Murray Chass talks about the Yankees – with a h/t to Ben M!
Brian Cashman is in his 19th season as general manager and has been incapable of using an asset that, until recently, no other team has had. He has been allowed to spend outrageous amounts of money, and he has squandered millions and millions of dollars.
All right, it’s not my money or yours. Why should I or we care how much money Cashman squanders? I suppose it’s the feeling of fairness in us. It’s also the incredulity. How can one man have so much money to spend and not be able to produce a consistent contender, if not winner?
The Yankees have spent a total of $679 million on their payrolls the previous three years, but they have reached the playoffs only once in that period, and then only for a cup of coffee, going down meekly in the American League wild-card game last season without scoring a run.
With Cashman’s $225 million payroll this year, the Yankees have shown no indication that they can attain a post-season perch. A contender? They’ve had trouble maintaining a .500 record. After two losses in San Diego they went into Sunday’s game with a 39-41 record.
The Yankees have no such pitching depth. They don’t have much depth at all because they have done a poor job of developing players. Renowned for the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, the Yankees cannot claim credit for developing top major league prospects since.
Any team that has had the same general manager for 19 years and has not developed a strong minor league system has to be suspect. Cashman had the same development executive for 15 years and never saw the need to replace Mark Newman, who finally retired two years ago.
Newman owed his extended employment to Cashman. Cashman, who did not respond to telephone requests for an interview, owes his extended employment to Hal Steinbrenner, son of George, who is the Yankees’ managing partner.
The Steinbrenner son seems to be intent to run the Yankees 180 degrees from the way his father operated. If the elder Steinbrenner were alive and operating the team, he would have fired Cashman long ago. No Steinbrenner general manager survived if he didn’t produce a championship team in a period of a few years, if that long.