Via a SI.com book excerpt from Joe Torre’s The Yankee Years
They had spent 12 years together, Cashman first as the assistant general manager under Bob Watson and then as the general manager of three consecutive world championship teams with Torre as the manager. Torre had presented Cashman with the lineup card from the clinching game of the 1998 World Series, the one in which those Yankees established themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time with a record 125 wins, postseason included. Torre and Cashman had shared dinners and champagne and laughs and arguments. Twelve years. It was an eternity in baseball for an executive and a manager to work together.
But at the moment when Torre was searching for some way to save his job and turned to Cashman in his moment of need, Cashman did not so much as pass on to his bosses a proposal from Torre — a simple one, too, one that was not at all difficult to understand. Twelve years together, and it ends like this.
Come to think of it, Torre thought, Cashman had said nothing during the entire meeting. Cashman was the general manager who had persuaded Steinbrenner after the 2005 season to put in writing that Cashman would have control over all baseball operations. The manager is a fairly important part of baseball operations. And when the future employment of the manager was being discussed, how was it that the empowered general manager had nothing at all to say?
“Cash was sitting right over my right shoulder,” Torre said, “and never uttered a sound the whole meeting.” Cashman, for his part, says simply, “It was Joe’s meeting.”
Only much later did Torre start to put the picture together of what had happened to his working relationship with Cashman. The personal falling-out they had in 2006 spring training over philosophical issues, Cashman’s decision not to bring back longtime center fielder Bernie Williams when his contract expired in 2006, his submission of odd lineup suggestions based on stats, his lack of regard for Ron Guidry as a pitching coach, his detachment from the “they” who were making an offer to Torre, his failure to offer any comment or support in the meeting that decided Torre’s future, his failure to personally relay Torre’s proposal to find a way to reach an agreement to the Steinbrenners …
“I thought Cash was an ally, I really did,” Torre says. “You know, we had some differences on coaches, and the usefulness of the coaches. I know he didn’t think much of Guidry. And [former bench coach Don] Zimmer. You know, Zimmer didn’t trust Cash, and I disagreed with Zimmer vehemently for the longest time. Then, you know, you start thinking about things … I have a, I don’t want to say it’s a weakness, but I want to trust people. And I do trust people until I’m proved wrong. And it’s not going to keep me from trusting somebody else tomorrow, because it’s the only way I can do my job.”
So, In Cash, I guess, Joe does not trust.