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Cashman on the changes

Postby WharfRat » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:09 pm

There are some reasons to get excited here...

NEW YORK -- In the end, the challenge of tackling what Brian Cashman calls "the toughest job in sports" proved to be too much to pass up.

After lengthy deliberation and consultations with family, friends and associates, Cashman announced Thursday that he will return for a ninth season as the general manager of the Yankees, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract extension.

"Part of the process was to make sure I'm up to the challenge," Cashman said. "You make decisions like this, and you have to make sure you're up for it. It's tough. There's a lot that's involved."

The stakes figure to be even higher now for the 38-year-old Cashman, following a 2005 season in which the Yankees were defeated in the first round of the playoffs by the Angels. Wearing the club's 2000 World Series ring on his right hand, Cashman said he plans to plot course immediately on ending the Bombers' five-year title drought.

"I am very happy that Brian will continue as general manager," principal owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement.

"Brian has literally grown up in the Yankees organization and is a tireless worker. He is very knowledgeable about the game and the business of baseball, and is extremely loyal. I know he is already working toward bringing a World Championship back to New York."

With the new contract, Cashman -- who likened himself to baseball's version of "The Apprentice," rising from a 19-year-old intern in the club's Minor League and scouting department to the head of baseball operations -- has a chance to be the last general manager at the Yankees' current home, leading the way into the new Stadium in 2009.

Though there were certainly options -- Cashman was mentioned as a candidate for openings in Philadelphia and Arizona -- Cashman said his preference was always to stay with the Yankees. But first, he sought assurance that frequent disagreements in philosophy between the Yankees' New York and Tampa factions could be calmed.

Cashman said most of his negotiation time with Steinbrenner, general partner Steve Swindal, president Randy Levine and COO Lonn Trost discussed not financials, but processes of streamlining and simplification. Cashman spoke Thursday of "splintering," in which members of one faction would voice displeasure with certain philosophies and opinions.

"Obviously, that can create a lot of different potholes along the way as we all travel in the same direction," Cashman said.

Unsatisfied by the final results of the last five seasons, Cashman said he found the ranks of executives open to change and to the removal of ongoing drama from the club's two operating arms.

He drew an analogy to highway guardrails, protecting the straight path through a hands-on ownership group to a 27th World Series championship. Cashman said Steinbrenner was receptive to the plan in a lengthy telephone call last week.

"I want to be that filter," Cashman said. "Everything goes through me. With the chain of command, I think everyone involved wants it that way. We've all suffered this year in different ways because of the splintering. I think everyone involved wants it to be streamlined."

Under what the Yankees hope to be a revitalized plan of structure, Cashman said he is eyeing several changes, most notably a reduction in payroll.

As the Yankees showed by testing young players like Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang this season, a high-end player may not be necessary at every position. Cashman said he plans to target a simple blueprint that places a re-emphasis on the club's Minor League player development -- which already hosts potential impact players at lower levels -- and international scouting.

In Cashman's description of the model, free agency and trades would be used to "finish off" a club, not serve as the bedrock of the organization.

"It's going to work closer to how the other 29 clubs work," Cashman said.

With several changes to Joe Torre's coaching staff leading the agenda -- Larry Bowa has been contacted as a leading candidate to replace Luis Sojo as third base coach, while Ron Guidry and Lee Mazzilli are in the mix to be pitching coach and bench coach, respectively -- Cashman said the Yankees plan to hold organizational meetings in New York shortly.

Other activity shouldn't be far off. Possible player moves regarding center field and the bullpen are expected to follow, with the general managers' meetings coinciding with the Yankees' yet-to-be-determined plans.

"We have the most money, there's no secret about that," Cashman said. "If you combine that with the best decision-making process on a consistent basis, then God help the rest of baseball."


http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20051027&content_id=1261132&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
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Postby WharfRat » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:16 pm

Klapisch:

He's the Boss?

By BOB KLAPISCH
SPORTS COLUMNIST

If we're to believe the Yankees, the last 10 days have ushered in the age of normalcy into this previously dysfunctional, agenda-wielding organization. Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner are suddenly communicating like Oprah and Dr. Phil.

And as of today, Brian Cashman is the undisputed champion of a recent power struggle, culminating with his acceptance of a three-year, more than $5 million deal to oversee the Yankees' baseball operations.

In other words, Cashman is the boss (except when he answers to The Boss). To which we say: who's kidding whom? The Yankees are no different - and no less interesting - from the White House, where it's anyone's guess who's in charge and who's ducking for cover.

Cashman, though, is honest and principled and he undoubtedly believes he's prevailed over Billy Connors and Bill Emslie, the two Tampa-based lieutenants who spent the summer savaging both the Yankees' general manager and manager. Torre bought into the same assurance from Steinbrenner last week. But the very nature of the Bombers' hierarchy suggests anarchy will return soon enough.

For all the transformations Cashman spoke of Thursday at the Stadium, where his new contract was formally unveiled, one glaring flaw remains: the Yankees are still split by geography and politics.

Half the team's power base is in New York, the other half remains nestled under Steinbrenner's wing at Legends Field in Tampa. That will never change. Cashman says the Yankees are going to be "just like the 29 other teams" who let their GM rule with impunity, but no other organization is this divided.

So the countdown already has begun to the first turf war, which could erupt over the pursuit of a new center fielder.

Some Yankee insiders are eyeing Torii Hunter, who's so prepared to be traded by the Twins he's already sold his home in Minneapolis. But acquiring the two-time Gold Glove winner might cost the Yankees Chien-Ming Wang, whom Cashman thus far has refused to surrender.

Maybe the GM will win this battle, but if the Yankees can't pry Hunter away, their secondary target could be Johnny Damon - a risky candidate considering he's about to turn 32 and is represented by Scott Boras.

With nearly $50 million coming off the books this winter, Steinbrenner may be tempted to overwhelm Damon with some of that freed-up cash, wounding the Red Sox in the process. But if Cashman is really serious about stepping into the Yankees' time tunnel, back to the era when they signed and traded intelligently, he'll veto this move, too. Let's just see if it gets overridden.

Actually, if Cashman really wants to show the baseball industry he's in charge, he'll whittle his staff down to a handful of loyal, trustworthy aides. Most GMs rely on one assistant, one minor league director, a point man for international scouting, a stats guru and someone to digest contract language, which is often as impenetrable as James Joyce's prose.

At least this is the way the A's Billy Beane consolidates power. So does the White Sox' Kenny Williams. Even the Mets' organizational chart looks simple next to the Yankees'.

But give the Bombers credit for trying. They recognized that warring factions and crossed agendas made for some awful decisions in the last three years - including the deal for Kevin Brown, which cost the Yankees Jeff Weaver and Yhency Brazoban; giving Jaret Wright a three-year deal; failing to address Bernie Williams' deterioration; going all the way until the final game of the division series without finding an everyday center fielder.

Some of these blemishes belong on Cashman's résumé, some do not. But now, the scrutiny comes his way.

Cashman asked for sole control and, however long it lasts, the GM has to assume complete responsibility. No more relying on the baseball committee or Steinbrenner's "people." If Cashman has a plan to end the Yankees' five-year world championship drought, it's time to unfurl it.

He has weapons, of course, plenty of them. There's enough money in Steinbrenner's fiefdom to keep the Yankees at playoff-contention caliber for years to come, no matter how often we hear about a coming crash.

If free agent-to-be B.J. Ryan was telling the truth about wanting to pitch in the Bronx in 2006, Cashman has a built-in transition to the post-Mariano Rivera era. Signing the Orioles' lefty is a pure no-brainer.

That, of course, will infuriate the anti-Yankee army, whose soldiers live to see the empire's collapse.

Bud Selig, no ally of Steinbrenner's, secretly enjoyed this Yankee-free World Series, even if it did cost FOX millions of dollars. The White Sox-Astros TV ratings were down 30 percent from last year's Fall Classic, and it was the least-popular matchup in Series history.

Maybe everyone got burned out watching too many Yankees-Red Sox apocalyptic wars. Or maybe everyone else was boring by comparison. What other team has this kind of blowhard owner, a manager who was ready to walk out on $13.1 million because he felt unloved and a general manager who spends more time watching his back than the payroll?

Isn't this why we love-hate (you choose) the Yankees? Isn't this why we're still obsessing over them for a decade - blood feuds, rants, back-page threats, that mindless win-or-else mentality? But if Cashman is right, the Bombers are morphing into their 29 peers.

How smart. And, somehow, what a disappointment.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:40 pm

This is exactly why I want Cashman back. He's no fool. He knows what it takes to build a championship team. I'm glad to hear what he had to say.

"We have the most money, there's no secret about that," Cashman said. "If you combine that with the best decision-making process on a consistent basis, then God help the rest of baseball."


I've been saying this for years.
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Postby TheYanks04 » Sat Oct 29, 2005 4:07 pm

Yeah well I am sure Clueless Brian will take that money and go trade for Milton (who he wanted last year) or some other inept fool like himself. Saying Cashman is no fool?...If Cashman is no fool than basically no one is as apparently geniuses believe in Wright over Lieber and Womack over anyone. To say nothing of the Pavano, Brown, Weaver, Vaz, etc. I wish I had a job like Cashman...get paid a lot...screw up for 3 or 4 years at almost every turn on almost every decision of consequrence...get a pay raise and a new 3 year contract. How much better can it get than that? You did a great job Clueless,... great calls on Wright, Pavano and Womack... here is a few million more....see what else you can mess up.

And Klapsisch started with the Bergen Record (an anti-Yankee paper if ever there was one) and while he hides it well, he is a George hater of the worst order and if he in reality is not a Yankee hater I would be shocked. He may not be Mike The Lip, but he is no fan of the Yanks and George in particular and his commentary needs to be looked at in that light.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Sat Oct 29, 2005 10:39 pm

TheYanks04 wrote:Yeah well I am sure Clueless Brian will take that money and go trade for Milton (who he wanted last year) or some other inept fool like himself. Saying Cashman is no fool?...If Cashman is no fool than basically no one is as apparently geniuses believe in Wright over Lieber and Womack over anyone. To say nothing of the Pavano, Brown, Weaver, Vaz, etc. I wish I had a job like Cashman...get paid a lot...screw up for 3 or 4 years at almost every turn on almost every decision of consequrence...get a pay raise and a new 3 year contract. How much better can it get than that? You did a great job Clueless,... great calls on Wright, Pavano and Womack... here is a few million more....see what else you can mess up.

And Klapsisch started with the Bergen Record (an anti-Yankee paper if ever there was one) and while he hides it well, he is a George hater of the worst order and if he in reality is not a Yankee hater I would be shocked. He may not be Mike The Lip, but he is no fan of the Yanks and George in particular and his commentary needs to be looked at in that light.


Cashman is a beast. ;-D
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cluess?

Postby The Big Stick » Sun Oct 30, 2005 4:38 pm

Well let's see he brought in
S. Chacón
C. Wang
A. Small
T. Gordon
R Cano
Just to name a few.
I am glad his back as the GM of the yankees.
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Postby bronxxbomber » Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:45 pm

i'm anxious to see how the yanks start over. i want to see the yanks bring some good talent into their farm system and make good trades like the chacon deal. i just want to see another ring in ny.
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Postby WharfRat » Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:15 am

bronxxbomber wrote:i'm anxious to see how the yanks start over. i want to see the yanks bring some good talent into their farm system and make good trades like the chacon deal. i just want to see another ring in ny.


I honestly have some faith that this is exactly what they'll do, or at least try to do. It's no secret that a strong farm system is a big key to success, and I like how Cashman is framing the approach he wants to take - using free agency to complete the team, rather than set the foundation. No, he's not Clueless, some people shouldn't be so bitter.

The Yanks' system is pretty talented at the lower levels, so I think we're not too far off from seeing a real renewal of homegrown talent a la Wang and Cano.
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Postby WharfRat » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:02 pm

Other good signs?

I swear, sometimes I feel like I get into the offseason more than the regular season.

NY Post wrote:For the first time in a what seems like an eternity, the Yankees will hold their organizational meetings in New York starting today.

Normally, George Steinbrenner summons GM Brian Cashman, club president Randy Levine and COO Lonn Trost to Florida to meet with whomever is running the Tampa branch of the dysfunctional Yankee family.

However, in a strong indication the worm has turned in regards who are the power brokers in the organization, the meetings will be held in New York, chaired by Cashman, attended by Steinbrenner and the entire branch of the Tampa mafia.

Included in the six-man Tampa contingent which arrives today are Billy Connors and Bill Emslie, Steinbrenner advisors who forced Mel Stottlemyre to resign and generally distrusted by the New York family for their second-guessing of Joe Torre and Cashman to Steinbrenner.

Since the meetings are in New York, Torre might attend, and Gene Michael, whom Cashman wants back in the loop after being pushed aside by Steinbrenner, could be there, too.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:21 pm

WharfRat wrote:Other good signs?

I swear, sometimes I feel like I get into the offseason more than the regular season.


I know exactly what you mean. ;-D


Stick Michael back in the loop? Nice. I hope Cashman put that on his list of demands before he signed his contract. I know him and Gene are buddies and Stick is also his mentor.
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