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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: The Boone/Cashman Press Conference

by Paul Semendinger

November 5, 2022

***

Well, for the most part, I'll never get those 90-minutes back. I usually don't watch press conferences, but I tuned in yesterday hoping to glean some information from Aaron Boone or Brian Cashman. To be blunt, they didn't say much, or mostly, anything at all.


I found Brian Cashman to be more forthright and he did share a few nuggets of information. Basically Aaron Boone said nothing of importance. He just made statements that, often times, went nowhere. Boone plays it so closely to the vest that he often says almost nothing at all.


I also have to say that I am continually amazed that Aaron Boone got his job as manager based on his interviewing. Maybe he talked differently there than he has the last five years, but I never hear him saying much of value other than, "We're close," "We have to go get 'em." and such. "He just didn't quite get in a groove." "I think it's there." "There's a lot to like." On and on... I don't know, to me what Boone says in his press conferences isn't much different than what Joe Schultz said to the players in Ball Four, minus the expletives. It's just meaningless statements. Platitudes. No substance.


And sometimes, Boone's answers are just nonsensical...


The following was one Aaron Boone's answers:


"As far as change, I think it's just continuing to evolve, and inevitably with that comes change, you know."


When asked what the top priority for the Yankees this offseason will be, Boone responded,


"Uhh, I mean... Look, I mean, that's probably, you know, I know Cash is coming in next, and certainly, I'm always a part of the conversations, and things, and you're trying to improve . The off-season takes you in a lot of different places..." (I have to wonder, why Boone couldn't have said, my priorities are to secure shortstop, sign Judge and get a starting pitcher... or anything like that. Instead, he talked in circles. If they're going to expect the media and the fans to tune in to these press conferences, shouldn't there be some expectation that something meaningful is discussed and real answers provided?)


Boone offered no news on the coaches.


He was asked if he should reevaluate his approach over the 162 game season, he replied, "No."


Aaron Boone also said that he had no concerns or worries about returning to the Yankees as manager for 2023. "I have a contract..." (I'd like to think that as the team played some of the worst baseball in the history of the franchise for the entire month of August that Mr. Boone might have been feeling some heat. But, no. He felt great. As Brian Cashman said later, "We don't get rid off people because of results..." Interesting.)


Boone indicated that Giancarlo Stanton will play some outfield in 2023. (To which, I will have to see it to believe it. That might be the stated desire, but I don't see it happening in practice.)


Aaron Boone also said that he's comfortable with the team and that he feels really good about "our process and my process." (I really wish that there was more self-reflection. Saying, "We did well, I did well, and we have a good process..." really doesn't inspire confidence in me going forward. I'd rather hear my manger say, "You know what. We failed. Period. I made some mistakes. This isn't good enough. No. no way. I have already looked at mistakes I made, and those won't happen going forward." But, for the Yankees, it's all good. And, to see this as an outsider, I'm seeing a process and a mentality that is part of that process that isn't good.)


Boone also feels that Josh Donaldson will hit well next year, or so it seemed. "He just couldn't get it going this year," was the basic sentiment, but he did impress with his glove, if not his bat. (If Boone is going to rely heavily on Josh Donaldson as a middle-of-the-order hitter again, as he did this year, and remember, he said the process was sound, the Yankees are in trouble.)


Of course, Boone stated that he'd like Aaron Judge to return.


When asked what metrics he uses to determine if a player is doing well defensively, because he claimed that Isiah Kiner-Falefa was a top defensive shortstop, Boone seemed surprised by the question and he was unable to answer it at first stating that the team looks at, "I mean range... turning plays into outs... you know... transfers... ummm, you know, all of it." (This was not a good look.)

Finally, Boone would not commit to Oswald Peraza as his shortstop for next year saying it'll be a competition in Spring Training. In that answer, he indicated that Peraza didn't get a chance in August and September because he was so young.


Again, by and large, and for the most part, Aaron Boone stated that the results need to be better, that they want to win, that he supports his players, and that everything always changes. Like Brian Cashman, who came next, Boone also used injuries as a big reason why the Yankees didn't do better in the playoffs and why they were so bad from early July onward. (Of course, from my take, if you have an older roster with players who often get injured, it should be no surprise that as the players age, they'll break down more...no? The team should have a plan in place for when the starters get hurt, because they will. But, the process was good. It was good!)


Brian Cashman then took the podium and shared that one of his goals for 2022 was to improve the Yankees defensively and with Donaldson, IKF, and Jose Trevino, he did just that. He also stated how when needs arise, they try to address them, such as acquiring Harrison Bader to shore up centerfield. (I agree with all of that. Brian Cashman set and attained that goal.)


Cashman used the injuries as a reason, as well, for the Yankees failures. He made a comment along the lines of, "We had to do auditions and things out of curiosity. We gave it a shot to see what would happen." (To which, I was a little taken aback... that was the plan. Curiosity? Let's see what happens? There has to be a better plan in place than, "Let's see what happens." To me, that's a huge red flag.)


Brian Cashman stated, numerous times, that he wants Aaron Judge to return. He also said that Judge earned the right to take his time with the process. (Which he did, of course.) Interestingly, Brian Cashman indicated that Aaron Judge and his agent knew that he was going to go public with the contract they offered last spring and he was surprised that there was talk that Aaron Judge wasn't happy he did that. (This seems like some bad communication which could be a problem with figuring out their next contract.)


Cashman stated that Hal Steinbrenner always makes decisions to make the fans happy. (I found that to be an odd comment knowing that so many fans aren't happy with so much. If he wanted to make us happy, why did he quickly rehire Aaron Boone. Why didn't he sign Bryce Harper. Why didn't he do a lot of things...? Hal Steinbrenner, himself, often talks about how he has to make his investors (not the fans) happy.)


When Brian Cashman was asked about his analytics department, he stated that he felt they did a great job. He also stated that people are not let go for a lack of results. They are let go because of the process they use or not adapting to the times. (I also found that interesting. Isn't baseball, and all of pro sports a results based industry?)

Brian Cashman indicated that if Judge comes back, the positions that are highest on his priorities are left field and shortstop. (I was surprised he did not mention pitching.)


A reporter asked if the "Three True Outcome Strategy" was something that needed to be revisited, Brian Cashman asked that that even is. (He may have been playing coy, but I thought that was a strange answer.) Cashman then highlighted how he acquired players like Anthony Rizzo and D.J. LeMahieu... contact guys (but he failed to mention he also acquired Joey Gallo who disproved the point he was making).


Brian Cashman does not have a contract yet going forward, but he seems confident that it'll get done. He was very pleased with Matt Blake and his team. The Yankees do plan to pick-up Luis Severino's option. He also feels Aaron Boone did a great job as the manager.


And that... was that.


Overall, it was not a very inspiring press conference. It was a lot of, "If we were healthy," and "Injuries hurt," and "Yeah, he's great," and "We have a great process."


I'd love to hear Mr. Cashman say, "I have delivered one World Series appearance in the last 19 years. That's not just not good. It's bad. And for the Yankees, it is terrible and unacceptable. Something is not working. At all. I'm the General Manager, and have been throughout those years. It's on me. And I'll make it better."


But we mostly got, "Yeah, we wish it tuned out differently". "We're doing a good job." "He'll come around." "We do what we can." "We try to improve." "Change happens."


And...


"You know... it's just not easy."


***

The following teams have all been in the World Series since the last time the Yankees were there:

  • Astros (four times)

  • Dodgers (three times)

  • Giants (three times)

  • Cardinals (two times)

  • Royals (two times)

  • Red Sox (two times)

  • Rangers (two times)

  • Tigers

  • Nationals

  • Rays

  • Braves

  • Phillies

  • Mets

  • Indians

  • Cubs

Something isn't working.... I wish Mr. Boone or Mr. Cashman had been able to articulate what the problem is.







24 Comments


Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Nov 06, 2022

This year, the Yankees were "better-balanced" which has been a big gripe of mine and yes, I do consider reverse-splits. The Yankees had a 5th-best in league .758 OPS batting right-handed and a 7th best OPS batting left-handed. Offensively, that's a whopping improvemet over the joke of a roster Cashman put together for 2021.


However, here we are. The team has two players currently on the roster who can hit left-handed. Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera. How can this be?


The team has one left-handed Starter and two left-handed Relievers. I want Cashman fired. Simple as that.

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cpogo0502
Nov 05, 2022

What is left to say after so many excellent and intelligent posts. Like I said, Cashman needs to log onto SSTN and find out how to be a general manager. He thinks it's the process and not results? As many here have worked in business or other professions and risen to a high level in their respective professions, have you every heard anything so asinine? Results is what matters, always. As for Boone, my opinion is that he is just not that intelligent. The inability to articulate concrete thoughts is a sign of mental confusion. Poor soul.

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Nov 06, 2022
Replying to

Well, remember that this sport-business is one where Tony LaRussa was considered a genius because he has a law degree from Florida State! The intelligence bar (so to speak) is very, very low.

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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Nov 05, 2022

I'll add these takaways from the very underwhelming presser.

  1. The reporters asked mostly awful questions and not one of them asked what the budget was going to be this year? Will the Yankees look to reset? Will they be open to operating in the First-Tier or Second-Tier of the Luxury Tax Threshold and thus become a repeat offender, subject to not only the Tier-Taxes but an extra 12-percent?

  2. Obviously Houston's Pitching is Elite. Do you plan on adding more left handed Starters?

  3. Do you think you should move the right field fence back, Brian? Your team is predominantly right-handed both on offense ond in the rotation and bullpen.

  4. Will Aroldis Chapman be back? Then follow up on his answer.


After…


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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Nov 05, 2022

The franchise's discussion and focus on process is good, as far as it goes. On my first day of legal writing class, I would describe it to the students as learning a process that leads to a product (there a legal memo or brief, here wins). Sound process should lead to good product. But particularly in baseball, good process does not inevitably lead to good product (think line-drive outs). The question I have for the Yankees is how long do you continue the process leading to unsatisfactory product before you change the process? We've had five years of Boone Process. How much longer do we stick with that process?


Now, the counterargument (legal writing process!) is that Boone has a…


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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Nov 06, 2022
Replying to

Really like this take too! You nailed it. Boone had to "overcome the flaws" in the roster Cashman gave him. I'll acquiesce to catastrophic injuries occuring in really key spots. I'll give Cashman that point.


Two years ago, I was looking at the lineups Boone was rolling with. He absolutely was trying to go righty-lefty-righty-lefty as much as possible. A manager really has to in today's game, considering the multitudes of situational pitching changes that the insertion of the "three-batter minimum" rule tries to mitigate. That year, the Yankees Team OPS when batting left-handed was 26th in MLB (.671) and I was outraged. Not by the horrid left-handed hitting. I was outraged the freaking right-feild fence wasn't moved back 200…


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jnichols351
jnichols351
Nov 05, 2022

Like everyone else I don’t understand how they think that the roster was built to win yet we don’t win and they don’t change. There are fundamental flaws in the way that this team is put together and they have not addressed them for the last five years.


If Baseball is a business then the fans are the customers. The customers are telling the business that we are not satisfied with the product and we need change, yet the business refuses to change. Nothing will happen until the fans express their disappointment by not spending money. I don’t see that happening so it will be another year of the same. I hope not

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