Back in the 1980′s the New York Yankees fielded some very mediocre teams. Young players like Doug Drabek, Fred McGriff and Jay Buhner were traded for the likes of Ken Phelps and Steve Trout. Free agents like Ed Whitson were signed and didn’t exactly deliver. Once George Steinbrenner got suspended, Gene Michael was able to take over and along with Buck Showalter, focused more on player development and making shrewd trades like the Paul O’Neill one.
Now it appears ownership is at it again. While it is Hal Steinbrenner’s team and it is his right to do so, teams are run best when owners own and the people they pay to make the decisions, make the decisions. Don’t you think Dallas Cowboy fans may be a happier group if Jerry Jones got an actual GM?
When Alex Rodriguez opted out back in 2005, Cashman didn’t want him back and ownership overruled. The team signed Rafael Soriano against Cashman’s wishes as well. Now it appears the team brought back Alfonso Soriano even though Cashman didn’t want to give up a young arm for him.
Granted, Corey Black may not turn out to be Jose Rijo, however there is another troubling pattern that is coming about. Cashman was also overruled about keeping Russell Martin and adding Nate Schierholtz, instead of keeping Ichiro Suzuki and going with Francisco Cervelli and company at catcher. Well, let’s see how that turned out.
Schierholtz: .281/.341/.529 13 HR 42 RBI
Suzuki: .274/.310/.373 6HR 26RBI
Martin: .248/.350/.401 9HR 36 RBI
Chris Stewart: .237/.313/.306 3Hr 16 RBI
While Martin would still be on the team next year, Schierholtz would be a free agent. Ichiro is signed for next year and Soriano will make $5 million.
Ownership has intervened and it hasn’t helped. While it is their right to, they aren’t exactly helping the on-field product.
They need to stay out of the way and let the baseball people make the baseball decisions.