• The MT Curse? How About The Cashman Curse?

    Posted by on June 12th, 2009 · Comments (26)

    Via Rob Bradford with a h/t to BBTF -

    Following the Red Sox’ 4-3 win over the Yankees, Thursday night at Fenway Park — their eighth victory in as many meetings with New York this season — Sox majority owner John Henry posted on his Twitter account: “the MT Curse?” The ‘MT’ was assumed to be in reference to Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who signed with the Yankees instead of the Red Sox. But a few hours later, in an email to WEEI.com, Henry wrote: “Purely Entertainment. Nothing more. I don’t believe in curses.” Henry offered one more ‘Tweet’ before the night was over, writing, “At Stella finishing late dinner with friends. Journalists emailing about curses. Does anyone really believe in curses except Dan?”

    I’m starting to think that something is going on…but, it’s got nothing to do with Mark Teixeira.

    Back in November of 2005, I suggested the notion of the “50 First Dates Curse” – however that was somewhat tongue in cheek.

    Nonetheless, a case can be made, that ever since Aaron Boone hit that homerun in the 2003 ALCS, a lot of negative things have happened for the Yankeees in terms of their post-season outcomes and some games against the Boston Red Sox.

    It’s almost as if Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was the last wish from the genie in the bottle, The Bambino, and ever since then the Yankees have been on their own to face the world without the benefit of any charms and spells.

    Hey, it’s either that, or, well, I have to go back to something that I wrote in October of last year:

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. And, yes, the Yankees did win rings in 1998, 1999 and 2000. However, when Cashman took over as the head man in charge, the following players were already on the team: Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Paul O’Neill, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mike Stanton, David Cone, Ramiro Mendoza, David Wells, Joe Girardi, Jeff Nelson, Chad Curtis and Darryl Strawberry.

    This group of Yankees was added to the team by Stick Michael and Bob Watson. It was they, and not Cashman, who built a powerhouse entity (via this cadre of players) who went on to win three rings from 1998 through 2000 – and which benefited Brian Cashman when he took over for Watson in 1998.

    After 2001, when that the force that Michael and Watson created was nearly tapped out, is when the Yankees sincerely became “Brian Cashman’s team.” And, sure, from 2002 through 2008, under Cashman, the Yankees were marvelous in terms of their win totals and revenue. But, if not for Boston collapses in the 2003 ALCS and the regular seasons of 2005 and 2006, this seven-year period would not look as pretty for New York as it does on the average fan’s ledger.

    On the whole, Brian Cashman took a team that was a three-peat World Champion and turned them into a team that would finish first and then lose in the LDS…and then into a team that would no longer finish first but would win a Wildcard (and lose in the LDS)…and then into a team that would not make the post-season at all. Notice the trend here?

    The MT Curse? How about the Cashman Curse? Now, yes, I know what “The Royal Order of the Cashman Kool-Aid Brigade” is thinking now: “But, Cashman hasn’t had full control of the team until 2005.”

    Hey, I recognize that that point. In fact, as recently as last December, I wrote:

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. However, from 1998 through 2005, George Steinbrenner’s troops in his Tampa office (including but not limited to Bill Emslie, Billy Connors, Mark Newman and Damon Oppenheimer) had so much input on personnel moves that it was somewhat difficult to know what exactly what were Cashman’s decisions or not.

    This all changed in October 2005 when Brian Cashman was given full autonomy on running the Yankees. As Cashman said at that time: “I’m the general manager, and everybody within the baseball operations department reports to me. That’s not how it has operated recently.” So, without question, we can look at the state of the New York Yankees over the last three seasons (2006, 2007 and 2008) as well as this off-season (of 2008-2009) and know that what you see is “All-Cashman.”

    And, under “All-Cashman,” this is what we have in Yankeeland: A team in 2006 who gets body slammed in the first round of the playoffs, a team in 2007 that doesn’t finish first and who gets bounced in the first round of the playoffs, a team in 2008 that doesn’t even make the post-season, and a team in 2009 who cannot win one game in eight tries against the Boston Red Sox.

    Curses, indeed.

    Comments on The MT Curse? How About The Cashman Curse?

    1. June 12th, 2009 | 9:07 am

      Pass.

    2. June 12th, 2009 | 9:10 am

      Justin wrote:

      Pass.

      the Kool-Aid?

      Just kidding! ;-)

    3. MJ
      June 12th, 2009 | 9:10 am

      “The Royal Order of the Cashman Kool-Aid Brigade”
      ———
      Notwithstanding the fact that this is your blog and you can write whatever you want, that phrase is most condescending, arrogant and demeaning thing you could possibly write. For someone who plays the “Community Standards” card even in the face of honest disagreement as a means of quashing debate, I don’t understand how (or why) you can continue to antagonize a percentage of your readership with a line that is as disrespectful as that one.

      Those who support Cashman are not part of a cult and they are not mindless sheep who blindly follow him. Those who support him maintain – and have always maintained – that he is not infallible and that he has made his share of errors in his time as GM. This is a point that you have never been willing to admit: that his supporters are far more impartial and objective in their treatment of him than you have ever been.

      The worst part isn’t that you continue to bash Cashman but that you continue to bash those that support him.

      I have no intention of qualifying or defending this post. This post stands as my true feeling on the subject and I will not engage in a reply to what I am sure will be your finger-wagging. Have a good weekend and I will resume my participation in this forum again on Monday.

    4. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 9:28 am

      MJ wrote:

      I don’t understand how (or why) you can continue to antagonize a percentage of your readership with a line that is as disrespectful as that one.

      Because he can play the opinion card? :D

    5. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 9:41 am

      And I still stand by my comments in the “Why Bringing Cashman Back Was A Mistake” of which none were seriously refuted. I do see a lot of goalposts being moved, tho ;)

    6. June 12th, 2009 | 10:34 am

      Raf – in your opinion, in as many words as needed, explain to me how Brian Cashman has done a good job constructing a champoinship ballclub over the last four years.

    7. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 10:59 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Raf – in your opinion, in as many words as needed, explain to me how Brian Cashman has done a good job constructing a champoinship ballclub over the last four years.

      He has done a good job by putting the Yanks in a position to win. 2 division titles, and a wildcard. 2008 was the first time the Yanks missed the playoff since 1993 (or 1994 depending on your take)

      Winning a championship isn’t a repeatable skill, as evidenced by the White Sox, Red Sox, Cardinals among others not repeating. I find it difficult to believe that Theo was a genius in 2004 & 2007, but an idiot in 2005, 2006 & 2008. I find it hard to believe that Kenny Williams was a genius in 2005, but a moron who doesn’t know how to build a championship club in all the other years he has been with Chicago.

      Of course, if Cashman was as as several have claimed, I’m sure the Yanks would’ve been run into the ground quicker than they have. Hell, even in an off year, 2008, they won 89 games, good enough for 4th best record in the league (percentage pts better than the White Sox).

      162 > 19. Always has, always will.

      Everyone needs to take a deep breath, and relax. Cashman has his flaws, like every other GM out there.

    8. butchie22
      June 12th, 2009 | 11:29 am

      Steve , where I have disagreed with you on Cash Man is that he didn’t do that much to screw up the team when he inherited it from Watson and Stick. Cash Man didn’t destroy the winning formula at first and Cash Man’s partisans in the press always portrayed it as a Cash Man/Tampa struggle.Someone mentioned something about id, superego,ego(I had to throw in the ego/supergeo thing for good measure) yesterday in reference to my opinions relative to yours. This proves that that they were wrong.My dislike for Cash Man occurred after 2001 and culminated in the 2004 loss to Boston. However in a fundamental sense, we agree on him since then . Since the 2001 debacle, he has not distinguished himself as a GM in terms of his evaluation of especially pitchers. And his drafting choices since 2005 are where relative to the Red Sox’s great 2005 draft choices?I don’t believe in curses like the Bambino , the Billy Goat, the Black Sox or anything like that. I do think that Cash Man is a very middling GM with the biggest payroll in the world and very underwhleming results the last few years. Under his charge, the team has gone from the model franchise to second fiddle after the Red Sox. Cash Man is not cursing this team with some kind of evil eye and/or talisman but rather with his mediocre to bad judgement.

      And to add insult to injury, isn’t the Yankee mission statement to win the world Series every year? He hasn’t been successful in that regard at all since 2000. Judging on the merit of the results and the rate on return of the exorbitant Yankee payroll AND being able to buy up bonus babies, Cash Man has not been successful in that regard lately.

      Steve, you also mention the 0-8 loss in reference to Cash Man. Dick”The Baserunner” Swisher, AJ Burnit, and the wonderful bullpen were all brought to the Yankees by Cash Man. He’s the architect of the team so the blame ultimately rests on him. Did he do his due diligence on them? Not really……His scouts said that AJ Burnout got pumped for the big game?!!! Those scouts should have realized that he never even pitched a big gamein his life! In the playoffs or otherwise. I wonder how much debate went on about bringing him to the Yanks, but hopefully AJ gets it together BUT I have always felt that he is another one of these Cash Man pitching decisions that will live in infamy.

      @ Raf, I missed the Cash Man post you made. BUT there is one simple fact. The Red Sox have won two championships in the last 5 years and were one game away from the Fall Classic last year. where were the Bombers? Sitting on their thumbs watching them! Since, 2004 the Red Sox have become the hammer and the Yankees the nail in the rivalry. Theo”Doogie Howser” Epstein made them the model franchise and now the Yankees are second fiddlle with middling results thanks to the architect of this team. Cash Man hasn’t made the team a World Series winner since 2000! That’s a long time for the post 96 crowd who were used to winning every bloody year,no? They need a Gillick type now, who will assess this team and see what is needed to bring it to the next echelon. Cash Man spends the most money on payroll, scouting, drafting and isn’t even close to bringing a World Series ring to the Bronx. and if the Red Sox hoist another World Series flag next year, I’m quite sure that the Cash Manites will come out in full force again making another futile attempt to defend him………

    9. Pat F
      June 12th, 2009 | 11:29 am

      Its funny how those who support cashman have a name on this blog. On so many levels. Double standard. Hypocritical. Inhibiting people’s right to having an opinion (of which this blog is obsessed, the onlý baseball blog I know that spends as much time as this one does on non-baseball issues). Why cant it just be those that like him and those that don’t? No reason to be obnoxious about it.

    10. June 12th, 2009 | 11:36 am

      Pat F wrote:

      Inhibiting people’s right to having an opinion (of which this blog is obsessed, the onlý baseball blog I know that spends as much time as this one does on non-baseball issues). Why cant it just be those that like him and those that don’t? No reason to be obnoxious about it.

      First of all, read the community standards. They cleary state that opinions are allowed – and encouraged. It only asks that we respect each other’s opinions and treat each other in a civil manner.

      As far as the “Kool Aid” handle, hey, it’s a joke. That’s all. Obviously, some people out there find it offensive. Sorry. I never realized it was that sensitive a topic. Duly noted.

    11. June 12th, 2009 | 11:40 am

      Raf wrote:

      He has done a good job by putting the Yanks in a position to win. 2 division titles, and a wildcard. 2008 was the first time the Yanks missed the playoff since 1993 (or 1994 depending on your take)

      In the years in question, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 – who has been the Yankees competition in those seasons? How many strong teams did he have to beat to get those division titles. In the first year where there were two other strong teams in the DIV, 2008, what happened?

    12. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 11:56 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Who were the Yankees competition from 1995-2004? How many strong teams did the Yanks have to beat to get those division titles?

    13. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 12:03 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      In the first year where there were two other strong teams in the DIV, 2008, what happened?

      9-9 vs Boston, 11-7 vs the Rays, overall 40-32 against the AL East.

      The division wasn’t the problem.

    14. June 12th, 2009 | 12:03 pm

      You’re deflecting. I never said that the conditions were different before 2005.

    15. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 12:14 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      You’re deflecting. I never said that the conditions were different before 2005.

      The same argument applies. If the problem from 2005-08 was the lack of competition in the AL East, then it must have been a problem beforehand as well.

      I don’t know what intra-division competition has to do with anything, to be honest with you. I’ll allow for the fact that I could be misreading/misinterpreting you.

      But as for strong teams to get those division titles, I would say it’s a rolling combination of 4-6 teams explained as; the teams in the two other divisions, plus the wild card team, plus teams that are in the race, along with whatever “strong” interleague opponents that are there.

    16. June 12th, 2009 | 12:16 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I don’t know what intra-division competition has to do with anything, to be honest with you.

      It tells you how hard it was to do what you want to give Cashman credit for – winning the DIV.

    17. yagottagotomo1
      June 12th, 2009 | 12:23 pm

      Considering that the Al has been considered the stronger league for the last 5-7 years, and the AL East has been considered its toughest division pretty much yearly since 2002, I’m really not sure what you are getting at, Steve.

    18. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 12:26 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      But as was shown, they beat up on their division mates last year, but missed the playoffs. They were 11-7 against the AL Champion Rays. So I’m still unclear as to the point. Especially considering that lack of inta-division competition has been an issue since 1993, maybe?

    19. yagottagotomo1
      June 12th, 2009 | 12:31 pm

      Anyhow, the losses in this series were unlucky, weren’t they? I mean, two one run games, a fair ball here and there, and boom, Yankees take the series. Right Steve?

    20. June 12th, 2009 | 12:33 pm

      My point on the AL East, circa 2005-2007.

      The O’s and Rays were bad, very bad. That’s 38 games that are easy. Toronto was so-so. That’s 19 games that should be easy for a team with a $200 payroll. So, by playing in the A.L. East, from 2005 to 2007, the Yankees had ~60 games a year where the comp was not that tough. That’s 1/3 of the schedule. Thus, yes, the Yanks were in 1st or 2nd those season, but, they didn’t have 3 or 4 teams fighting them hard for it.

    21. Raf
      June 12th, 2009 | 12:44 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Thus, yes, the Yanks were in 1st or 2nd those season, but, they didn’t have 3 or 4 teams fighting them hard for it.

      And my point, is why is it an issue now? The Jays have been so-so to terrible since 95. The O’s since 98, the Rays since their inception the same year (save for 2008), and the Sox have been so-so to great during from ’95 on. So I’m not quite sure as to why 2005-08 is being targeted, when it has been that way for the duration of the run.

    22. June 12th, 2009 | 12:48 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      Someone mentioned something about id, superego,ego(I had to throw in the ego/supergeo thing for good measure) yesterday in reference to my opinions relative to yours. This proves that that they were wrong.

      That was just a joke specifically about Steve using a derogatory nickname and your tendency to use lots more of them. No offense meant to either of you.

      And to add insult to injury, isn’t the Yankee mission statement to win the world Series every year?

      This is a thoroughly unrealistic goal that should not be taken seriously.

    23. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      June 12th, 2009 | 1:00 pm

      Justin has of course hit it on the nose. Judge a team and its GM by whether it made the playoffs. Any team that makes the playoffs has a pretty decent chance to win it all. The Yankees were bounced out in three straight Division Series. Well a Division Series is only best of 5. We all know that anything can happen in a shorter series. But for a midge infestation, the Yankees might have been in the LCS in 2007. The Yanks had Lady Luck smile on them more than once when they were winning 4 in 5 years. Eventually the worm turns.

      As for this disastrous bullpen, it would impress me more Steve if you had identified the specific bullpen guys who don’t belong, who you could predict ahead of time as Cashman mistakes. Unfortunately you can’t, because in the end the players have to perform.

      GMs make up rosters. Players win championships. No GM has a crystal ball that tells him who will perform in the spotlight, who won’t, and what to do about it, either ahead of time or when you have a chance to fix a problem.

    24. Jake1
      June 12th, 2009 | 1:24 pm

      Cashman needs to go.

    25. butchie22
      June 13th, 2009 | 12:32 am

      Justin wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      Someone mentioned something about id, superego,ego(I had to throw in the ego/supergeo thing for good measure) yesterday in reference to my opinions relative to yours. This proves that that they were wrong.
      That was just a joke specifically about Steve using a derogatory nickname and your tendency to use lots more of them. No offense meant to either of you.
      And to add insult to injury, isn’t the Yankee mission statement to win the world Series every year?
      This is a thoroughly unrealistic goal that should not be taken seriously.

      Yeah, I realize that about the names etc so on. I also tend to take the more cynical view of things to most things Yankee. I have become a true Yank Crank( pun intended). More like a been there done that old fart……

      In reference to the mission statement, that is the lofty standard that the organization holds itself to. They take it seriously that is why they are spending so much money on making that goal real every year. Though, Yankees INC hasn’t seen a championship since they have spent so much bloody money anyway.Like, I have said before Justin, the Yankee Inc people use that winning/world Series goal as a means to an end. That end being profits ultimately…..

    26. July 13th, 2009 | 11:00 pm

      [...] as mentioned here in the past: Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. However, from 1998 through [...]

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.