Thursday, December 18, 2014


I feel duped.  For the longest time I’ve praised, berated, lamented, and dissected moves the Yankees have made on the field and in the lineup, and attributed them to Joe Girardi.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve come to realize that Mr. Girardi isn’t the Yankees’ manager.  Instead, he’s more of a figurehead along the lines of the Queen of England.  He sits as manager in title only, and in his best Barry Switzer imitation, shuffles along the dugout pretending to know what is happening on the field.

Only I’ve discovered who’s really behind the scenes pulling the strings.  It’s none other than our building-rappelling, sky diving GM Brian Cashman.  Yep, the genius who brought us the likes of Scott Proctor, Sergio Mitre, Brian Roberts, Stephen Drew, Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa (and many more!) is the one calling the shots in the batting order, pitching rotation and bullpen.

Just look at the last few weeks of moves made by Cashman and what he’s said about them afterwards.  First, well start with the trade that brought up-and-coming shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Diamondbacks to the Bronx.  It was a deal where the Yankees had to give up Shane Greene, the young hurler who splashed upon the scene out of the minor leagues when our pitching staff was in tatters.  When the deal was first announced, I thought it was a fair move that addressed a high-priority issue with the Bombers – replacing Derek Jeter at shortstop.  Gregorius is young and has issues that he must work on – namely, improving at the plate against left-handed pitchers.  His fielding is stellar and his range at shortstop will be a welcome relief to Yankees fans.  With some work at the plate, he should be a fixture on the Yankees for years to come.

Only, before the player could even be fitted for Yankees pinstripes, our brilliant GM was announcing that Gregorius would platoon with Brendan Ryan at shortstop – at least to begin the 2015 campaign.  The poor guy hasn’t even had a chance to make an impression upon Yankees coaches that matter, and Cashman has already pigeon-holed him as a platoon to start the season.   What’s more stupefying is the fact that Ryan hit WORSE than Gregorius did against southpaws. 
Brilliant, simply brilliant.  Funny, I thought the guy with the title “Manager” would be the one determining how he uses his hitters.
But wait kids, there’s more!

Cashman’s most recent acquisition was signing 35-year-old left handed pitcher Chris Capuano to a 1-year, $5 million deal.  Ok, I get it.  Cashman loves lefties – regardless of how successful they are – for Yankee Stadium.  He especially loves players on the downside of their careers, hoping to either reinvigorate them (if they were ever really invigorated), or briefly catch “lightning in a bottle”.   So, one can only imagine the drool our GM had running down his chin at the prospect of bringing Capuano on board his listing ship.
In true Cashman fashion, after completing the deal for Capuano, the GM paraded in front of the media, and in no uncertain terms, named the southpaw to the rotation as the team’s fourth starter.

Again, I thought decisions on the rotation would be made by the MANAGER at the end of Spring Training.  How naïve I’ve been! 
I’m sure Brian already has the lineup card made out for Opening Day and is merely waiting on the most dramatic time to announce it to the largest possible TV and radio audience.
It is one thing for Mr. Cashman to make the moves he’s made with whatever reasons and resources he has at his disposal in making them, but to then go so far as to proclaim positional decisions TWO MONTHS before pitchers and catchers report is not only idiotic, it is counter-productive.

We have a manager that will be working with each of these players on a daily basis.  He’ll know their thought processes, their aches and pains, and their personal issues.  Brian Cashman needs to stop being so damn arrogant (auto-correct actually put the word “ignorant” there – and that works too) and stick to HIS job.   Let our manager do what he does best – putting players in their positions/rotation spots/bullpen which will give the Yankees their greatest opportunity to win.
Cashman should be concentrating on filling out our coaching staff with competent individuals.  God knows this team needs a miracle worker as a hitting coach.  He should be giving Joe Girardi the highest quality tools that he can, so that Joe can maximize his performance as manager.
Lately, Brian Cashman has overstepped his bounds.  Joe Girardi is a good soldier and says nothing about it, but it is time that this arrogant ignorance stopped.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1


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