The Tuesday Discussion: Is It Firing Time?
August 15, 2023
This week we asked a simple question of our writers:
Is it time for the Yankees to fire Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone?
Here are their responses:
Paul Semendinger - Unfortunately, yes. The Yankees need to go in a new direction. The time to do this is now so the new leaders can see the team and the players and the organization as a whole in order to go into the off-season ready to make the difficult and necessary moves to get the Yankees back on track. The Yankees are not winning as currently constructed. The people responsible for building this, and leading this, need to be replaced.
After he leaves, I think Brian Cashman should get honored with a plaque in Monument Park, but that ceremony should only come after some worthy players like Roy White and Graig Nettles get honored first.
Lincoln Mitchell - I see this as a somewhat complicated question that could have several meanings. If the question is ‘in order to build a championship team, should the Yankees fire Cashman and Boone?’ then the answer is a resounding yes.” However, if we think of the Yankees not as a team that we would like to see win the World Series, but as a corporation owned largely by Hal Steinbrenner, then the answer is more complicated. Steinbrenner can continue to make money and not push himself to be decisive, something he clearly does not want to do, by keeping Cashman and letting Cashman decide whether or not to fire Boone.
Ethan Semendinger - Brian Cashman's tenure as the general manager of the New York Yankees started in 1998. That is the longest in the MLB. Mike Rizzo is the 2nd longest tenured GM with the Washington Nationals and has been in that role since 2009. After over 25 seasons as the GM of the Yankees, it is beyond time for a change...unless he was still building World Series winning teams year-after-year. Instead, the last time the Yankees were in the World Series was the same year the 2nd longest tenured GM in the MLB was hired.
Aaron Boone is also due for a firing. All he has are platitudes and glasses that are perpetually rose-colored. The Yankees tried something new-age and revolutionary and it didn't blossom the way they wanted. It's now time to cut bait and go back to proven methods with managers who will hold the team accountable for poor performance, a lack of fundamentals, and will manage a game (and bullpen!) correctly.
Ed Botti - Those two have been running on ice for years. It is past time to re-set. Sometimes in sports a new voice is needed, and after 25 + years of Cashman and almost 6 seasons of Boone, yes it is past time in a normal world. Unfortunately, their boss does not have the courage to do so, especially since attendance and YES ratings are at levels that pleases his investors. If wining is the goal, it’s a no brainer. If putting patches on hollowed ground and grabbing every last network dollar is the goal, then I do not see them doing so.
Mike Whiteman - While "It's getting late early", I see no benefit of firing either at this point.
There's likely a day of reckoning coming though, and I'd wait until the offseason.
Tim Kabel - Yes, it is time for the Yankees to fire Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone. However, Hal Steinbrenner has already gone on record to say that Cashman is safe. I don’t believe that Hal will plunge full force into the world of rebuilding the team. By that I mean, he’s not going to set up a whole new regime of general manager and manager. He needs some level of familiarity. I think Cashman will be retained, but Boone will be fired.
Andy Singer - Yes, it is time to fire both Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone. I have never been Boone's biggest fan, but I'll acknowledge that he got a lot out of the team in 2018 and 2019. Since then, it feels like the team has underperformed situationally and fundamentally, and that comes back to coaching. Find someone with real management experience.
I have been a pretty heavy Brian Cashman supporter, but multiple factors lead me to say it's time to move in a different direction. Cashman acknowledged that there was a problem in the Yankees' training staff and that the team wasn't managing injury prevention or recovery properly, and he attempted to fix the problem by gutting the training staff years ago. Rather than fix the problem, it's gotten worse. That's problem one.
Problem two is that while the Yankees had previously been praised almost universally by baseball insiders for their ability to combine traditional scouting with analytical analysis, their analytical staff has clearly fallen behind the times, as it often feels like amateur, analytically inclined baseball observers are more capable of sound decision making than the Yankees' current analytical staff, which speaks negatively of Cashman's Assistant GM, Mike Fishman.
Each of those factors lead me to believe that it's time to move on from Brian Cashman as lead decision maker, as he is ultimately responsible for each of those problems.
However, you can fire Boone and Cashman, but I'm not confident it will lead to better results, because the real issue is ownership. The leaks are coming, and it doesn't look good for the Yankees. Cashman didn't sit on his hands this trade deadline; he requested permission to sell, and Hal Steinbrenner only authorized selling expiring assets IF he could both get back real prospects AND unload significant cash. That wasn't realistic as it would clearly be possible to do one, but not both of those things.
I also strongly believe that Hal has had more of a say over both player and coaching decisions than we realize (to me, it is always telling that Steinbrenner is the one that speaks about Boone's job status, not Cashman). That and the slinkying budget tie the hands of any GM/President of Baseball Operations. Because of this, I don't think we can really evaluate anyone's job other than ownership's, and that grade is clearly failing.