• Not Another Cashman Entry

    Posted by on January 10th, 2008 · Comments (41)

    Before you get your feathers in a bunch – relax, sometimes a “not anotherthing can be interesting.

    I’ve been critical of Brian Cashman, at times – yes, this is a given. Since (next week) I am scheduled to have a “guest” feature at another blog, which will mention Cashman, and, since I’ve noticed that other blogs are tending to reference some of my former critiques of Brian, I thought this is probably a good time to clear the air regarding any assumptions that folks may have about my position on Brian Cashman – and his role of G.M. of the Yankees.

    First, personally, I have nothing against Brian Cashman, “the man.” He seems like a nice person. And, he’s never done anything to me. In fact, I believe that he probably deserves a medal for working under George Steinbrenner over the last twenty years.

    As a fan, I love what Big Stein does for the Yankees. He wants to win and he’s willing to spend to make it happen. What more can a fan ask from an owner? But, as a “boss,” well, I’ve worked for some people who were just like George is reported to be…and, I couldn’t do it for long, in each case. If I worked for Big Stein, when he was in his prime, I probably would have had a breakdown, quit, slugged him, or been fired. Shoot, probably all of those things would have happened if I worked for George – even with me being a huge Yankees fan.

    But, Cashman has hung in there, all these years, under Steinbrenner. That’s impressive.

    Nonetheless, here’s the issue for me with Brian Cashman. While he’s a good administrator, he’s not a good evaluator. And, while he’s capable of being a caretaker, he’s not an architect.

    Now, I know that many Yankees fans have no issue with what Cashman is not – and they are more than happy with what he is, etc. But, me? I’m greedy. I think the best team in the big leagues should have one of the best, if not the best, G.M.’s in the majors. I want someone who has no shortcomings when it comes to evaluating talent and who does not have to rely almost completely on others for help in this area. And, I want someone who builds a winner – and not someone who is just good at running with something that was built by someone else.

    I don’t want a G.M. who needs to be defended with comments like “Well, it seemed like a good move at the time” or “There were no other options when it happened.” That’s the old “luck” defense – meaning that it didn’t work out because of “something” outside of the decision making process.

    I believe that luck is the residue of design – and, further, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

    But, again, that’s me. Your mileage may vary. Heck, in fact, you may not agree with my assessment of Cashman – or my position of what skills are preferable in a G.M.

    That’s all fine. And, I would hope that those who don’t share the same opinion on this would be willing to agree to disagree, and leave it at that. Further, I would hope that people would understand that I’m not a “Cashman Hater” – because, again, I have nothing personal against him…it’s just that I do not believe Brian Cashman is the ideal G.M. for a baseball team. I’d love to hang out with him some time. I’m sure we have many things in common. If he wanted to become part of my circle of friends, that would be fine.

    Just one heads-up, if that happens, Cash. Be prepared to get some good ribbing about Weaver, Vazquez, Brown, Pavano, Igawa and some others. After all, what are friends for?

    Comments on Not Another Cashman Entry

    1. williamnyy
      January 10th, 2008 | 9:33 pm

      I don’t most people misunderstand your position; they (and I) just think it is flat out wrong. While you think he is not a good evaluatior and architect, most people disagree with you. The biggest problem I have is you rarely provide convincing arguments to support your criticisms of Cashman. Saying that the Yankees should have a better bullpen isn’t a valid criticism until you can show where Cashman failed in doing so. Maybe you think there is a better GM out there, but quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to trade Cashman in for another.

    2. Rich
      January 10th, 2008 | 9:44 pm

      The problem with GMs who are primarily talent evaluators is that they often become infatuated with a given player’s skillset and then either overpay to acquire him, or acquire him even if there isn’t a need. In the process, they lose sight of the big picture.

      In today’s complex baseball environment, a GM’s job is often to collate information from a wide range of sources, and then to arrive at synthesis.

      IMO, Cash does that as well as any GM. Since gaining additional decision making authority at the end of 2005, he has revamped the scouting operation, making a number of new hires, and has placed a greater emphasis on statistical analysis.

      If I have one critique of Cashman, it would be that I would like to see him hire more people who proficient in sabermetrics, especially those on the cutting edge.

    3. January 10th, 2008 | 9:46 pm

      ***I want someone who has no shortcomings when it comes to evaluating talent, or who has to rely almost completely on others for help in this area***

      Which GM – past or present – fits that criteria? No one. Know why? Because that man does not exist.

      Behind every great GM is an army of great scouts, evaluators, assistants, cross checkers, etc., whom he trusts and leans upon on a daily, hourly, minutely (is that a word?) basis. Building a baseball team, especially a successful one, is not a one man job, and never will be.

    4. January 10th, 2008 | 10:44 pm

      ~~Which GM – past or present – fits that criteria? No one. Know why? Because that man does not exist.~~

      Actually, my grammar was pretty bad there. I’ve now edited

      “I want someone who has no shortcomings when it comes to evaluating talent, or who has to rely almost completely on others for help in this area”

      to read:

      “I want someone who has no shortcomings when it comes to evaluating talent and who does not have to rely almost completely on others for help in this area.”

      FWIW, I agree with you, Mike, when you write:

      “Behind every great GM is an army of great scouts, evaluators, assistants, cross checkers, etc., whom he trusts and leans upon…”

      When I say “evaluate,” I’m not implying that he has to do it all – he should take input from scouts, etc. But, then he must “evaluate” those opinions, etc. And, do it correctly. If the scouts say that Igawa and Pavano are the real deal, he needs to be able to read between the lines and know that it’s wrong, etc. And, I don’t see that in Cash.

    5. January 10th, 2008 | 10:48 pm

      ~~~Saying that the Yankees should have a better bullpen isn’t a valid criticism until you can show where Cashman failed in doing so.~~~

      Well, if the bullpen stinks, and he’s in charge of putting the team together, I would suggest that he’s failed there, no?

      It’s Yoda-stuff. Either do, or do not. If he didn’t do it (well) then he failed. Is the how more important than the result?

    6. January 10th, 2008 | 11:01 pm

      ***If the scouts say that Igawa and Pavano are the real deal, he needs to be able to read between the lines and know that it’s wrong, etc.***

      Please tell me you’re joking.

    7. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 12:01 am

      I don’t want a G.M. who needs to be defended with comments like “Well, it seemed like a good move at the time” or “There were no other options when it happened.” That’s the old “luck” defense – meaning that it didn’t work out because of “something” outside of the decision making process.
      =============
      2007 was the first time the Yanks didn’t win a division title since 1997.

      I’d say that’s a pretty good run.

      This despite the shortcomings in the pen, this despite the inability (perceived or otherwise) of building a pitching staff or a bench, etc, etc, etc.

      The problem with judging Cashman on what the team does in the postseason is that luck plays a huge factor (did you see Wang getting shelled in 2007? Rivera blowing the save in 2001? Pettitte getting shelled in 2001? So on and so forth). The right moves fail, the wrong moves succeed. Stars and scrubs have succeeded, stars and scrubs have failed. If someone has a “formula” as to what it takes to win in the postseason, I have yet to see it.

    8. Rich
      January 11th, 2008 | 12:19 am

      The Torre factor may have played a significant role in the team’s success (or lack thereof) in recent years. Whether his absence will turn out to be positive or negative remains to be seen. I’ll take the over.

    9. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 12:46 am

      The Torre factor may have played a significant role in the team’s success (or lack thereof) in recent years.
      ————
      Can’t fault him for Wang getting shelled twice in 07, can’t blame him for Rivera blowing saves in back to back games in 04, can’t blame him for Pettitte getting shelled in 01 or Rivera’s blown save in 01.

      I agree we’ll see, but if Girardi makes the “right” move and it backfires, will he have to take the heat?

    10. Rich
      January 11th, 2008 | 1:20 am

      Can’t fault him for Wang getting shelled twice in 07, can’t blame him for Rivera blowing saves in back to back games in 04, can’t blame him for Pettitte getting shelled in 01 or Rivera’s blown save in 01.

      I agree we’ll see, but if Girardi makes the “right” move and it backfires, will he have to take the heat?
      ___

      But one can blame Torre for pitching Weaver for two innings in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series, or using an already overworked Tom Gordon with a nine run lead in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, or batting A-Rod 6th in Games 1 and 2, and 8th in Game 4, in the 2006 ALDS, which may have sent a message of panic to the team (that was Sheffield’s opinion).

      As for Girardi, I’m sure the people who gave Torre credit for the wins but no blame for the losses, will be primed to blame Girardi for any sign of underachieving.

    11. E-ROC
      January 11th, 2008 | 3:38 am

      Didn’t Torre bring Wang back on shortrest to pitch against the Indians after being shelled in the first game? The percentages of Wang winning that game were in his favor, yet Torre still put him out there.

      I also thought Shelley Duncan should’ve played against CC Sabathia. Right handed hitter with power who job is to face left handers and probably gives his team some “youthful” energy. I didn’t understand that.

      Steve, who would you replace Cashman with?

    12. williamnyy
      January 11th, 2008 | 7:21 am

      Well, if the bullpen stinks, and he’s in charge of putting the team together, I would suggest that he’s failed there, no?

      It’s Yoda-stuff. Either do, or do not. If he didn’t do it (well) then he failed. Is the how more important than the result?

      *********************************************

      That oversimplification is exactly why your arguments against Cashman always fall on deaf ears. What you fail to realize is that constructing a baseball team is very much a zero sum game due to the limited available talent. It’s not like Cashman can simply acquire good bullpen without consequence, but for some reason has failed to do so.

      I’ll give you an example. If Cashman’s main goal was to build a strong bullpen, then he should acquire Joe Nathan. To do that, he should offer Minnesota Ian Kennedy, Jose Tabata and Austin Jackson. That would certainly get the job done and immensely bolster the bullpen. Now, I ask you this. Would trading the Yankees best prospects for a great reliever make Brian Cashman a good GM?

      If you answered no, like I think most would, then you have to accept that while building a stellar bullpen is definitely a nice goal, it is by no means a team’s top priority, meaning the end does not justify the mean. The same can be said about building a strong bench. As much as we’d like the Yankees to be perfect in all areas (and have a strong farm system too), that simply is an unlikely goal. Cashman has done a very good job keeping the Yankees at the top of the baseball world for 10 years and has now managed to make the future seem just as bright. Maybe you think the Yankees should inherently be a good team, but I have too many memories of Espinoza, Tolleson, Azocar, etc. to believe that.

    13. MJ
      January 11th, 2008 | 9:03 am

      I don’t want a G.M. who needs to be defended with comments like “Well, it seemed like a good move at the time” or “There were no other options when it happened.” That’s the old “luck” defense – meaning that it didn’t work out because of “something” outside of the decision making process.
      ===========================================

      First, answer the question of who you think the four or five best GM’s in baseball are right now (or were, as recently as 2007). Please restrict your answer to people who are currently employed.

      Next, please apply the train of thought that I’ve cited above in your analysis of the other GM’s you’ve listed as “the best” in the game. I assume — but won’t speak for you — that Theo Epstein, Terry Ryan, Billy Beane will be among your list. In each of their cases, I can cite errors that they have made that were blatantly wrong at the time they made their decision or errors which appeared after the fact, due to the benefit of hindsight.

      Steve, please answer my question honestly and fully. I truly believe you’re applying impossible standards which cannot be reasonably met by anyone yet, at the same time, exonerating the same errors of others.

    14. January 11th, 2008 | 9:05 am

      Bogged at work today. I’ll try and get back to ya’ll as soon as possible.

    15. alvarof
      January 11th, 2008 | 9:09 am

      You sound like those guys that say “I would trade Mike Mussina” … yeah! As if there were any takers! Who is good? Who is better? Bob Sykes for Willie McGee?

    16. rbj
      January 11th, 2008 | 9:11 am

      OK Steve, Let us start out with what your expectations of the team are:
      1) Are the Yankees supposed to win the WS every year? That is an impossible expectation, and even the 1947-63 Yankees had help through a corrupt arrangement with the St. Louis Browns.
      2) To be competitive and get to the post season every year? Even that is generally unrealistic, with the current Yankees and the recent Atlanta Braves being outliers.
      3) To just be competitive and field a winning team each year? More realistic, yet it also serves to different masters: laying a foundation for winning in the future vs. winning it all now.

      What is your standard for evaluating how good a GM is? Does John Schuerholzt meet it? How about Branch Rickey?

    17. Harley
      January 11th, 2008 | 10:18 am

      Well, Ahab, you’ve reached ‘bargaining.’ Which is progress of a sort. Only one more stage before ‘acceptance’!

    18. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 10:54 am

      But one can blame Torre for pitching Weaver for two innings in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series, or using an already overworked Tom Gordon with a nine run lead in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, or batting A-Rod 6th in Games 1 and 2, and 8th in Game 4, in the 2006 ALDS
      ===============
      Problem is that after the “Weaver game” the series was tied at two games a piece. The Yanks had opportunities to take the series lead in game 5.

      Same applies to 2004. Yanks blow game 4, they had games 5 & 6 to win. Matter of fact, Torre went to Rivera early in game 5. Rivera blew that save too.

      Batting Rodriguez 6th was a byproduct of putting Matsui & Sheffield back in the lineup. Given the way Torre likes to stagger the lineup, it’s not surprising that Rodriguez batted 6. I do agree that batting him 8th was stupid. Looking at the batting order for that year, Torre only used this lineup once;
      Damon-CF
      Jeter-SS
      Abreu-RF
      Rodriguez-3B
      Giambi-DH
      Sheffield-1B
      Matsui-LF
      Posada-C
      Cano-2B

      I find that a bit odd…

      I still think Wang should’ve gotten the start, but seeing how it was explained that Torre wanted to save Wang’s arm, I understand the reasoning behind him not starting.

    19. Sonny M
      January 11th, 2008 | 12:15 pm

      Steve,

      I agree with you on some things, disagree with you on some others.

      You got some good points on Cashman, what I would be interested in, is who you think would be some possible candidates to be GM of the Yankees.

      I mention this, because there is a possibility this is Cashmans last season, so, who would you recommend to replace him after the 2008 baseball season?

      FWIW, there are some excellent candidates out there, that you could mention.

    20. Sherard
      January 11th, 2008 | 12:17 pm

      Neat trick. Yet another in a long, long line of “Cashman stinks” posts, but somehow this one is different because you add the disclaimer: “Yeah, but he IS a nice guy”. Wow, aren’t you generous.

      I don’t need to really go into a counter argument as those are overwhelming represented above. Steve, you are the lone voice on this one, and not even slightly convincing in your arguments. I really don’t know what you hope to accomplish by beating this dead horse over and over and over.

      I will say this – you are generally good at this and you would do yourself a MASSIVE disservice by taking your guest spot at Lohud and spoiling it with another “I hate Cashman” post. It would be a shame, really.

    21. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 12:30 pm

      Neat trick. Yet another in a long, long line of “Cashman stinks” posts, but somehow this one is different because you add the disclaimer: “Yeah, but he IS a nice guy”. Wow, aren’t you generous.
      ========
      FWIW, Steve’s stance has been pretty consistent. He never said he hated the guy, just felt that he was overrated. And that has been his take for a couple of years now.

    22. Sonny M
      January 11th, 2008 | 1:24 pm

      Lets do a little compromise here, and lets do the ultimate pro and con on Cashman the old fashioned way.

      Compare and contrast.

      Steve Lombardi, (and his critics).

      Put together a list ranking all the GM’s in baseball, and where does Cashman rank on it (#2?, #7?, #26?, etc).

      Who are (in order from best to worst) GM’s in baseball, lets see where the procashman crowd ranks him, and the anti-cashman crowd ranks him?

    23. Rich
      January 11th, 2008 | 1:44 pm

      Problem is that after the “Weaver game” the series was tied at two games a piece. The Yanks had opportunities to take the series lead in game 5.

      Same applies to 2004. Yanks blow game 4, they had games 5 & 6 to win. Matter of fact, Torre went to Rivera early in game 5. Rivera blew that save too.
      _____

      I’m not saying that the Torre factor was the only reason they lost, only that it played a significant factor in those losses. In other words, his suboptimal moves imposed more obstacles to prevailing in each series.

    24. Nick from Washington Heights
      January 11th, 2008 | 1:44 pm

      1. Kevin Towers
      2. Billy Beane
      3. Dombrowski
      4. Mark Shapiro
      5. Josh Byrnes
      6. Melvin-Brewers
      7. Cashman
      8. Theo
      9. The Rockies GM
      10. Omar
      11. JP Ricciardi
      12. Pat Gillick
      13. Jim Bowden
      13-25-either I don’t know them because they’re new, or its too early to determine how good a job they’ve done
      26. Bavasi (formerly spot owned by Littlefield)

      This list is probably wrong.

    25. Sonny M
      January 11th, 2008 | 2:16 pm

      Thats not a bad list, though I personally don’t think Bowden is that good. I do like Kevin Towers, especially when it comes to bullpens.

    26. January 11th, 2008 | 2:59 pm

      It would be nice if Billy Beane actually won something one of these years. Maybe he could start earning some of the crazy respect he gets.

    27. Nick from Washington Heights
      January 11th, 2008 | 3:09 pm

      Hey, he wrote Money Ball or something like that.

    28. January 11th, 2008 | 3:57 pm

      OK, seven hours later, I’m back. Let me try and answer some stuff here.

      ~~~ Please tell me you’re joking.~~~

      I’m not.

      ~~~2007 was the first time the Yanks didn’t win a division title since 1997. I’d say that’s a pretty good run.~~~

      Well, in 2005, the Yankees “comeback” was aided when the (first place) Red Sox lost 12 of 18 games from June 27th to July 18th. And, in 2006, the Red Sox lost 21 games in August (and went 8-21 on the month). Those 21 losses tied the all-time record for losses in a month by a team that started the month in first place. (Boston held a one-game lead over New York at the end of July 2006.) You could make the case that, if not for the Sox tanking, the Yankees last first place finish could have been 2004.

      ~~~ Steve, who would you replace Cashman with?~~~

      It’s not that simple when you’re hiring for a spot like this one. This is where the Yankees need to do their homework. You have to dig and find the right next guy.

      I can tell you the type of guy that the Yankees need to replace Cashman with: Someone like Frank Wren…but not him. Someone with a resume like him though…a former player, did scouting, worked for the best GM’s, maybe even was a GM once as a learning experience…someone with all that. The Yankees need a “baseball” man at the helm…like Gene Michael and Bob Watson, when they were in charge…and not someone who is basically a “white collar” business-oriented type (like Cashman).

      The reason why I say “not Wren” is that I’m not sure if he can handle the fishbowl nature of Yankeeland.

      But, there has to be at least a half-dozen candidates like Wren out there now in baseball.

      ~~~…answer the question of who you think the four or five best GM’s in baseball are right now (or were, as recently as 2007). Please restrict your answer to people who are currently employed.~~~

      Mark Shapiro, Terry Ryan, Dave Dombrowski, Larry Beinfest and Bill Stoneman

      ~~~ What is your standard for evaluating how good a GM is?~~~

      It’s not even about wins and losses, or rings. It’s about the ability to put the proper dollar sign on the muscle.

      ~~~I mention this, because there is a possibility this is Cashman’s last season, so, who would you recommend to replace him after the 2008 baseball season?~~~

      At this point, I would not cry if they wanted to give Damon Oppenheimer a shot. At least he has a scouting background.

      ~~~ Steve, you are the lone voice on this one~~~

      Really? Try Googling “Cashman” with “insert the name of one of his duds” and see what you get. Here’s a good one that I just found now:

      http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/47254/brian_cashmans_catastrophes.html?page=3

      ~~~ Steve’s stance has been pretty consistent. He never said he hated the guy, just felt that he was overrated. And that has been his take for a couple of years now.~~~

      Thanks, at least someone gets it.

    29. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 4:12 pm

      ***You could make the case that, if not for the Sox tanking, the Yankees last first place finish could have been 2004.***

      This is something I don’t understand; you’re willing to discount regular season exploits, but you’re not willing to discount postseason exploits, despite the fact that they happen over a smaller sample of games.

      While the Red Sox were “choking” the Yanks had the opportunity to “choke” as well. They could’ve packed it in in 05 when the pitching staff imploded, they could’ve packed it in in 06 when they lost both Matsui & Sheffield, they could’ve packed it in in 07 when the pitching staff imploded. But they didn’t. Those clubs had their issues too.

    30. MJ
      January 11th, 2008 | 4:42 pm

      ~~~…answer the question of who you think the four or five best GM’s in baseball are right now (or were, as recently as 2007). Please restrict your answer to people who are currently employed.~~~

      Mark Shapiro, Terry Ryan, Dave Dombrowski, Larry Beinfest and Bill Stoneman
      =============================================
      Steve, I know you’re swamped at work so I’m not busting on you but you didn’t answer my question. I want you to take your list and then apply it to the question I asked. I refuse to believe that these five guys haven’t made mistakes recognized through the benefit of hindsight or outright blunders that seemed like whoppers at the time.

    31. January 11th, 2008 | 5:07 pm

      ~~~While the Red Sox were “choking” the Yanks had the opportunity to “choke” as well. They could’ve packed it in in 05 when the pitching staff imploded, they could’ve packed it in in 06 when they lost both Matsui & Sheffield, they could’ve packed it in in 07 when the pitching staff imploded. But they didn’t. Those clubs had their issues too.~~~

      2005 – the Yankees and Red Sox tied for first – and, if not for the Sox choke, the Yankees would have been a 2nd place team – regardless of them hanging in or not. Boston’s tank was the reason why New York finished 1st that year.

      2006 – the Yankees were consistent, and played well, all year. Month by month, and 1st half vs. 2nd half. Yet, still, they were behind Boston until Boston tanked. It was Boston’s title to win or lose, and, they lost it – just as much as the Yankees won it.

      2007 – the Yankees had a shot at catching Boston, the Red Sox even came out and said that resting their pitchers was more important than finishing 1st – as long as they got the WC, and, still the Yankees did not pass them. So, why would we want to celebrate what the Yankees did during the season in 2007? It’s great just because they rebounded from the first two months? So, what, we’re going to ignore the 1st two months?

    32. January 11th, 2008 | 5:10 pm

      ~~~I refuse to believe that these five guys haven’t made mistakes recognized through the benefit of hindsight or outright blunders that seemed like whoppers at the time.~~~

      You tell me. Which of those five traded for Jeff Weaver? Which of the five signed Pavano and Igawa? None, last time I checked.

    33. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 5:28 pm

      You tell me. Which of those five traded for Jeff Weaver? Which of the five signed Pavano and Igawa? None, last time I checked.
      ======
      Which of the 5 released David Ortiz? Which one signed Bartolo Colon, Jeff Weaver & Aaron Sele? Which architect oversaw the building of a team that finished over .500 only once in 9 years? Which GM has built a team that has never finished in first place? Which GM traded for Carl Pavano? Which one traded Randy Johnson?

    34. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 5:45 pm

      2007 – why would we want to celebrate what the Yankees did during the season in 2007? It’s great just because they rebounded from the first two months? So, what, we’re going to ignore the 1st two months?
      ————-
      I never said anything about ignoring the first two months. I am merely using the same criteria that you’re using to discount the Yankees’ division titles; the Yanks could have choked the wild card away, but didn’t. The Yanks made the playoffs DESPITE the first two months of the season. If you want to give the Yanks a pass in 2006 because the Sox injury issues (the reason for the “choke”), then the Yanks get a pass in 2007 because of their injury issues.

      No matter how you want to qualify it, the fact is 2007 was the first time since 1995 that the Red Sox finished ahead of the Yanks. We’ll see in the future if that’s an outlier, or a trend.

    35. Raf
      January 11th, 2008 | 6:05 pm

      If he wanted to become part of my circle of friends, that would be fine.
      =======
      I just had a funny visual of the two of you acting like Barkley & Wade in that t-mobile commercial :)

      Which probably means it’s time for me to go home…

      I do agree that we probably should agree to disagree. Nothing malicious as you said earlier, we just have differing opinions and viewpoints.

      Will you be linking to your guest work? Where will it be? Someone mentioned a gannett paper earlier, I think.

    36. January 11th, 2008 | 8:29 pm

      I’ll be a guest at The LoHud Yankees Blog on 3/14.

    37. MJ
      January 11th, 2008 | 9:31 pm

      You tell me. Which of those five traded for Jeff Weaver? Which of the five signed Pavano and Igawa? None, last time I checked.
      ============================================
      Steve, that’s BS. I asked you to answer the question in a thoughtful manner. Instead you tried to turn it around on me. I don’t see the point in answering you if you didn’t have the courtesy of answering me.

    38. January 11th, 2008 | 11:23 pm

      ~~~I refuse to believe that these five guys haven’t made mistakes recognized through the benefit of hindsight or outright blunders that seemed like whoppers at the time.~~~

      MJ – why am I always the one that has to do the work? I gave you the names. Why not show me the ‘blunders’ for them, if they exist?

    39. Harley
      January 12th, 2008 | 7:22 pm

      “If they exist?” Really? REALLY?

      Okay, how about giving Gary Matthews Jr. 50 million for five years based on a single outlier season in Texas? (Stoneman)

      How about trading the young Randy Johnson for Mark Langston and change? (Dombrowski)

      How about trading Johan Santana for Jared Camp? (Also Dombrowski. God help Cashman had he made THAT move.)

      How about Derek Lee for Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini? (Beinfest)

      The GM’s job is a mine field. That doesn’t mean that they automatically deserve a pass or that GMs should not be held to standards in the same way we assess the value of players and managers.

      But your puerile game of gotcha regarding Cashman more or less ends there. All that’s left is your massive desire to be Proved Right.

      Good luck with that, Steve. But trust me. It’s a losing game.

    40. dan
      January 13th, 2008 | 1:51 am

      Harley, to be fair to Beinfest, he had to trade Derrek Lee because of his increasing contract.

      However, what about about Stoneman’s complete inability to build an offense outside of Vlad? It was a well-documented problem for several years and he did nothing about it.

      And is Theo really not in the top 5? We’re (almost) all Yankee fans here, but seriously, give the man his due– Casey Fossum for Schilling, David Ortiz, signing Beckett for a $10mill a year extension (HUGE steal), Wakefield’s lifetime $4million contract, Okajima for peanuts, Lowell as a throw-in with Beckett (they did give up Hanley, but I’d rather have Beckett and Lowell than Hanley and Anibal Sanchez). I admit there are some mistakes in there as well, such as Renteria (although Braves ate the contract) and potentially Drew/Lugo (we’ll find out soon about those two), but the man is a fine GM. I really like Cashman, but if Theo were a Yankee, he’d be hailed as the greatest GM who ever lived.

    41. Harley
      January 13th, 2008 | 11:00 am

      Dan, fair enuf re Beinfest, and you’re right about Epstein. (Let’s not forget the Gagne deal.) And while there are some deals that are easily derided — I think Drew/Lugo is one — there are others where the talent simply didn’t pan out. It’s easy to point to Jeff Weaver’s brief stay with the Yankees, but also worth taking a look at how he was pitching before he got here.

      Dombrowski’s a perfect example. He may be in Steve’s pantheon. But he also took a look at a young Johan Santana and passed.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.