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  • Cary Greene

Last Offseason I Said…

by Cary Greene

November 13, 2022

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It’s true, last offseason, I said the Yankees needed to sign better relievers. I wasn’t convinced that either Aroldis Chapman or Zack Britton would be of much help. Instead, Cashman did “nada” to improve the Yankees bullpen.


I also said last winter that Cashman should sign the highly-affordable David Robertson to bolster the Yankees high-leverage relief corps!


It’s also true that I said the Yankees should have signed a legit lefty-starter like Carlos Rodon and also pulled an offseason blockbuster trade off with the prospect starved Reds for Luis Castillo. Instead Cashman did nothing to improve the Yankees rotation. Again…he did “nada.”


Then Cashman compounded his inability to build a World Series capable rotation by trading away valuable prospects at yet another deadline, but for the likes of Frankie Montas?!

I won’t deny, I also said the Yankees should sign Kyle Schwarber and play Giancarlo Stanton a lot more in the outfield, in order to find a way to get a dead-red pull hitter between Stanton and Aaron Judge. I said the move would pay huge dividends in the playoffs. (Did anybody happen to see Schwarber with the Phillies in this year’s postseason? Remember “Schwaba’s” 119.7 mph, 488’ bomb against the Padres this year, which was the hardest-hit ball in the modern, StatCast postseason era?)

..the guy is nothing short of the kind of bat a GM should want on a World Series team.


Non-baseball guys like Cashman or Yankees Analytics boss Michael Fishman for whatever reason just can’t put together a lineup that can score in the postseason. They just don’t really understand how to get the job done and all they do is keep proving this to Yankees fans everywhere.


The Yankees also try to dictate their plan in big games, then they lean on an inexperienced PR-man like Aaron Boone, and expect him to do what? Lead the team on the field in the biggest of moments? This way of operating tends to backfire when it matters most. It’s just not a recipe for winning a championship.

I mean, we go through this every offseason don’t we? What should be so easy is made so hard by people who really don’t know baseball as well as they purport to. It would be neat if Cashman and Fishman would take a few steps back and let the kinds of decisions be made that might even result in a ticker-tape parade.


Good decisions sometimes are evidenced quickly, but at other times, they may take some time to come together and be apparent.


I ask this question. Would any of us have known that the real problem with the Phillies this season was actually Joe Girardi and the way he was leaning on unproductive veterans and refusing to give younger, but highly “mature for their age” players a shot?


Sometimes, leadership has a way of shooting a team in the foot. How many times have we seen a team make a change at the right time in the season, with plenty of time left, and suddenly the team catches fire and they go on a tear?


We fans? Those of us who are experienced enough to know what works and what doesn’t - what about us? Sometimes we see things very easily and very clearly. We’re also not always right, and I get that. In fact, it’s why I said Cashman and Fishman should simply consider taking a step back. All the data, all the analytics, it’s great, but it’s often just data in a vacuum.


Tom Coughlan said, “Preparation is the key to success” and I love that quote. Process is important. So why isn’t Cashman looking at Boone’s “process” in the postseason? In fact, why isn’t Cashman using a better “process” to construct his rosters? The right field fence is set at 314-feet, why not either move it back 200-feet or sign a few guys on both sides of the ball that can exploit this wonder of nature?


The key is to give that data to real baseball people and let them do something with it during games. Make it available to them, but please, step back. Stop pre-planning and pre-scripting everything. Stop making your on-the-field manager stay within whatever the game plan is every day. Especially in the playoffs! Stop picking bad playoffs rosters. Stop signing or trading for players with significant injury concerns. Stop being so right-handed in the lineup, the bullpen and rotation.


Start building the team the right way. Do it THIS OFFSEASON. Start with the lineup and the rotation. Championship architecture isn’t an exact science. There are certain pieces, be it leadership or personnel, that need to come together in order to eventually create magic. Usually, a team’s pitching has to really heat up or peak and they also have to hit against the very good pitching they’ll absolutely face as they advance.


If a GM can’t craft a roster that can deliver a championship after 13-years in a row, maybe he should just….take a step back. Brian Cashman didn’t win his championships with rosters he created. Gene Michael should get the credit for all those banners and parades. What has Cashman done? Create a process he believes is great but that also fails to deliver? Am I supposed to buy that?


Yet here we are. I hate to say I told you so Brian Cashman. But I did. A whole year in advance. In fact, many of us here on SSTN said so, writers and posters alike and now we’re going to watch Hal Steinbrenner bring Cashman back because the “process” was great! Hall is about to rinse and repeat.


No significant changes will be made. We’ll roll out the same leadership. We’ll do things the same way we always do. Michael Fishman will effectively run the team. He’ll make the plan Boone follows and stays within. It’ll be a really good plan that helps the Yankees win enough games against a majority of light-spending regular season opponents and the Yankees may make the playoffs yet again. What’s so great about that?


What’s so great about beating up on a bunch of light-spending teams and then getting eliminated every year in the postseason, when the competition gets better?


Something, my friends, is wrong with the Yankees process.

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