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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Season: They Said What?

by Tim Kabel

November 16, 2023


Last week, Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman rousted themselves from their hibernation to address the media. Hal appeared via a zoom call while Cashman had a full-fledged public temper tantrum at the General Managers' meetings. His tirade was laced with profanity and what could best be described as barely controlled anger. Both men admitted that 2023 was a disaster for the New York Yankees. However, they did not accept any responsibility, assess any blame, or even articulate a precise plan as to how they would improve things in 2024.

They did promise big changes and said that there would be better results. Cashman indicated that he wanted to acquire two left-handed hitting outfielders. Hal stated that the Yankees would begin working on bunting throughout the entire system. Other than that, there wasn't any substantive discussion regarding a realistic plan for improving this team.

Just when you thought you had seen everything, here they go again. Those two were back in the news this week. Many of us hoped Hal would bring Brian up short regarding his comments and inappropriate language last week. After all, he is the general manager of the New York Yankees. Should he really be swearing and making angry statements to members of the media as if he were some inebriated fan on the Number Four train? Is that the look the team wants? Well, apparently it is.

This week, Hal issued the following statement, "While I don't condone the cussing, I do like the passion There are too many false narratives out there about our organization, being pushed by uninformed and uninvolved people. It is, needless to say, frustrating." that's a reprimand the Hal Steinbrenner way. When you address the inappropriate language in passing, you are in fact giving it a free pass. Hal has joined the pantheon of sons who just don't quite live up to their father. He is the Alan Hale, Jr, Frank Sinatra Jr, and Ron Reagan of Major League Baseball. If you ever wondered what would have happened if Fredo had taken charge of the Corleone family instead of Michael, look no further than the Yankees.

Another one of Cashman's ridiculous statements came to light this week. Apparently, the heat in Scottsdale, Arizona last week must have gotten to him. Because he said the following about Giancarlo Stanton. "We can talk about it and we are talking about Stanton trying to limit the time he's down but I'm not going to tell you he's going to play every game next year, because he's not. He's going to wind up getting hurt again more likely than not because it seems to be part of his game." He later called Stanton injury phone.

Let's take a look at that statement. Is it true? Yes, it is accurate. Stanton does miss a lot of time. Because he has so many muscles, he must feel obliged to pull one every now and then. However, for the general manager of the team to matter-of-factly say so about Stanton, who is on their contract through the 2027 season, was not a very prudent move. He may well have alienated Stanton. And if Cashman was seriously considering trying to trade him, he just adversely affected his ability to do so. He is essentially telling other teams, "I have a player for you, but he's injured most of the time and can't play." Now, that is what we call salesmanship.

Back to the notion of alienating Stanton, I'm not sure if Cashman statements did that but, they definitely upset his agent, Joel Wolfe, who issued the following statement: "I think it's a good reminder for all free agents considering signing in New York both foreign and domestic that to play for that team, you've got to be made of Teflon, both mentally and physically, because you can never let your guard down. even in the off-season."

If you think it's bad to offend one of your players, a player you need to either bounce back and have a productive year or two or at least get to the point where you can trade him to some other team, it actually gets worse.

It has been well documented that one of the Yankees' primary targets this off-season is Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the star pitcher from Japan, who is 25 years old, and most likely will be the most sought-after starting pitcher in free agency. Well guess what? His agent is Joel Wolfe. Yes, the same Joel Wolfe who said that players need to be made of Teflon to play for the Yankees. So, not only did Cashman alienate Stanton's agent and possibly Stanton himself, he also potentially poisoned the waters as far as signing Yamamoto. Yamamoto will presumably get a lot of offers this winter. He will have options. If his agent, who is guiding him through this process has a negative opinion of Cashman and the Yankees, then the likelihood of Yamamoto wearing pinstripes next year is not very great.

It's a pretty simple concept, really. If your spouse is not a very good cook but you wish to remain married, there are a few things you can do. You can do the cooking yourself. You can hire someone else to do it. You can dine out. You can encourage your spouse to improve his or her cooking by buying cookbooks or videos. The last option is to accept the situation for what it is and keep your mouth shut, unless you're eating. You would think that Cashman would have a lot more common sense than this, especially considering he has been on the job for 25 years. Perhaps he was trying to aggravate Stanton so much that he will wave his no-trade clause in his contract. However, considering that Wolfe is Yamamoto's agent, that would have been too risky a maneuver.

Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have accepted no responsibility or blame for the 2023 season and the overall decline of the Yankees. Yet, they promise that 2024 will be a better year. It's hard to see how that could be possible if they continually shoot themselves in the foot. To borrow a line from the reboot of Frasier, which I will address to Cashman and Hal, "You are your own saboteurs."

17 comentarii

16 nov. 2023

The NYY have gone out of their way, to the chagrin of many, to make excuse after excuse for Stanton. What has that gotten them? Nothing. I actually have no problem with Brian or even Freddo on this matter. Stanton is making enough money that he should be able to handle it better than he handles the 162 game season. If he or his agent are so upset, then he should negotiate an opt out.

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
16 nov. 2023
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I don't disagree. But why would Stanton leave millions on the table?

I don't see this as a Stanton thing. I see it as the agent saying, "See the Yankees are not the team to play for." (And I think he's speaking for more than himself.) I see this as the Yankees being called out for their approach - and that's what is concerning.


16 nov. 2023

I don't think that Cashman hurt Stanton's trade value for the simple reason that Stanton had no trade value to begin with. It's hardly a secret among MLB teams that Stanton is frequently injured, has been under performing and has a monster contract. In military terms Cashman's "bombs" merely made the rubble bounce.

I also don't care that Cashman cursed. It's a bit unprofessional to do so in a press conference but c'mon I read stories about players, managers and and even front office people reciting some of George Carlin's 7 words you can't say on TV all the time during interviews.Who cares?

That's really not the story. The story is how Hal and Cashman refuse to acknowledge their own…


16 nov. 2023

it's unconscionable

it's unfathomable

it's slightly impolite

possibly impolitic

because Cashman has publicly pointed out that Mr Stanton misses a great many ball games, it has now been brought to the attention of the management of all the other ball clubs

and even worser, it has also been brought to the attention of Mr Stanton (and his agent) !!

Cashman has exposed secret, propriety information previously unavailable

now it has been told !

as what must follow the revelation?

how will Mr Stanton react to having the scarlet IL burned into his image?

will he humiliate the Yankee organization by becoming impervious to injury?

will he instruct his agent to inform the team that he's dismayed and alienated and determined…


Alan B.
Alan B.
16 nov. 2023

Cashman is just saying publicly what everyone thinks about Stanton and his injuries. But the level of heat Cashman is facing from the media to me is disgraceful. Me saying this, at least on this site, should mean something as I am by FAR, Cashman's biggest critic. But where was everyone's anger at Cashman in July 2022, when Cashman, without warning, or even checking, moved Luis Severino to the 60 day IL, just because, in his words, 'I needed the 40 man roster spot'. WTF???? As for Wolfe, he just did something really stupid, that no one is calling him out for. He, in reality now, took the threat of the Yankees signing Yamamoto, or any of his other cli…

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
16 nov. 2023
Răspunde utilizatorului

We shall agree to disagree.

If it was an isolated disagreement, between the agent and the Yankees, I would assume, we would have never heard about it.

You see this as an issue about Stanton.

I see this as an issue about the state of the Yankees and the perceptions of the franchise across the sport.

I think that's what the agent is driving at. I think he's saying to all, not just his clients, "Be wary of playing for the Yankees. I have first-hand knowledge..."

Let's see how the off-season plays out. I'm sure we'll also have plenty to discuss after my 2:00 article comes out. (Note - I teach on Thursdays so I may not respond to a…

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