yankees thought that by signing these guys that they were exploiting Torre’s one competitive advantage. That hasn’t worked and I think that’s because the value of Torre’s presence in the clubhouse has been overrated.

    3. Joel
      July 30th, 2007 | 1:42 pm

      Sherman has it exactly right, and in my view, has long been a perceptive observer of the Yankees. A legitimate criticism of Cashman (especially in comparison to his predecessor Stick Michael) is that he relies too much on quantitative and not enough on the sort of qualitative character traits that go into making up a team. I thought Buster Olney’s “Last Night of the Yankees Dynasty” did a good job of talking about how carefully Stick evaluated players to make sure that they were a good emotional as well as pure baseball fit for a franchise like the Yankees.

    4. Don
      July 30th, 2007 | 1:50 pm

      Basically what I’ve been saying for several years. The usual suspects may naysay all they want. They’re wrong.

    5. baileywalk
      July 30th, 2007 | 1:58 pm

      That’s a really interesting point, jon. Cashman is a Torre supporter. So maybe he really did feel that whoever he brought in, Torre would tame. That could very well be the case.

      I don’t disagree with Sherman here. He’s right, and all the guys mentioned didn’t work out. BUT… you have to look at the circumstances they were brought here under. Did Cashman WANT Brown or did he need him because of the three guys leaving? Did he WANT Farnsworth or did he have to sign him because Bob Howry went to the Cubs? Did he want Randy Johnson, or did George order the deal? I’m not saying Cashman is perfect, but everything can’t be viewed by its aftermath.

    6. Raf
      July 30th, 2007 | 2:26 pm

      Courtesy of Lee Sinins, by way of Netshrine

      “Let’s not even get into the “character” of those 1970s Yankees teams. That was as bad a set of characters you could find in a clubhouse, which followed another bad set of characters in the Oakland clubhouses where (Catfish) Hunter pitched. So, if Hunter stands for anything “character-wise”, it’s for the fact that character is meaningless when it comes to winning baseball games.

      It was just as meaningless to the 1970s A’s and 1970s Yankees as it was the pure myth of the 1990s Yankees being good characters, when that clubhouse was filled with the likes of David “Masturbating” Cone, Chuck “Cancer in the Clubhouse” Knoblauch, Paul “5 Year Olds Are More Mature” O’Neill, David “Too Many Things To Say About Him” Wells, Roger “Most Hated Man In NY” Clemens, Jeff Nelson, Karim Garcia, Darryl “Cocaine” Strawberry, Dwight “Cocaine” Gooden and the rest of those bad characters that the NY media wants to falsely claim are a bunch of good guys. And how appropriate it was that the statutory rape crowd was adequately represented by Luis Polonia’s presence on the 2000 WS Champions.

    7. Raf
      July 30th, 2007 | 3:03 pm

      lack of leadership in the Yankees clubhouse
      ==============
      Heh… So leadership (or lack thereof) is the reason Abreu and Damon are slumping? That Cano’s making Oscar Azocar look like a patient hitter? That Giambi’s hurt?

      Lack of leadership isn’t the reason the Yanks were bounced out the first round on ’05 & ’06, and it wasn’t the reason for the collapse in ’04.

      I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again. Baseball isn’t basketball or football. You cannot “will” a basehit. Desire will not make you run any faster, pitch any better, or field your position any better. Heart won’t do it either.

      Anyone who believes the nonsense that some of these sportswriters come up with really needs to learn a thing or three about the mechanics of the game.

    8. Raf
      July 30th, 2007 | 3:09 pm

      I have a theory about the Yankees’ acquisitions of bad character guys: maybe, in a sense, the Yankees thought that by signing these guys that they were exploiting Torre’s one competitive advantage. That hasn’t worked and I think that’s because the value of Torre’s presence in the clubhouse has been overrated.
      =================
      It hasn’t worked? They’ve finished first every year since 1997. They’ve made the playoffs every year since Torre’s first year in 1996.

    9. Pete
      July 30th, 2007 | 3:41 pm

      >> as it was the pure myth of the 1990s Yankees being good characters, >>

      I don’t recall anyone ever claiming all of the players you listed as choirboys, but they knew how to motivate each other & focus on the task at hand – winning baseball games.

    10. JohnnyC
      July 30th, 2007 | 3:45 pm

      Joe Torre advocated replacing Bernie Williams with the ultimate choirboy, Albert Belle. He assured Steinbrenner he could “handle” him. I guess if things didn’t go well, he would’ve batted him 8th.

    11. July 30th, 2007 | 6:08 pm

      Wait, wait wait…. so all the people who are claiming that the lack of the World Series is because of character issues are selectively forgetting the following players:

      Doc Gooden (1996)
      Darell Strawberry (96-99)
      Jose Canseco (2000)

      Not to mention Enemy of Water Coolers (O’Neill) and ringleader of HGH handouts (Jason Grimsley). No no, let’s call six division titles and two pennants a failure, and blame it on “character issues.” It’s easier that way.

    12. jonm
      July 30th, 2007 | 8:58 pm

      ~~It hasn’t worked? They’ve finished first every year since 1997. They’ve made the playoffs every year since Torre’s first year in 1996.

      I know, I know, but, with the talent that this team has had since 2001, I find the lack of rings (particularly losing in the ALDS) to be particularly unsatisfying. I honestly think that any basically qualified manager could have led these Yankee teams to the playoffs.

    13. Joel
      July 30th, 2007 | 10:09 pm

      Let me be clear that in no way does “character” equate with “respectable member of society.” What Olney talked about was character in a baseball sense.

      In that sense the Yankee teams of the late 70′s were great character teams. Between the white lines those teams were among the toughest SOB’s ever to play the game.

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