• Cashman Rambles On Abusing Pitchers

    Posted by on April 15th, 2011 · Comments (26)

    Via Mark Feinsand, dig these comments from Yankees GM Brian Cashman yesterday on abusing pitchers -

    “I guess this will give me a little bit of a forum because a lot of people took shots a little bit, and rightfully so, because they weren’t willing to call me and ask me the questions about how some people refer to me as a hypocrite because of Scott Proctor and stuff like that. If you want to get Joe Torre on the phone, you’ll know I’m not a hypocrite. I dealt with our pitching coach, I dealt with our manager, we have new people here that utilize people a certain way now.

    “These guys aren’t finite assets out there. There’s a very limited group of people capable on a consistentbasis of performing at the major league level at a high level of success so you can’t put your assets in jeopardy and you can’t overuse them or you lose them. Form my perspective, from the front office or if you’re a player development director or a scouting director, trying to find replacements for those, we work 12 months a year to do that on a yearly basis and it’s not easy. It’s definitely not easy. When you have someone of quality that make it all the way and you have hopes to have them for an extended period of time, you have to use them properly. That’s all. I’m talking on a general basis.

    “I think the game has evolved and grown and people have learned over time, including us and ourselves.People ask, did we have players here as me as GM who were overused. Yes. But if you ask those players, if you ask the manager, if you want to go ask Joe Torre, did I meet with Joe? Yes. Did I meet with our pitching coach? Yes. When they said the same answer which obviously you heard when this became public, ‘Well, I asked the player every day, if he was okay.’

    “You have to understand these players are competitors. They’re never going to say no. It’s just the way they’re wired. So you pay people to know the answer; I’m not paying a pitcher to be the pitching coach, for instance. Or the manager. I’m paying the pitching coach to be the pitching coach. So, I met with Proctor and said, ‘You better stop telling the manager this because the way he manages’ – I’m not criticizing Joe, that’s just the way he is – ‘he wants an honest answer. Just tell him no.’

    “There were a number of guys when I could not convince the manager and the pitching coach that this was the wrong approach, these guys are competitors, they’re going to be John Wayne for you. They’re notgoing to disappoint their teammates, they’re not going to disappoint you, they’re not going to disappoint the fans. You have to have the knowledge enough to know that you’ve got to back off this guy, because hewon’t be honest with you, he’ll lie to you even if he’s dragging knuckles. So I met with those individual players and said, ‘You are hurting your career.’ I covered all the bases on my end.

    “There’s no hypocrisy here. If the player is unwilling to say what it is, the GM covered it with him, had conversations with pitching coaches or managers, that’s stuff I don’t have to worry about now going forward. The crew we have, they’re understanding. I’m not saying – I’m just saying that’s the way it is. The game, with expansion and stuff, these assets are not finite. They’re just – we have to – that’s my philosophy. That’s how I’ve evolved. That’s how I’ve grown. That’s how I’ve handled those prior players.

    “If you want to confirm to see I’m full of it, you can check with our former manager, you can check withour former pitching coach, you can check with those players, I don’t really care. That’s what happened.

    “And I did answer the question honestly on the Mets stuff, but I’m not throwing hand grenades their way, not on purpose, anyway. If there was anything inappropriate, it was my honesty. It certainly wasn’t meant to be bad.

    “But I feel bad for Pedro. This guy is a guy who is not afraid of pitching in New York, he’s not afraid of pitching in this environment and he’s not afraid of taking the ball and he is a warrior and a competitor and right now he can’t compete because of an injury he sustained with the New York Yankees in spring training. And he was never hurt with the Mets, but you know, it is what it is.”

    I hope someone does get Joe Torre on the phone. Or, better yet, someone call Don Zimmer and ask him for a quote or two on this one. Let the feathers fly!

    Comments on Cashman Rambles On Abusing Pitchers

    1. YankCrank
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:20 am

      I understand why Cashman has felt the need to defend his moves the last year+, but he just doesn’t realize that there isn’t any good coming out of this. I may be wrong, but what does he have to gain by bringing up the days of Joe Torre and Scott Proctor?

      The Feliciano deal, like other bullpen moves he has made, has not worked out. The sooner he and his bosses learn that shelling out multiple years and big money to these volatile and unpredictable arms is not a good idea, the less he’ll have to defend himself.

    2. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:29 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I hope someone does get Joe Torre on the phone. Or, better yet, someone call Don Zimmer and ask him for a quote or two on this one. Let the feathers fly!

      Yep, this has the potential to get ugly.

      Don’t know why Cashman’s taking this route, there really isn’t any need to bring up Torre, who hasn’t managed the Yankees in 4 years (has it been that long already?)

    3. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:33 am

      Cashman is not a fan of Joe Torre. Torre was hired by Steinbrenner and he had a personal, on-on-one relationship with Steinbrenner that excluded Cashman. Torre and Steinbrenner talked frequently and Cashman was out of the loop on many occasions. As a result Torre discounted Cashman because of it and also because of his youth and inexperience (when Cashman first became GM). I think Cashman resented that and is now taking his shots at Torre. In my opinion, Cashman is “sowing his oats” now, as they say.

    4. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:39 am

      @ LMJ229:
      I can dig them not being on each other’s Christmas card list, but still, there really isn’t any reason to be dragging Torre into this. Cashman has made bad acquisitions before, this really isn’t that big a deal. He has already admitted that Feliciano was abused, and he signed him anyway. There’s no need for him to continue the discussion any further.

    5. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:46 am

      @ Raf:
      I couldn’t agree with you more, it makes no sense. I think Cashman is trying to deflect any criticism that might be aimed his way when people accuse him of not doing his due diligence on Feliciano’s health. He’s trying to re-direct the controversy to Joe Torre.

    6. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 11:03 am

      Cashman said twice “These guys aren’t finite assets”.

      Doesn’t he mean “infinite” or am I missing something?

    7. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 11:08 am

      Cashman quotes:
      “You can’t put your assets in jeopardy and you can’t overuse them or you lose them.”
      “When you have someone of quality that makes it all the way and you have hopes to have them for an extended period of time, you have to use them properly.”

      OK, so if you thought Feliciano was abused, then why did you sign him?

    8. MJ Recanati
      April 15th, 2011 | 1:01 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      I hope someone does get Joe Torre on the phone.

      The thing is, I actually don’t think Cashman would say something that could be easily checked and verified. I’m sure Cashman is telling the truth here in what he would tell Torre, Stottlemyre and Guidry.

      More to the point is why he would even bring it up. That it might be true I don’t really doubt. It’s just in bad taste and inviting more scrutiny and controversy. Poor move by Cashman in starting a PR fire instead of putting one out.

    9. redbug
      April 15th, 2011 | 4:59 pm

      “I covered all the bases on my end.”

      Oh please. What an ass he sounds like. It wasn’t my fault!!!! C’mon. Whinning about the Mets abusing Feliciano; saying he told Joe Torre he was abusing Scott Proctor…blah, blah, blah.

      If I had a staff member point his/her finger at everyone else in the room like Cashman, she/he’d be gone in a NY minute.

    10. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 5:48 pm

      redbug wrote:

      If I had a staff member point his/her finger at everyone else in the room like Cashman, she/he’d be gone in a NY minute.

      Not if s/he had a track record like Cashman’s…

    11. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:38 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Not if s/he had a track record like Cashman’s…

      I really don’t get all of the love for Cashman. Personally, I don’t think his track record is that great, IMHO.

    12. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 8:51 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I really don’t get all of the love for Cashman. Personally, I don’t think his track record is that great, IMHO.

      4 World titles (1998-2000, 2009), 2 AL pennants (2001, 2003), 10 AL East titles, 2 wild cards…

    13. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:01 pm

      @ Raf:
      I really don’t credit Cashman for the first 3 titles. He inherited the major players on those teams. With the Yankees resources, you don’t think any other GM could have done any better? What star players have developed under his leadership, other than Cano?

    14. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:09 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I really don’t credit Cashman for the first 3 titles. He inherited the major players on those teams.

      The same players were knocked out of the first round 2 of the previous 3 years, one of those teams blowing a 2-0 series lead.

      With the Yankees resources, you don’t think any other GM could have done any better?

      Better in what way? Cashman did the same thing Watson and Michael did; promote players from within, took on salary from other teams, and spent money. Matter of fact, Cashman has done the same thing every Yankees’ GM has done before him.

    15. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:29 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The same players were knocked out of the first round 2 of the previous 3 years, one of those teams blowing a 2-0 series lead.

      Cashman took over in February of 1998 so the 1998 roster was already established. And it didn’t change substantially for the 1999 and 2000 championship seasons. I don’t get your point here. Are you saying Cashman was the difference between the Yankees not winning the championship in 1995 and 1997 and them winning it in 1998-2000? How, exactly, was he the difference?

    16. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:42 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Cashman took over in February of 1998 so the 1998 roster was already established.

      And? Many of the 86 Mets were there in 87, they didn’t repeat. There are many teams that were “one and done” with regards to postseason appearances and or success.

      It may not have changed “substantially” but regardless, Knoblauch, Orlando Hernandez, Roger Clemens, David Justice, etc, etc, etc, etc were all acquired by him, and aren’t players to sneeze at.

      If Cashman were such a terrible GM, it would’ve taken less than 10 years for the Yanks to miss the playoffs. The problem is that he has been the GM since 1998, and familiarity breeds contempt.

    17. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:42 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Cashman did the same thing Watson and Michael did; promote players from within, took on salary from other teams, and spent money. Matter of fact, Cashman has done the same thing every Yankees’ GM has done before him.

      Again, what star players, other than Cano, has Cashman developed? If you look around the league you’ll see that all of the better teams have at least 3-4 home grown stars. Look at our main rival – they have Pedroia, Youkilis, Papelbon, Lester, Buchholz. All legitimate stars. They also have Ellsbury and Bard but I won’t even count them since they are not all star caliber players.

    18. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:47 pm

      Raf wrote:

      And? Many of the 86 Mets were there in 87, they didn’t repeat. There are many teams that were “one and done” with regards to postseason appearances and or success.

      So are you saying the Yankees would have been “one and done” were it not for Brian Cashman? I think we both know the players and the coaches had ALOT more to do with those championships than Brian Cashman did.

    19. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 9:58 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Again, what star players, other than Cano, has Cashman developed?

      Alfonso Soriano? Robinson Cano? Chien Ming Wang? Does Orlando Hernandez count? “All Star” Phil Hughes?

      Does it really matter? Our main rival may have more home grown all stars, but they’ve finished ahead of the Yankees 3 times since 1994. And they STILL went out and got Crawford, Lackey & Gonzalez among others the past few years. Has it really been that big a deal?

    20. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:01 pm

      Raf wrote:

      It may not have changed “substantially” but regardless, Knoblauch, Orlando Hernandez, Roger Clemens, David Justice, etc, etc, etc, etc were all acquired by him, and aren’t players to sneeze at.

      “ACQUIRED” is the key word here. Again, who has he developed? And the Knoblauch trade was basically a done deal before he became the GM. And the Yanks won with David Wells who he traded for Clemens so Clemens was not the difference. I’m not gonna sit here and say that he hasn’t made any good moves; of course he has. But the guts of the 1998-2000 championship teams were not built by him. And he basically bought the 2009 championship team with the signings of CC, Burnett and Texiera in one off-season. Any GM that works for the Yankees can do that with their seemingly unlimited resources.

    21. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:01 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      So are you saying the Yankees would have been “one and done” were it not for Brian Cashman?

      Nope, saying that because a team has returning players, or an established roster does not mean that they’re going to win. The Mets are an example to that point, as are any number of teams that have made the postseason.

    22. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:09 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Again, who has he developed?

      Cano, Wang, Soriano, Chamberlain, Hughes, Gardner, Robertson, Cervelli, bla, bla, bla, yakkety-smackety…

      And he basically bought the 2009 championship team with the signings of CC, Burnett and Texiera in one off-season.

      Were they not there in 2010?

    23. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:12 pm

      @ Raf:
      Well Raf, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. I just get very frustrated when I look around at our main competitors – the Red Sox, the Rays, the Phillies, etc. – and see how many young, home grown stars they have on their roster. We have ours too but the only one that was developed post Bob Watson is Cano.

      Anyone can go out and buy players. That doesn’t take skill, just alot of money, which the Yankees have more of than any other team. We need to develop some of our own stars. We can’t always rely on signing the big free agent – look what happened this year with Cliff Lee.

    24. LMJ229
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:19 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Cano, Wang, Soriano, Chamberlain, Hughes, Gardner, Robertson, Cervelli, bla, bla, bla, yakkety-smackety…

      Please don’t tell me you consider Chamberlain, Gardner, Robertson and Cervelli as “star” players, which is what I asked for. And the jury is still out on Phil Hughes despite his all-star appearance last year.Raf wrote:

      Were they not there in 2010?

      So, let me get this straight: if you give Cashman the credit when the Yankees repeated in 1998-2000 then doesn’t he deserve the blame when they didn’t repeat in 2010?

    25. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:36 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I just get very frustrated when I look around at our main competitors – the Red Sox, the Rays, the Phillies, etc

      Why? And how many of those organizations you mentioned have had the run the Yanks have had since 1995, when the Yanks returned to the playoffs?

      Anyone can go out and buy players. That doesn’t take skill, just alot of money

      That isn’t necessarily true. The Yankees aren’t the only team out there buying players. The O’s tried it, the Jays tried it, the Dodgers tried it, the Mets, so on and so forth. The Yankees have been doing it since Steinbrenner bought the team. Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Tommy John, Wade Boggs, Jimmy Key, David Wells, etc, etc, etc all have been bought with Yankee dollars. Rickey Henderson, David Cone, Tino Martinez, Terry Mulholland, Cecil Fielder, etc, etc, etc, all were taken off of the hands of teams that couldn’t afford or didn’t want to pay them.

    26. Raf
      April 15th, 2011 | 10:49 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      So, let me get this straight: if you give Cashman the credit when the Yankees repeated in 1998-2000 then doesn’t he deserve the blame when they didn’t repeat in 2010?

      Does he deserve the blame from 2001-2008?

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