This morning, by chance, I was looking back at something which I wrote about seven years ago. Here it is:
Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. The Yankees won the World Series in 1998, 1999, and 2000 – because of their pitching. The good pitchers on those 1998-2000 teams were Mariano Rivera, Orlando Hernandez, Roger Clemens, Ramiro Mendoza, Jeff Nelson, David Wells, Andy Pettitte, Graeme Lloyd and David Cone.
Of that strong pitching group, Cashman inherited most of them – I think his only moves were to pick up Clemens and El Duque.
What does this all say about Brian Cashman’s track record in terms of being able to build a very good pitching staff?
I know that many will be quick to say things here like “It seemed like the right move, at the time, to get Vazquez” and “The whole world was chasing Pavano – and he took less money to come here” and “Who could have predicted that Johnson would get old so fast?” and “The Red Sox wanted Contreras just as bad,” etc.
But, isn’t it Brian Cashman’s job to be smarter than the average bear when it comes to acquiring talent? Or, is it just O.K. for him to follow the path of conventional wisdom when it comes to acquiring pitching and then if it doesn’t work out it’s just a matter of shrugging your shoulders at the results and saying “It seemed like a good idea at the time”?
Regardless of whether or not you agreed with what I wrote back on January 6th, 2007 (quoted above), what do you think of Brian Cashman’s ability to put together a championship caliber pitching staff over the last seven years?